Saturday, November 7, 2015

The New Art Card Is "Create!"

Side 2

I spent roughly three hours today on the second side of “Create.” I had been referring to the two sides of the card as front and back, but now I realize there is no front and back, that the sides are interchangeable. The compositions are different though made up of many of the same elements. On one side I listed synonyms, while on the other I wrote varied definitions, quotes, and comments about the creative process. However, both read as variations on the same theme. The paint strokes and splotches cover some of the words and phrases and placement of these over the words was accidental. So, the word “God” was painted over in the phrase, “God created the heavens and earth,” as is most of the rest of that phrase.

Side 1

Though we create in innumerable ways, as in the arts, humanities, sciences, and all applied fields, I chose to incorporate shapes symbolic of the arts, specifically visual and musical, since these are the areas in which I attempt to make new objects. Now that the mechanicals are complete they will be sent to the printer after which there will be four art cards to be sent out into the world, peace, love, joy and create.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Triptych Installed

I took the images of the installed painting at Character's Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with my little 20 megapixel camera instead of my good but old 10 megapixel Sony, and I'm not happy with the images. I will have to go back when we are in Lancaster next April and reshoot with tripod and good camera. Never the less, these images demonstrate the painting's presence in the Banquet facility, "Windows On Queen." The three portraits, Julia Roberts, Johnny Depp and Madonna, added to those already present create a powerful presence of characters in that space used to stage parties, banquets and receptions.

Goddaughter, Meghan and I discussed creating one more for the space, and it will be based on characters created by Will Smith or Harrison Ford.

Friday, October 9, 2015

The triptych is Finished


Last week we packed the 3 by 12 foot triptych into a 50 x 38 x 6 inch box and my spouse (Joe) and I headed to Lancaster, PA. However, we never got there because we were caught in torrential downpours in Maryland complete with flash floods that caused our car’s electrical system to go haywire. I hadn’t had time to take photos of the finished panels together before our failed trip, so today I looked at the three panels and realized that I should have scrutinized the compositional relationships between the three portraits more closely when planning the triptych. Having said that, I don’t know if anyone will notice the problem I see since the artist is always his/her own worst critic. So, the only remaining problem is whether or not Julia Roberts and Madonna should be looking away from Johnny Depp or toward him.



I’ll leave that question to the viewer. Look at both arrangements carefully and let me know which you prefer (A or B). You can place your answer in “comments” on Facebook or in “comments” here on the blog. The blog comments section is located at the bottom of this entry. Just click on the word, “comment” and you will be given the opportunity to vote and write any other comment(s) you wish. I will report the result of this informal survey on Facebook.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Julia Three Days Ago

Amazing! I’m on a roll! I’ve got 2 more squares done since I took this photograph of Julia on Friday, the twenty-fifth, and it looks as though I should be finished by this coming Friday, October 2nd. Interestingly, I’m not relying on a complete mapping in pencil within the grid as I normally do. Occasionally, I eyeball the brushwork. That has worked out especially well on the hair, Row A square 1, and Row B, square 1 with some dry brushing that looks almost like air brush.* That should make an interesting contrast to the “paint by number” mapping throughout the rest of the painting. I plan to do more of the same in future portraits.

*She reminds me of Botticelli's "Birth of Venus," though she's reversed, and is just a portrait not a full figure. I'm certainly not comparing my work to the master, just saying that this pose of Julia reminds me of the master's painting.

Italian at, viewed Monday, September 28, 2015, 11:16 EDT.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Julia Roberts

I’ve begun work on the left panel of the “Characters Triptych”

The image shown here is the manqué (model) for the 3’ by 4’ last (left) panel in the triptych. The image for the manqué was created by distilling a number of photos found on the Internet into one, then playing with that image in Adobe Photoshop. I’ve been mapping the large canvas for the past week. Each 2” square in the manqué has been enlarged using pencil by a factor of 6 into the 12” squares on the canvas. I will begin mixing the basic colors for the image later today. They will be different from those in the manqué because I like to make sure that the enlarged image is removed more than one step from the manque. There will be about 12 basic colors. As I work during the next 3 weeks, additional colors will be mixed using the basic 12 plus the complementary color to each, white, and/or a dull black made by mixing the primary colors and magenta. If I finish mixing the basic colors, I will be ready to begin painting tomorrow.

I would like to be done with the 3rd panel by October 1st so I can take the entire triptych to Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania rather than only the first 2 panels of Madonna and Johnny Depp.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Johnny Depp Canvas: Part III

Johnny Depp Is Finished

Finally! He and Madonna are ready to go to our Goddaughter’s restaurant, Characters Pub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to be installed across from the bar in the Banquet room, Windows on Queen. I’ve also begun work on the Julia Roberts panel, but that won’t be completed in time for our October visit to Lancaster. I’m pleased with the intensity of Johnny’s expression, dark and brooding, part of the public persona he so often displays. This dark brooding aspect and another, that slightly cuckoo twist are what make him so appealing to so many people. Of course his acting talent is huge, and that contributes to his appeal as well. There is no denying that he is a “Character.”

The panel is 4 feet by 3 feet, so the two together are 8 by 3 feet. When all 3 panels are finished, the triptych will be 12 by 3 feet.* I am pleased, I just hope I can finish Julia before we leave the north in November. That way the triptych will be completed and installed for parties and receptions at Characters this winter and spring.


The inference to historical triptych's in Catholic Christianity makes sense as the worship of film/theater personalities (icons) in the 20th and 21st century often reaches an almost religious fervor. These characters are our Modern, Postmodern, and Metamodern gods, the equivalent of ancient Roman and Greek gods with all their human foibles and characteristics.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Art Cards IV

Update, August 22, 2015

I’ve decided that I should have been taking photos of the dropped off Art Cards on location, and I’m telling myself that I should have realized that at the beginning of the project. I know that I can’t possibly shoot them every time I leave the cards as this is supposed to be a surreptitious operation. It would be just slightly obvious if I whip my phone out of my pocket and start taking pictures of a store counter, restaurant tabletop or museum kiosk.

Above are two of the photos of cards left in Rehoboth Beach, DE., one at a friends pool club house, and another of cards left on a locker room bench at Any 1 Fitness in the Rehoboth Mall. I use that gym 3 to 4 times every week and plan on leaving them there often until we leave the area in November.

I did keep a log of all the cards dropped since march of this year including our travels in Turkey, Greece and Italy during July and August. I have one photo of the cards on a restaurant table from the trip. I will publish that photo with another entry about the cards at some point in the future. I will also publish the log (to current date) as an entry on “The Art of John Bittinger Klomp” in September, and again at the end of the year as a New Year’s Eve entry.