Flower

Archive for the ‘Paintings’ Category

A Week on the West Coast

YO! Back in October I was visiting my bros Mike and Mariah in ol’ Victoria, BC! It was great! I had a good chance to see a lot of the– wait, what? …you don’t care? Drawings? Hey, I’ll tell a backstory if I want to, bud… Oh yeah? Well maybe I don’t care that you don’t care, you ever think of that, BUD?

*fighting*

Well imaginary arguments aside, I did a bunch of sketching over there!

These mountains are the Olympic Mountain range in Washington state. Pretty rad! Lemme just sacrifice a bull and pop across the wine-dark sea on my long-prowed ship!

Painting water is just... BRO. It's bro. I could bro that bro forever, bro. Fuuuuuckin' bro.

Painting water is just… BRO. It’s bro. I could bro that bro forever, bro. Fuuuuuckin’ bro.

I THOUGHT that this mountain might have been a Canadian one, but on some slightly further investigation, I’m pretty sure it’s also part of the States. Anyhow, it’s not part of the Olympic range, it’s off the East side of the island. Er, I guess the East side of Victoria, for those of us keeping track on a map.

Mount

And if your maps are still out, this is from up on a hill (Gonzalez hill) sorta facing back towards that first drawing and the breakwater where I sat when I drew it.

Gonzalez

This is the legislature building on the Inner Harbour.

I was the subject of at least three different tourist-photos while I was sitting there. Photos from a set that will likely be forgotten and buried in an untitled folder on a soon-to-be-outdated hard drive of an obsolete computer. Which actually hasn't happened to me since Italy. STILL GOT IT.

I was the subject of at least three different tourist-photos while I was sitting here. Perhaps just a single photo from a set that will be forgotten and buried in an untitled folder on the soon-to-be-outdated hard drive of an obsolete computer. Which actually hasn’t happened to me since Italy. STILL GOT IT.

Some sketches (good and bad) from the Royal BC Museum.

Animaux2

Interesting sidenote, these are actually the worst drawings I've ever done.

Interesting sidenote, these seals are actually the worst drawings I’ve ever done.

Animaux1

Totem

Yo, ROM, you JEALOUS, bro??

Ever have lunch with a peacock in front of a castle? Sounds pretty good, eh? It’s kinda like a soft version of “ever dance with the devil in a pale moonlight?”

Ok, so the castle was behind me when I drew this. What? I like water.

Ok, so the castle was behind me when I drew this. What? I like water.

It seemed like there were always mountains just on the edge of the horizon everywhere you look in Victoria (another thing that hasn’t happened since Italy!). It’s pretty ideal. Kinda like how deer are “pests” out there. GeezĀ and the sunshine, the bike lanes and the free-roaming peacocks are a real big problem, too. SOUNDS LIKE A PRETTY NICE PLACE, EH? Don’t even get me started on their craft beer epidemic. Anyhow, as I was saying about the mountains, the sky just behind them always had a really soft yellow glow to it that I kept trying to capture in my sketches. I think this last one is the closest I got. How about that, eh?

Driftwood

As an extra point of interest, all of the following names were considered for this post:

A Veek in Victoria, A Birder’s Guide to South Eastern Vancouver Island, Bros Will Be Bros, Bro Is As Bro Does, How I Learned to Relax and Love the West Coast, British Columbia for Dummies: Victoria Edition, Why I’ve Never Seen a Whale, The Trouble With Peacocks, Hey Bros Can I Sleep on Your Couch?, #firsttovisit, What I Did on Mt. Doug and Why, Don’t Go Down That Road There, BC for Basic Bitches, That Dino Don’t Look Right, Randy’s Gut is Full of Greasy Old Oyster Burgers, Selfies Done Right, and That’s Not The Proper Nomenclature.

One further point of interest:

Approximately 5% of the previous list was actually considered.

Nature Morte

IT’S NO SECRET that I like to paint still lives. (Hey, just because it’s not a secret doesn’t mean you’d automatically KNOW it, it’s just not a secret, ok?) Anyhow, in the majesty and beauty and whatnot of Italia, I managed to restrain myself MOST OF THE TIME from hermitting-up and just painting in my studio, as is my wont. Y’know, as you do.

Well I couldn’t help it the WHOLE time, especially after I bought a little bronze bat! And two of my favourite things to paint are bronze and fruit, and there sure was a lot of fruit making it’s way through my apartment… (cups and shells are pretty goddam high on my list, too… WHEW, good combos)

I think that’s about as poetically as I could put it… TWO STILL LIVES! HA! It’s a fruit bat! Take a look!

You don't even know how many apricots I've eaten... It borders on indecent.

You don't even know how many apricots I've eaten... It borders on indecent.

Sigh... Just lemme die with a brush in my hand... Hmm, donno if I have time to die though, not with all the paintings left to be painted.

Full Circles and Boss Battles

YO YO YO. Ok, I won’t pull any punches here, I AM BACK IN CANADA. Oh, I know, I could have kept up the illusion of being in Italy for many months to come (god knows I have the material for it, geeeezus…) and thanks to the smoke and mirrors of the innernet no one woulda been the wiser… Unless you happened to see me on the street, I guess. That’d be a bit weird.

Anyway, anyway, I’m getting off topic, I HAVE RETURNED. Haha, whooo! But I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the drawins and paintins and stuff I did while I was over there… So I got PLENTY of stuff to show ya on here.

