"A portrait is not an identificative paper but rather the curve of an emotion" -James Joyce

Friday, March 15, 2013

On Black Nights

     A couple of long nights in the studio, and long hours between nights.  My studio is cold and the days have been short.  For the first time ever....what you are seeing in these pictures IS actually underpainting, not something that I am preserving that is ambiguous as such, but a flexible and changing template for the structure of the picture.  I am remembering something Matt Saunders said at our last residence, that painters basically make a support, build their structure, make a drawing, and color it.  This is a terrible explanation of what the process entails, but it is nonetheless difficult to argue any part of it.  
     I have been really trying to be hyper aware of what the differences are between the blacks that I am using as I move away from umbers for the time being.  The lamp and mars act quite differently from one another.  The Mars is very permanent compared to the lamp, which has the perishable nature of a charcoal drawing.  It lacks tactile or tonal potential in comparison.  This has both it's use and it's drawbacks.  I intend to try ivory next.  I like to spend a considerable amount of time destroying the drawing, which only works if it has some durability.  I noticed that Rob Sullivan used ivory in his underpainting, and he mentioned lots of rags and large brushes, something that I have been reading is very common in this phase of the painting.  I have never enjoyed pictures of myself but in documenting my work I noticed a similarity between the way in which I would allow my photo to be taken and it's parallel with the way that I see the subjects of my paintings.  Until I see other paintings or even the real world, I believe that people look this way.  It is mostly how I feel that they look.  "The things that are most real to me are the illusions which I create with my painting.  Everything else is a quicksand." (Delacroix)

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