Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meryl Streep Portrait: Part III

Panel 1b is completed and here I compare the small computer generated manqué to the two painted (30" x 30") square panels.*

computer manqué

I wasn’t interested in matching the color in the painting to those I made in the small-computerized version. Instead, the colors are much more intense. And, in some cases the hue isn’t the same. At the same time all the areas of color do have to match exactly from one panel to the next, so perfect draftsmanship is a must. If there were errors in drawing, the edges of the panels would not match, and much worse, Meryl would not look like Meryl.

the 2 (30" x 30") painted panels

I am pleased with the boldness/power of these two panels. There is only one small area that could use some tweaking in the left panel, and that is the three brown lines to the right of center. They appear to be divorced from the surrounding paint. If I have time when all six panels are finished I’ll go back and play with that passage a bit. However, the deadline looms but one month away, and this little thing is probably one of those that only the artist knows about. There won’t be any viewer saying – “Darn, look at those three ugly brown lines in Meryl Streep’s hair!”

I’ve started panel 2a, and hope to finish it this week. We shall see as we have guests coming this weekend, which means I must be done by Friday.

My alter ego says, “good luck with that one, John! You’d better not do anything but paint!”


* manqué - here I am referring to the “inferior” computer generated image I made to use as a guide in making the painting. It is of necessity inferior to the final painted version as it is so small compared to the 5 x 7 & 1/2 foot painting, and the color is flat and vastly inferior to the painterly quality of the fished artwork.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Atlantic Ocean Sky at Sunset

August 23, 2014

In south Florida and in Mexico I’ve seen amazing cloud formations over the water at any time of the day or night or year, but never before over the ocean in Delaware. Now, I'm not saying such formations don't happen in Delaware, just that I've never seen one, and I long ago concluded that they must be extremely rare. So, I was amazed when visiting Cape Henlopen with friends one evening this past August.

I had only my old iPhone 4S, and forgot to set it on high definition when I was shooting. Still these sky photos are amazing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meryl Streep: Row 1, Column A

Finally, the first of six panels is done, all but the final fixes, and I will wait until I have more panels finished to do the final corrections. This panel is the upper left hand corner of the five-by-seven-and- one-half foot portrait, and is 30 inches square  The painting's color is more intense than the color in the computer version (2" by 2") that I made over a month ago. However, I like the more intense painted version best because the sections of paint contrast, that is retreat and come forward better than in the small computer version.

I took this photo of the panel in the studio with my iPhone, and much of the painterly quality is missing. For the good photographs of the image, I will carry the panel outdoors, and shoot in full midday sunlight with my Sony 10 megapixel camera in order to capture the color at its best. I know the thickness of the paint will show up better if I shoot that way as well.

I had hoped to have the panel done way back in mid August, but volunteer work, doctor’s appointments and other personal issues interfered. Now that the first panel is finished, I hope I will be able to pick up the pace with little or no future encumbrance.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Surreal Mexico Tree

As a documentary iPhone picture of our trip - taken from a moving van on our way home from the Occidental Grand Xcaret Hotel near Tulum in Mexico – this image is a photographic disaster And, our trip wasn’t that wonderful either. Suffice it to say that these days Mexico has gotten really good at squeezing and shaking every spare penny from the weary tourist taking a break from the Gringo rat race to the north.*

Never the less, the tree with its roots was suspended in a hole through an overpass that we had passed beneath a half dozen times in our tiny rented Ford "cucaracha" going to and from the hotel. This was the first time I was not in the driver's seat, and I pushed the shutter icon several times as the crowded hotel van approached the amazing apparition. The image displayed here is the best, and I do like the reflections in the glass despite the dark finger blob over the lens, and the blurry out of focus window surround. The various bent glass distortions in the image also add interest, and since the tree itself is an absurdity all the obfuscations add to the mystery of the impossible thing happening before the eyes. As I look at the photograph taken in a Spanish speaking country I think of Magical Realism in Spanish Literature, and of course the Surrealist thread woven through so many of the arts during the past century.* Rene Magritte's painting, The Castle of the Pyrenees comes to mind.

