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Taking inspiration from spent gases

Post #1420 • November 19, 2009, 1:14 PM • 14 Comments

(Cross-posted at David Thompson's blog at the link.)

Down at the studio I'm working on an oil painting of a nude drinking a cup of tea and a cat sitting at her knee. (Sorry for the rhyme, but that's the simplest way to describe it.) I finally got it to the point that the face doesn't make me hate life, and today I'm going to try to work out her right hand, which still does, and do something about the background, which needs a massive revision. I am not a talented man compared to the greats of figurative painting. I am hoping to make a fine thing anyway, despite my limitations, of which I am painfully aware.

Nevertheless I take some encouragement from the knowledge that my abilities at their very nadir, exercised on my lousiest days as an artist, prior to my blessed morning caffeine intake, tower over those of someone who releases spent gases simultaneously from a steel canister and her flapping pie hole and calls it art of any sort.

Thank you for listening.




November 19, 2009, 1:50 PM

Forget the gas, Franklin. That's all it is. Feast your eyes on this instead:

Akahada 1
Akahada 2
Akahada 3
Akahada 4

I prefer this to Chihuly. Much creamier and warmer, not brittle or, well, glassy.



November 19, 2009, 3:11 PM

I thought the gas release was funny. Didn't donate, of course, but then I hardly donate to anything.



November 19, 2009, 3:13 PM

You have a good eye, Jack.



November 19, 2009, 3:21 PM

Thanks, John. Of course, that automatically means I'll never be a major collector.



November 19, 2009, 7:14 PM

Franklin, "I finally got it to the point that the face doesn't make me hate life..." LOL, a riot! Those have been my sentiments as I've slogged through inventing a woman's posterior, especially the color! After the last session I had to take a walk to get back some perspective about life, during which I reasoned that at least I get to examine every square inch of that handsome posterior.


Chris Rywalt

November 19, 2009, 8:41 PM

I'm a posterior expert. One day a couple of years ago, when my studio was still at home, I was setting up for a new painting and one of my kids walked by.

"Whatcha doing?"

"Setting up to paint."

"You're not going to paint mom's butt again, are you?"

On topic: David Thompson's post is hilarious. Sad, but hilarious. Probably a better put-down than I managed towards Paul McCarthy.

As far as the Akahada, Jack, I think I made that ashtray in my ceramics class in junior high. Or one very much like it.

I'm kidding, of course. I didn't make ashtrays, I made red skulls with yellow pop-eyes and lolling tongues, like any good metalhead in ceramics class.



November 19, 2009, 9:07 PM

"David Buckland projected video onto a glacier wall and re-filmed it."

That makes me happy.

I cant help but wonder if he or the other artists involved in the Disko Bay expedition have to take a day job as I do or if he gets by in life by "creating" works like this. Surely, I am going about this making a living as an Artist thing the wrong way.

Side note:

Franklin, I was a student of yours a few years back for intermediate drawing. The juggling bit at the end of the quarter has had a lasting impact on my life. That came into my mind a few days ago and so I stumbled on this blog.



November 19, 2009, 9:13 PM

Chris, it is of course not an ashtray. It's a tea ceremony vessel, probably a dish for sweets. One shudders to think what went on in that ceramics class of yours. It was probably taught by some ditzy woman who should have been home doing crafts projects for the church bazaar, much like my art teacher in junior high.


Chris Rywalt

November 19, 2009, 9:24 PM

Oh no. All our shop teachers (and ceramics was a shop) were grizzled, cranky old men. Little tough guys who worked for a living before teaching shop. They had high standards and expected a lot from us and I'm afraid we didn't respect them anywhere near as much as we should have.

Last week I chaperoned my daughter's class on a field trip to Museum Village, one of those places where people in period costume read from index cards regarding 17th and 18th century living. Most of it was not very exciting -- aside from the mammoth skeleton -- but the potter was very cool. He's been there something like thirty years and while we watched he took a pound and a half of local red clay on his kickwheel and made a lovely little cup I'd put up there with your pots. Watching it happen right before my eyes was really something.

"Do you make patterns with tools?" one of the kids asked.

The guy looked at the cup we'd just watched him throw and said, "Well, I made this pattern with a tool. It's called a fingernail."



November 19, 2009, 9:35 PM

Chris, that's fine! My shop courses were in Jr. High. The teacher was just as you described. We made chisels, trash cans... We had to meet a level of craft to pass. It was fine. I have the chisel I made. It has good proportions because of that teacher. I remember running the colors. Very fine experience at W.E. Greiner Jr. High School.



November 19, 2009, 9:36 PM

Here, Chris, try this:

Iga 1
Iga 2
Iga 3
Iga 4



November 20, 2009, 12:12 AM

Jeanne-Claude, Christo's partner in life and in art, has died.

Unlike many of the conceptualists, they actually made things, most of which were striking if not beautiful. Whatever you think of the projects themselves, Christo's drawings of them were masterful.

They were an utterly close pair and I believe it will be very difficult for him to continue without her. When he visited Kalamazoo several decades ago, it seemed like he would not have made all his flight connections without his continually calling her back in NYC. In a sense he was the puppet and she was the puppeteer. Both of them were very pleasant to work with and she will be missed by me.


Chris Rywalt

November 20, 2009, 7:09 AM

No mention of the people their artwork actually killed.



November 20, 2009, 8:42 PM

Christo's work was basically splashy event art, a very specialized version of what the circus coming to town once was. Relatively speaking, I think his work was certainly more genuine, in its way, than that of blatant art hucksters who also achieved fame and fortune. I think he believed in his work, as opposed to simply marketing himself and moving a very pricey product line while posing as a serious artist. It's not my cup of tea, and I think too much was made of it for the wrong reasons, but we've definitely had worse work, blown even more out of proportion, which wasn't even respectable, let alone satisfying.



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