Let’s go with this fer now… I mentioned a few posts back that my roomate for the summer was a plaster copy of Zucchone, a Donatello statue from the Duomo in Florence. And across the street from my apartment was the church of San Frediano in Cestello, and I could see the dome and the bell tower from my window! Well anyhow, right off-the-bat in the beginning of June I painted both of them, and then in the last week or so I painted them both again! I think there are some pretty interesting and pretty sincere differences in execution and technique and well, in skill, but I’ll let you decide fer yerself! So here’s some full circle painting experiences and some of my final boss battles before I got the hell outta there! Level-up, bros, because we must paint.

SanFredianoAlpha

SanFredianoOmega

ZucchoneAlpha

ZucchoneOmega

And remember, Italy is a state of mind.

Whatever that means.

Rinse and Repeat

I wasn’t kidding when I said draw it again and again and again. It’s Herakles and the Centaur! Again!

Young Michael brought up an interesting point in the comments on the last Herk post… About us being taught to show the MIDDLE of the action while we were in school. A lot of emphasis was put on things like the line of action and the follow-through. That is, making it very clear where the action is about to take place. A good example of this that comes to mind in Renaissance art is the Ferryman of the dead in the bottom right corner of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in the Sisteen Chapel. The creepy old dude is in the middle of swinging his oar at the souls he’s about to take to Hell. Pretty gnarly. It looks like he could finish the swing at any moment… FOLLOW THROUGH, if you will. Which is evidently what I look for. Anyway, I suppose what it comes down to is that one can never help one’s training. All those Norrellite sympathies popping up, y’know?

It also brings up a good point about other cases of pre-action depictions of this sort of thing (I guess it really does help being in Italy when talking about this)… FOR EXAMPLE: Both Michelangelo’s and Bernini’s statue of David show him BEFORE facing Goliath. In Michelangelo’s, he’s contemplating the task ahead, and in Bernini’s, he’s pulled his sling taught and is about to launch the stone. Quite a contrast to a large number of other depictions of David and Goliath, both in painting and in sculpture, where David is shown with the severed head of the already defeated giant. Interesting stuff, folks… Gets those rusty ol’ wheels turning, eh?

It looks all little and cute here, like a paper weight!

It looks all little and cute here, like a paper weight!

Another from the same angle. Different day, different ink, and a bit of a different approach.

Another from the same angle. Different day, different ink, and a bit of a different approach.

There's that death grip.

There’s that death grip.

It's very disorienting to draw an upside-down head.

It’s very disorienting to draw an upside-down head.

Here's the first time I drew it from this particular angle. You can see the skin of the Nemean Lion really well from here.

Here’s the first time I drew it from this particular angle. You can see the skin of the Nemean Lion really well from here.

Can you imagine the strongest guy in the world bending your head back like that? Not that you could stop him, but would you even be able to put up a fight?

Can you imagine the strongest guy in the world bending your head back like that? Not that you could stop him, but would you even be able to put up a fight?

Lookit that handsome determination and them purdy little fingers! No, wait, don't lookit them fingers, that's a different statue.

Lookit that handsome determination and them purdy little fingers! No, wait, don’t lookit them fingers, that’s a different statue.

There are just so many lions.

There are just so many lions.

I could (and probly will... and probly should) do a whole ranting post about flayed animal skins in sculpture. It's so rad! Remember, the Nemean Lion was unstoppable before Herk came along. HEY! Patroclus, get yer upside-down face outta there!

I could (and probly will… and probly should) do a whole ranting post about flayed animal skins in sculpture. It’s so rad! Remember, the Nemean Lion was unstoppable before Herk came along. HEY! Patroclus, get yer upside-down face outta there!

Ohhh, just a hint of this one, eh? I see what you're up to...

Ohhh, just a hint of this one, eh? I see what you’re up to…

Process, process…

Over the years as I go in and out of having a functional website, I keep hearing that people want to see process work. I can’t for the life of me imagine why, but there’s no reason to argue.

Recently I’ve been painting a lot of small still lives on masonite. Mostly going through my curiosity cabinet and finally painting the stuff that I’ve had for quite a long time. Anyhow, I kinda feel like I’m on to something with these paintings, or at the very least going in the right direction towards that something… And I’ve found that it helps me to stay somewhat loose and somewhat detached from the final painting if I take a quick photo in the middle. That is, if I feel like it’s going well, taking the photo stops me from thinking the extremely detrimental thought of “what if I ruin it,” and generally keeps my various painting hangups at bay. After all, you gotta hang loose, bud.

Citrus

I went through a bit of a citrus thing... I'm not sure if it's over yet...

I went through a bit of a citrus thing... I'm not sure if it's over yet...

Partway me

Peep undershirt game.

Peep undershirt game.

Sometimes the underpainting is interesting in itself, but I don't have any goddam brakes, so, you know...

Sometimes the underpainting is interesting in itself, but I don't have any goddam brakes, so, you know...

I also went through a candle thing, which is definitely not over.

And I also went through a candle thing, which is definitely not over.

I do love direct simplicity, but I don't see any brakes anywhere, DO YOU??

I do love simplicity, but I still don't see any brakes anywhere, DO YOU??

If it's ok to like your own paintings, this is one of my favourites.

If it's ok to like your own paintings, this is one of my favourites. I can actually look at it and feel what I felt when I wanted to paint it. That's rare.

Anyway, for better or worse, whether a painting turns out successful or is an utter failure, it’s important to finish it. There is a big difference between, “it looks good like that,” and, “it’s finished.” Fa bello attraverso brutto.