Accordingly I view the iPhone photo of the floating tree as successful artistic expression.*1


* Magical Realism – The imposition of impossible magical elements given in a matter of fact way into a realistic narrative about the real/natural world. Magical Realism includes Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ seminal One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits among many others.

*1 Magritte, Rene, "The Castle of the Pyrenees," (1959) oil on canvas. See Wiki Images, copyright information below viewed 11:01 PM. EDT, Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fair use rationale: it is a historically significant artwork the image is only being used for informational and educational purposes the image is readily available on the internet the image is a low resolution copy of the original artwork and is unsuitable for commercial use More… WikiArt.org allows unlimited copying, distributing and displaying of the images of public domain artworks solely. We use here Copyright term based on authors' deaths according to U.S. Copyright Law, that is 70 years. In other countries, the duration of copyright term may differ. Please check here copyright length according to your country's legislation before you consider reproducing images borrowed from Wikipaintings.org Artworks protected by copyright are supposed to be used only for contemplation. Images of that type of artworks are prohibited for copying, printing, or any kind of reproducing and communicating to public since these activities may be considered copyright infringement.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Fungus Amongus

No, it is not a creature from another planet; at least I don’t think so. Neither is it a bizarre little poisonous snake from The River Styx.

Instead these weird things will grow around the base of our Crepe Myrtle end of this month, beginning of September. I took these photos of the creepy things last year, and I really would like to know what they are. I’ve never seen them before in my life.

I doctored the photographs with Adobe Photoshop, made 2 layers, darkened the exposure in one, and then erased over the fungus thing exposing the lighter version on the bottom layer. Finally I painted where necessary in the background, and merged the layers. The original images are much larger than these I’m displaying, and could be printed up to 6 feet square and still look detailed at that dark head like part, I think. At that point the yellow-orange and black fungus would definitely look like an invader from planet Xarcon.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New Character’s Restaurant Portrait

Meryl Streep

After much deliberation over a new character for the banquet room at Goddaughter Meghan’s restaurant, Character’s Gastropub in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, we decided on Meryl Streep to reside opposite Leonardo DiCaprio.  I documented the image deliberation in May of this year. More recently Meghan was concerned that the great actress must appear as her younger, more glamorous self so as to fit with the majority of the restaurant's clientele. However, one of Meghan's favorite choices was this still image from The Devil Wears Prada, 2006, only 8 years ago.*

I posit that this elegant and glamorous image of (at the time) a 56 year old woman demonstrates that age can be worn extremely well and that Ms. Streep does so. The photo also goes a long way to demonstrate that Meryl Streep is capable of becoming any character she wishes, witness her performances in such diverse motion pictures as Out of Africa, The Iron Lady, Julie and Julia

and Mamma Mia!.

In any event, I cannot just copy the photograph and call it my own, no matter how large I make the image. The finished painting will be extremely large, 5 x 7 & ½ feet. Never the less, I must make other drastic changes to the image using Adobe Photoshop as the instrument for change. Just as in the Leonardo DiCaprio painting I made last summer, I have begun by cropping the photograph in various ways, and choosing one. I have reversed the image, and played with the colors. The image shown below is the final flipped, cropped and posterized image, with colors I have chosen from many trial runs.

I am mixing the colors for the panels now, and will begin painting tomorrow. The application of the paint with Impressionist like brushwork will be one more change to the image, thus removing it 6 times from the original photograph, more than enough changes to make the finished painting my own creation.

Notes and Credits

* “The Devil Wears Prada, by Omar P. L. Moore in Pop Corn Reel (http://www.popcornreel.com/htm/devilw.htm). Posted June 29, 2006, viewed 11:30 PM, EDT, Friday, August 1, 2014.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mixed Media Distressed Painting Commission Step 4

In order to help unify the panels, I must work still another layer of distressed paint of various colors here and there. I will also add another smaller image to the telescoped distressed image in the center of each panel, and perhaps a line or 3 across them. At any rate, I am one week away from being finished. I will post an image of the finished product hopefully before the ind of the month.