Thursday, October 13, 2005

Brianna as Buddha

In blog yesterday, I described the painting group I've been lucky to be a part of for the past couple years. And in a comment, I elaborated about one of the models who'd come to sit for our group one evening; perhaps that was nine months ago? I know it was around the time of anti-globalisation demonstrations of some sort: a theme Brianna -- the girl -- waxed verbose about. (Whether she'd lately been jailed, or was about to be -- those details of her tale are a blur now. Of course the model doesn't talk when sitting; but we have a few breaks -- e.g. every half hour.)

Before she ran off, our sitter snapped pictures of the various paintings we'd all done. Here's one she emailed of my painting from the session. I daresay the visage might bear only faint resemblance to the sitter. (In my quick-sketch oilpaint method, I don't usually achieve even the questionable verisimilitude that I might be able to get if working over a longer period of time on a painting.) This, anyway, gives some notion of my style (presumably). Typically, the surround (background) isn't at all naturalistic; it's an imagined / improvised portion of an else figurative work (in this case merely diffuse, but sometimes more detailed). The image is assuredly imperfect as representation of the girl who sat. Overall -- and particularly in this one-session oil-sketch method -- my "untutored" (self-taught) art might nod some ways in direction of nature; but it tends to imagine its own version of things. What the eye sees is a beginning point, but not necessarily the destination. The brush has its own ideas to follow.


Blogger ~River~ said...

I like this.
The blues in the background, the elasticity of her right hand, the brightness of her forehead (because she's enlightened?). I want to understand the orange-ish lower foreground...her leg?

I want a bigger, more detailed picture; you can't get that from a phone snap, I guess.

Thu Oct 13, 10:11:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

could make a larger image from that phone snap (resizing in Photoshop) perhaps. I do have 2 better digital cameras (just not as handy, and I'm not yet very handy with them). At leisure (i.e. gradually) I'll try to grapple w/ what I can present in this kind of space. (Why is life so busy, one wonders?)

Yes, the organge-er foreground surface is the leg (somewhat raised, possibly cross-legged). The brighter forehead is due to a lighter paint (rather thick there); but also might owe a bit to accident of the painting's lighting I think (I was directing a light at canvas when she snapped the picture). First comes painting, then interpretation, I suppose. ;-) ("Brianna as Buddha" was a title that came to mind when blogging this -- certainly not pre-conceived when painting!)

I have some 21 different canvases I'm going to try to get on wires & walls in the next week (our show's Oct. 22-23). I'll try reshooting this one (it's among them), and will then show the full canvas (this is actually a detail). There's more blue than seen here.

I think this is poss. the "earliest" of the paintings in the little series I selected. I like this, but like some of the others even more.

To find out more (as the Chinese novelists used to say), you'll have to read the next chapter (or, as here, wait till I blog it anon).

thanks for feedback; truth is, very few people have seen my paintings -- a handful of friends over the years mainly; 2 were exhibited in a restaurant, once (connected w/ a poetry festival).

Thu Oct 13, 11:21:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ~River~ said...

Now why did I write "hand", instead of "arm"? I meant "arm", of course...

Resizing might pixelate it, which isn't what we'd want.

Sure, a lot of naming happens post the event of the artistic act. I like the title.

Waiting for the next chapter...

Fri Oct 14, 06:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

Oh yes, I knew you meant arm. The way that arm went is rather weird; the shoulder too is way exaggerated; but this is how things can go esp. with oil sketch. There's a mix of accident, decision, improv, etc. With the more nuanced control of a painting done over a period of time, the "initial mistakes" are more fully corrected. I like that way of working too -- with oilpainting, even the "mistakes" lend depth to the painting -- so much so, it's fine to be totally off at the beginning; it contributes character to the painting that develops. But an advantage of this oil sketch method, for me, simply involves time/work management. I can do one new painting each week -- I'm simply devoting one evening to it; and (it seems & inshallah) I'm able to progress & develop without having the painting process take over my life. Since my life is already taken over by 2 or 3 other creative involvements squeezed . . . you know how it is for we contemporaries.

An interesting exception to the common practice of naming later, is in the curious practice of poet John Ashbery. He's explained he always writes the name of a poem first, then proceeds to write the poem. In one notable case (the book-length poem Flowchart), the opening of the poem is akind of commentary on his name-choice.

But that's not been my approach (in painting or poetry).

I'll take a new pic of this (among others), as I'd like to show the full canvas. Believe or not, these little cell-phone cameras are megapixel digital cameras. But when sent via email, it's reduced in size. But my little pone can take a mega-pixel picture, These times we live in.

Fri Oct 14, 06:47:00 AM PDT  

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