Saturday, December 26, 2015

Super Shadow Selfie

I have never taken a cell phone selfie and will not. However, the shadow selfie is an interesting variation on the usual (Ho-hum) selfie, and the slightly less common selfie in the mirror I see posted on Websites everywhere. On Christmas day I stood at the edge of the surf in south Florida and shot a series of photos of my shadow as the water rushed in, over and out. I then assembled 5 of these in a horizontal progression in Adobe Photoshop. The result is the Super Shadow Selfie. Interestingly, I was not aware of changing the position of arms as I shot the photos. The photos demonstrate that I did. I like the way the actual slight green tint of the water changes the overall color of the brown sand in the frames as one views the series from end to end. Also, though not very revealing as to my exact looks, the Super Shadow Selfie demonstrates a great deal about the way my thought processes work when making art, and probably the way I relate to the world around me on a daily basis.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Playing with a Christmas Theme

Mixed Media, Distressed Paint, Digital Camera and Computer

I ‘googled’ “Master’s paintings and Nativity," chose some favorites, and printed them in different sizes. Among them were works by Correggio, David, El Greco, Rubens, and Costa. I covered a 12” square board with a mixture of aqua and white acrylic paint, laminated some of the prints to the board with a solution of Elmer's Glue and water, waited for all to dry, and then coated with oil crayon. I painted over these images with pale bluish tempera paint. It took 4 coats of tempera to cover over the oil crayon. After those coats of paint dried I chipped through the tempera paint with a knife, and finally I put a coat of varnish over all. I’ve decided that I need at least 6 more layers of images, paint, oil crayon and varnish, and then I’ll have next year’s Christmas card. Part of the fun of this process is photographing the mixed media work at various stages. Loading the photographic images into the computer, printing them out, taring them in pieces and laminating these back into the art work.* Of course, the finished painting will look nothing like it does now one week before Christmas 2015. That is why I like this technique so much. Each step I take changes the image drastically. It is as though there are 5 or 6 paintings buried within the layers, but only one final image is complete though it is made of bits and pieces of all the others.


* The correct art terms for this part of the process is d├ęchirag and d├ęcollage.

Friday, December 11, 2015

What Can I Do About All This Fear and Hate in the World?

Or, I’m about to take my own advice.

Not a damned thing but fill myself with love!

Let me explain. I know deep inside that I can’t change the world, or any individual in it. If Jihadists fear the West, and hate and kill – if some Christians fear and hate me because I am gay – if some black and white folk fear and hate one another – if Republicans and Democrats fear and hate one another – if Trump fears and hates all Muslims – if – if, on and on – there is nothing I can do about any of their fear and hate. *

The prophet Mohammed said, “To overcome evil with good is good, to resist evil by evil is evil.”

I look at the Dali Lama, and I’m amazed that he is reconciled to not finding a new Dali Lama. He will be the last in his line. He isn’t sad or angry, only filled with the knowledge that this world has no place for an independent Tibet with a Dali Lama as it’s religious and political leader. It is remarkable that he expresses only kindness and love.

I ask what Jesus Christ would do or say if he were here today, and the answer is ready made. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says: “38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

It is not easy, but I can only work at not being fearful and/or hate filled myself. Instead, I must fill myself with love, and I must express love whenever possible, and by whatever means possible. I must hope that by being filled with love, something of that radiates to those around me.

And, I know that making art is an act of love.

*And, don’t bother to argue that banning all Muslims from entering the USA (which is an imbecilic idea to begin with) – doesn’t express fear and hate.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sick and Depressed!

I haven’t been posting because of a series of events that have stopped me dead in my tracks. I know tragedy happens to us all, but I’m down. I’m exhausted, physically ill and depressed.