Inspired by '69


When I’m making my annual calendar I often will look for significant anniversaries to add a bit of interest. For 2019’s calendar there were several from 50 years ago that gave me ideas for future works. I’ve started on a couple of them and hope to have them finished and released by the time the anniversaries roll around.

Here are partial images of the outlines I’ve done for 2 of these 1969 inspired paintings.

Can you figure out which events these each represent?

On the Drawing Board: Perspective on perspective

When I paint a figure at an angle that is more from above or below I realize how we most commonly view each other and ourselves on the vertical plain, the reflective face to face perspective. Think about how we have the ability to immediately identify a human shape in silhouette from this perspective, but when we change the angles (such as viewing from above) the outline becomes less familiar, shapes get distorted, some things become hidden while other come into view. 

On The Drawing Board: Cornfields and Krypton?

Hey, it's a work in progress update. It's been quite a few weeks since I've been at the drawing board, with Thanksgiving and shipping out orders (I'm not complaining! Thank YOU!). But it's nice to spend a few hours and feel like an artist again. 

I'm going for a mid-westerner look for this duo. So why not a guy with the classic 'Superman' look (I know, Superman is originally from Krypton), and a guy with a slight Germanic look since many German immigrants settled in the northern central US. Just curious, is Lex Luthor German? 

Who's next?

I used to do my paintings one at a time from start to finish, from idea to completion then move on to the next. I think, in part, that was because I would occasionally develop an idea and then abandon it for some reason and never go back to it. But in the last couple years there's been a shift in my modus operandi. Rather than work in a linear fashion, I sometimes work in batches. If I'm in 'idea' mood (or mode) I'll work on developing a few at a time. This way, when I'm in a painting mood I'll have some things ready to go. I've also learned to be okay with spending time on an idea and it not becoming a finished painting, or at least, not right away. 

Here is a batch of ideas that I've recently been working on, my Christmas painting, "The Winter Spirit" was also in this batch. Which one will be next? Will all of them become finished works? I don't even know the answer.  Stay tuned!

"Catch" and re-release.

When I'm working on a painting, I sometimes will go back and redo, or make changes to parts I consider 'finished' in order to blend with what I've added since. Often this has to do with lighting, and reflections of colors etc. On a rare occasion I complete and even release the painting before realizing (or acknowledging that voice in the back of my head) that something needs to be reworked.  Such has been the case with "Catch". 

I think, that because I liked all the elements separately, the face, the body, swimsuit, sunset background etc. I didn't really see the big picture and how they worked together. Since I was happy with all the elements, and had put all that time into it, I guess I convinced myself I was satisfied. 

However, a few months after releasing it, I took it off the website. I finally admitted I wasn't satisfied, and if I wasn't, I didn't want it out there. I let is sit for a year. I guess it took me that long make the hard choice, let go of the attachment to my creation and take the eraser to it.

One thing I wanted to do was make the lighting effect on the figure more dramatic. That meant some adjustments to the face, and since there were other things I wanted to change about the face, the whole face had to go. I also had to add more highlight to the left leg, and wanted to give his legs a bit more movement. So the swimsuit/hips needed a bit more tilt. This time I went with a yellow suit. Yellow is a bolder color and it lends a connection with the Sun, which is just out of the scene.

While it does feel odd to rework a painting that I've already shown to the world, it's not that strange. Musicians do it with their songs and George Lucas has done it with his movies. And while some may say they liked it better before, for me I made the right decision because of how I used to feel about "Catch" compared to how I feel now, I love it!