The Artist has composed quite a few articles on his artistic experience – 3 after finishing his painting Maternal Love, another 4 after finishing Self Portrait as a Young Man, and most recently he explored the appeal of Gunther Gerzo. Following is a synopsis of the articles for yours and his edification. (If you want visuals check out the Family Gallery.)
This URL contains the ideas and history behind our Painter's abortive artistic output - including a mini analysis and mini views of his 15 painting. It also provides some biography and context - including early artistic experiences, art lessons, the aborted Otto painting, and his only public art show.
For his only public art showing to date (1990) our irregular painter wrote a description of himself as an 'accidental artist', whose limited number of paintings were 'spontaneous' - 'unplanned' – 'soul bursts'. To explore the meaning of these descriptors this unusual article examines the raw data of our artist's painting sessions from the beginning to the present (1973->2010) - (which his inner Bookkeeper assiduously tabulated). The empirical data exposed the limitations of his memory - multiple breaks in the production of a single painting - frequently, not to mention years between the initiation and completion of the artwork. His notion of himself as 'an accidental artist, who created spontaneous, unplanned soulbursts' - had to be refined to apply to individual sessions rather then the entire project which was well thought out, with sketches, extended time between, not to mention the length of the projects themselves, which frequently required at least 100 hours over multiple months - hardly 'accidental' or 'spontaneous'. In the exploration the nature of our painter's artistic process is revealed - sustained attention over long arduous hours that extended over weeks into months irregularly over years and even decades.
To explore his artistic process for the above piece he crunched his raw data into increasingly smaller boxes for differentiation - first from the perspective of the decade, the year, the season, the month, and finally the week. He abstracted the information to create the unusual graph at the right. This eclectic article utilizes the visual to illustrate several concepts (non-artistic in nature). 1) Frequently the size of the yardstick determines Truth. 2) If the substantial is viewed closely enough it is filled with discontinuities and emptiness. & 3) Conversely if the minutiae is observed from a larger perspective patterns emerge – not absolute truths, just tendencies. 'The Ambiguous Notion of Self', 'Apparent Obstacles to Progress' as well as the 'Misleading Nature of Generalizations & Stereotypes' are all discussed from this subtle perspective.
The raw numbers behind the creations – including dates, sessions, & hours.
Exhilirated after finishing Self Portrait as a Young Man our Painter was inspired to relate the amazingly long process by which it had occurred. The journey began in his early 20s when he painted The Womb revealing a modicum of talent. An Art Master appeared complete with an assignment to draw a self portrait. But our guy needed more oil practice before attempting to paint this sophisticated drawing. After decades passed he traced the original on a board in preparation for painting with the change of a significant symbol. But not quite ready. Then a Breakdown, which set his Muse free to inspire him to practice with the Computer sketches. Then after one last practice session, Maternal Love, he finally began and finished the painting of himself as a Young Man of 21, as he turned 60. Evidently needed the emotional and artistic maturity of age to realize the potential of the drawing.
A simple exploration of the androgynous nature of the youth as well as the Sun/Moon Muse symbolism in the upper right corner of the painting.
Still unresolved concerning his description of himself as an 'accidental artist', he writes this article to discover what it means. In the exploration of his artistic process he realizes that while his Drawing and Pallete are relatively intentional that his application of oils is accidental and spontaneous in the sense that he as painter employs the complex of color, hand, and eye to determine his direction for each painting session rather than his Brain. He attributes the success of this empty minded technique to divine assistance.
The realization that he had to let go of reality in his artistic process enabled our painter to finish the long postponed painting of his 3 women, subtitled Before the Fall. When he mentioned this insight to his wife, or anyone else, a spontaneous guffaw erupted, and still does. Maintaining the veracity of the comment only elicited more laughter and merriment. This article was written to discover what he meant.
First and most obviously none of his painting have ever been that realistic. For instance his obviously patterned renditions of his wife and children's hair, clothes, and skin is far from life like. Further this seemed intentional an the artist's part – not accidental in the least. Despite these unusual renditions the subject matter of these artworks were always recognizable individuals placed in a specific place, rather than general figures placed in a unknown environment. While exploring the roots of his unusual style it seemed that our painter, inspired by a West African mask of Ngady a Mwassh, had decided to paint lines of force rather than bones, muscles and skin - the traditional conception of reality. This style enabled our artist to create relatively realistic drawings – in the sense that they conveyed a recognizable space and individuals to the viewer. Evidently our artist didn't intend to give up this level of realism.
The 'letting go of realism' had to do with the next step in his method of painting. Evidently he had tied himself up, perhaps technically and artistically, in his attempt to apply this same level of realism to clothes, skin, and vegetation. Rather than abandoning representation at this point in the process - he turned painting into a labored chore. His insight had to do with a subtle shift in intention - from realism to art. The recognizable space and individuals created by the drawing was the foundation for the paint – which was intended to create Beauty, not Realism. The former required intuition and was fun. The latter required ideas and was labored. It seemed that our Painter intended to play with the edge between Reality and Beauty - balancing both – between yin and yang = Taiji. Perhaps his statement could be modified. Letting go of Realism to focus on Beauty.
The most recent addition to this subsite. This includes a discussion of the link between our perception of Reality and Beauty. This leads to a discussion of the philosophy behind the inherent Animism of our artist's paintings.