Saturday, September 16, 2017
As an artist with a political conscience I have designed a postcard that I place in stores and libraries, post on bulletin boards, and post in other public locations. I am also in the process of sending the cards to Republican Senator and Congressional Representatives whose voting record demonstrates an extremely high correlation with DJT. As I have written on the back of the postcard, "We are not Democratic. We are not Republican. We are the people." I have distributed 30 of these to date and will continue to do so as I travel. I may design others as the Trump presidency continues. I feel it is my duty as an artist citizen to fight this frightening turn to the false science of eugenics, radical racism, and white supremacist politics that resides in the Whitehouse, and through it, the department of Justice of the United States.*
*The series of mixed media distressed paintings that I call The LGBTQ Dictionary are also political, especially the current new artworks in the series, titled Trans/Transgender, Trans Man, and Trans Woman as they express an opposition to the presidents order to remove all transgender persons from the military.
Friday, August 11, 2017
Trans Man / Transman
The first layer of “Transman” will be buried under many more layers of paint, glue and images. Actually it is the second layer, the first being the flat blue acrylic foundation. The layer includes photos and text about historical trans men figures. These include Dr. Alan Hart, specialist in roentgenology, (x-rays), Charley Darkey Parkhurst, Gold Rush Whip, Wilmer “Little Ax” Broadax, a gospel Quartet singer, and Lou Sullivan, first trans man to self identify as gay, an author and activist. These "men" should be some of the real heroes of LGBTQ people as they performed their actual racial, gender and sexual identity at a time when discovery meant social death if not actual physical termination. As this first and second layer is buried in more layers of oil crayon paint, paper, and glue, these same images may occur again. It is hard to predict what or which will happen as I will be motivated by accidental lines, shapes and colors created as I add coating after coating to the painting. Also, the nature of the mixed media distressed paint technique reveals parts of lower coatings randomly as though one is looking back through time. *
1. Lout Sullivan, Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Sullivan. Last updated August 2, 2017. Viewed 10:43 PM, EDT, Thursday, August 10, 2017.
2. Alan Lucill Hart (1890 1962) doctor, roentgenologist, novelist, in A Gender Varianc Who’s who, https://zagria.blogspot.com/2008/10/alan-lucill-hart-1890-1962-doctor.html#.WYn4hiMrK2w. Pulbished October 20, 2008, viewed 1:52 PM EDT, Tuesday, August, 8, 2017.
3. 5 Amazing Trans Men You Didn’t Learn About in History Class, Pride.com at https://www.pride.com/transgender/2016/7/28/5-amazing-trans-men-you-didnt-learn-about-history-class. Viewed 3:31 EDT, Monday, August 7, 2017.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
I finished the LGBTQ Pictionary artwork, “Trans,” a 12-inch square, mixed media distressed painting in May well before president Trump attacked trans people in the military with his series of tweets of July 26, 2017. As clarification, I quote the 3 infamous tweets together here.
“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U. S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”
He hadn’t consulted with (not "his" but "our") generals. In fact they were taken by surprise, as was the nation because it was understood that Trans people were not only to be tolerated, but accepted as a talented part of our military based on President Obama’s policy pronounced on June 30, 2016. And, in fact the joint chiefs of staff have stated that there will be no change in policy until they receive direct clarification from the president.
I never thought that post Obama I’d be living in a country in which the government would once again attack minority after minority, trans people but the latest to be singled out by this president. Now I see The LGBTQ Pictionary in a new light. It is a subversive tool, set against a government that once again is acting against the people it is supposed to protect.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Finally, I had a five-hour stint of work time Sunday and got the 2nd Landscape well on its way. This image is based on the huge philodendrons that grow in the garden behind our place in south Florida. I took a number of photos from my porch/studio, enlarged them, squared each off, and enlarged one on to the three by four foot canvas. I may do others from this group or I may move on to other photos that I shot of nature. These paintings are based on 5 layers of transparent acrylic that build to create hundreds of not thousands of colors, much like a computer printer does by layering cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. However, I work in washes of yellow, green blue, purple, and red pigment instead of tiny dots. I paint into water sometimes or I quickly lay water next to wet paint. Sometimes I use a hair drier to make the paint dry in splotches and/or run. Each layer of paint must dry thoroughly before the next is put on the canvas in order to prevent new paint from picking up the old.
I don’t know why I so often choose techniques that are slow going, or why I can’t stay with one technique. I have good company however, just look at the varied body of work Picasso left behind, though I am a minor entity next to the great master. You see, this group of landscape paintings is but one of three different bodies of work I have been working on during the past five years; 1) mixed media distressed paintings titled the LGBTQ Pictionary, 2) The huge abstracted acrylic paintings of iconographic celebrities, and 3) this series of acrylic landscapes.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Finally, all the layers are piled up on top of one another except the central square. I photographed stage 2 and 3 and made a central square from both using more images and text.
To finish the work I will tear those 2 photos in different directions, one across and the other up and down, and then laminate the torn pieces into the mixed media distressed painting. I will varnish and add a bit of actual glitter at the very last moment, date and sign the work, and “Trans/ trany” will be complete. I will add a post of the finished "Trans/Trany" painting.
Friday, April 14, 2017
The photo is out of focus, so I will have to reshoot it. To most it wouldn't matter since the image is not of the finished artwork. Never the less, as an obsessive compulsive artist, reshooting is an absolute necessity in order to have a decent record of the creative process.
I am also in a quandary. I like the painting at this stage. The distressed paint, dechirage (torn paper) digital photos of the painting with historical additions are working well together. However, I’m not sure whether to cover all this with another layer of wax and paint, distress, and varnish again. It would be nice to be able to do the center square that will contain definitions of trans woman, trans man, trany and pronounce the artwork finished. I can't decidde, so I suppose I’ll just have to sleep on it.
Monday, April 10, 2017
It won’t look at all like this after the next six layers because these layers will be partially hidden beneath six more layers. However, I’m now about a third finished with the painting.
I like doing the mixed media distressed paintings because the technique makes history appear both hidden and seen or at least intuited. It suggests a motion, in the case of the LGBTQ Pictionary, I’m suggesting that the motion to this point in time has been positive, though within that there have been contrary moments (See the graph below).
With the advent of the White Supremacist Trump era, this may no longer be true, though I hope people of good conscience are able to fight the trend to denigrate all minority groups other than white heterosexual male.
As such, this painting, and all of the LGBTQ Pictionary can be viewed as my act of affirmation and hope, tempered with a bit of fear and determination that a reversal must not be!
Sunday, April 2, 2017
Finally, It's so good to be back on my Art Blog. I’ve been working on a new painting for the LGBTQ Pictionary series, “Trans (12" x 12").” I've found over the past 5 years that these paintings work best in small sizes. Trans has but the first four layers so far, but I’ve done all my research and have all the type and historical stuff to bury in the layers of paint. Next I will begin printing images and text, hand writing out text, then laminating them into the mixed media distressed painting including some gold leaf and glitter - got to have a hint of glitter and glitz - in several layers. There’s not much to the painting just now, but I’ve thought that I could also do much larger pieces, say a triptych of three or four foot square canvases similar to this, with variations in color, or a third & forth color working through them from one piece to another. There would be no images, perhaps just a bit of hidden text. They’d make a stunning over-sized-sofa (Hah-hah!) painting.