Sunday, August 31, 2014
Of the three Big Heads that I did this past year, "Big Head(Worrying)" is my favorite. It's the one that I most identify with. The colored dots of perspiration dripping from the head's face and forehead, the background, made of columnar paper; straight, rigid, meant for keeping careful track of numbers and accounts. The eyes and ears are tiny, fever dream features, and the mouth is from a photo of a young friend who has a congenital disorder that is causing him to lose his teeth. It's a large head, with big worries, not just about numbers, but about the environment, children, the on-going war in the middle east, aging, bad backs, the tea party, mothers with dementia, GMOS. I could go on and on, but it's probably better if you just add your own worries so that you can relate to "Big Head(Worrying)" as I do. It's good to be able to share.
Saturday, August 23, 2014
With Big Head (Listening) the intent was clear almost from when I had the panels cut, which is very unlike me. There was an idea in my head of big heads (and they are big--the panel is 49" x26"), and that they would be formed as negative space left by the paper. The paper I used is handmade paper with little flowers in it, given to me by a friend. The mouth, eye, eyebrow, and ear were all bits and pieces from my enormous collection of photographs(I have thousands of pieces of photographs that I have tried to organize in my own arcane way. For example, I have two plastic boxes with just photographic heads. One box is labeled "not real heads" and the other "real". Within those categories they are organized by size and sex, either male or female. Each category has it's own little paper folder to keep it with it's peers). The motion and action of the existing paint determined the title of this particular big head. With Big Head (Listening), it was the pink paint sweeping from one side of the head to the other, starting with, or ending at, the ear.
Thursday, August 14, 2014
When I did this image, I know I had in mind a painting of several horses resting in a pasture, so I went online to see if I could track it down, a favorite from my childhood. What's interesting is my use of a tree to define the horse, clearly having been impressed by the tree in this painting.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
After a few weeks of trying different ways of making the transfers, and most of them working only some of the time and not very well, I turned to youtube, and found clips on how to do the transfers(Gary's here has over 160,000 hits https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnF1WpxMsBs ).I watched all that I could find, and was appalled at their sloppy techniques. "No problem", I thought to myself, "I teach this stuff". So, back to the studio, armed with lots of knowledge and ideas of why things weren't working. One woman had said in her demo, "Don't be cheap about applying lots of the glue!", so I knew to load up my brush with the "glue". Days later, I wasn't much better off, except that I knew what would happen if I used too much of the polymer medium, and what would happen if I was stingy with it. I tried regular brushes, foam brushes, and even my fingers(sloppy technique!) to apply the medium. Still bad. Always something lifting or smooshing or disappearing, but with tantalizing bits and pieces of it working perfectly. I kept working. One night I dreamed that I was doing full body transfers of people. They worked just fine in my dreams.
The images piled up. Sometimes they almost worked. Sometimes they were a complete and total failure. Days went by. I kept working. But the interesting thing that happened was that when I would first pull off a transfer, and realize that once again, it hadn't really worked, I would be disappointed. However, later that day or the next, I would come back, look at the image and find that I liked what I was getting, or perhaps, better said, what was happening that I didn't have much control over.
One night, I thought, why not just put make the layers in photoshop and then put the pieces of paper through my printer and get the image in a 100% true and faithful way, so I did:
Saturday, July 26, 2014
It was heartbreaking. Some of the pieces had technical issues and others were not fully resolved. But mostly there were a number that were just too big, too complicated, and too difficult to deal with in terms of content. They were multiple panel pieces which were based on grids of large gelatin silver prints that I had then over painted with oil paint. They were difficult to print as photos because they were so large, hard to set up to paint and then really hard to paint because of their complexity and size. They were hard to photograph and frame, and very difficult to show people because of the multiple panels. Most were done in the early 90's.
|Bird with Hand 75" x 52"|
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Recently, a friend, (on his way down to Mexico) and I were talking about the dangers of travel in Latin America and I mentioned this incident. A few days later he sent me the following link: http://www.npr.org/2014/05/06/310089151/sam-baker-finding-grace-in-the-wake-of-destruction
Sunday, July 13, 2014
The first fallen angel is thought to be who we now know as the Devil, AKA Lucifer("Day Star" or "Son of the Morning"). It seems originally that he was a super angel; handsome, charming, personable and able to sit at the right hand of God, taking care of everything, just a really great personal assistant. But, as time went on, and he found himself taking care of all of God's details, he began to think that he was just as good as the boss--just as capable and certainly just as smart. Of course, he wasn't, and rather then just a reprimand, God tossed him out of heaven, to end up, in of all places, here on earth.
My fallen angel has just been kicked out of Heaven. The world is just forming, and the environment is hot and steamy, and quite harsh--clearly not the place he was just booted out of. He is fearful, anxious at what has happened, but not quite sure he understands where he went wrong. The large, white angel, clean and fresh, is having to explain to the fallen angel that he can't go back to heaven, that he is stuck here on earth. Playing the bad cop for God, she is sad at what she has to do, but firm in what she has to say. He can't come back, and must stay here on earth for eternity. That's it, no second chance, no way to earn his way back into the good graces of God.