Saturday, February 1, 2020

2000 Reviewed: A Diary

More insight into my past through my artwork...

The year 1999 going into 2000 was a very important time in my development. The early development is always some of the most important as it's the work you can look back on in twenty or more years and see where you were growing as an artist. I remember plenty of stories about many of these paintings also. 2000 was also the year I got accepted into the first large exhibition of my career.


A Cleansing
60" X 44"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas

This painting is still one of my absolute favorites. One you'll definitely see in my museum. I remember having a wonderful little problem which turned into a glorious painting. I called it "A Cleansing" after the blood letting I had heard of as a kid. And the painting really looked like a dried wound because of the green and red mixing as layers. This was one of those paintings which I finished on Friday after my Dad and Stepmom had left to go down to their cabin on the Muskingum River. It was a two pour painting where I layer colors after they dry. I originally did green but like the painting I later did in 2001, I seem to have a thing with green paintings, or at least I did then. I think what happened was I actually ran out of green paint that day so I had to figure out how to get the canvas ready for another coat of color. I didn't yet have red as a second pour in my mind. The next friday I began what would become the above painting. I don't remember much since when you are in the moment of painting you aren't in a normal frame of mind for thinking. It's more of a utilitarian type of thought where you need to work on your balance of color shape and forms. Once the painting was complete, it was propped up in the garage and left to dry. Since the pour wasn't thick and it had a transparent color, it dried pretty well. I was so anxious to put the painting on the wall that I was coming back out into the garage every hour to check how quick it was drying under the fans. Sometime around midnight, it suddenly became cured enough to be able to move around. So being so anxious as I was to see it on a wall, and not having a dedicated viewing wall at the time. I took and brought the painting in my Stepmom's decorated living room, which had no art, just Kinkade-like art prints and a homey type sense of decoration. We had a room air cleaner, so I took my painting and sat it on that and propped it up toward the wall. Too bad I never took any of those photos. It's still fully clear in my mind. I sat the painting up and then sat down on the couch and spent the whole weekend with my new painting propped up in the living room. Had a wonderful time checking it out during the weekend, seeing it deeper as I would walk into the kitchen and back out again. 


A Small Thursday
25 1/8" X 24 3/16"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
on Canvas

I don't remember much about this particular painting except for the flash of memories that come back reminding me of my inner state while creating this wonderful painting. It was a Thursday when I made this, hence the title. I remember my Father was with me in the garage when I made this. It was one of those days when he was doing something after work and I just asked, hey you mind if I finish this painting here? I grabbed a few sheets of rosin paper and got to it. This was the first time pouring black, and it was so transparent from the thinning that it almost looks grey from time to time. Being so small, it was one of the smallest paintings made that year, I knew it wasn't going to be much of a bother to my Father, he just wanted to know how long before he could park his truck back in the garage. I told him by the time you go to bed, it'll be dry. It was.  You can also see my marker on the lower left corner which you will learn about in the next painting story.

Blue on White
33 1/4" X 29 7/8"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
on Canvas

This was yet another painting that was made in my bedroom at my Fathers place. It is also one of a few paintings with a marker in it. Early on in these years, I had a desire to put a specific marker in my paintings. It became the four and five knife mark grouping on the lower left corner of the painting. Originally it was a way I felt to be a signature of sorts, in time I realized it was like a signature on my painting as it took my eye away from the rest of the painting just to look at the signature. It only lasted I believe through parts of 2000. I had given up by the next year.


Day Four
48" X 36"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas

Orange with white pouring. It's so vivid in person. In this time I usually wanted the pouring to have almost the sense of mountains, I always tried to make sure there was a peak to the main upper pour and allow the grid to come naturally. I made a damn good painting that day. I don't know why the title. Might have been one of those book techniques like I read about how Motherwell got his titles.


Expression of a
Fleeting Moment
44" X 32"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
on Canvas

The title on this has a little nod to De Kooning. In the videos I have of him being interviewed he liked to speak of fleeting moments. And painting is definitely one of those fleeting moments, it comes and goes. Memories are born of painting that the mind needs to remember. Remembering the times when no one cared about our work, when we made art because that's what we KNOW we are.  This is another whose contrast is such that trying to get a great picture is futile.

Four in the Afternoon
72" X 60"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas

Four In the Afternoon was the time I was finished working on this painting during the summer months of 2000. I invited my friend Garth Stanley to come over, actually I kinda had to drag him down to help, he wasn't too keen on art. I had to ask him for help since the last painting I had finished was a slippery slope trying to paint on plastic sheeting. Funny thing is once I began the painting I did okay with the plastic. I guess I really just wanted someone to be there with me to witness this. He mostly stayed outside the garage on the back patio but he saw what I was doing and came in a few times to watch. It took about 30 minutes to do the final blue pouring on top. It's a blue, a black, and then purple for the ground. As you can see from the photos of my working on REGRESSION, this painting was originally brown with red on top. Well one day while painting oh so slowly on the canvas, because I had it in my mind that smaller brushes didn't waste as much paint, plus they got into the crevices better than a big brush. Well, one day I looked at the canvas and realized there just wasn't enough texture on a painting this big. So I got some wood filler and began attacking the canvas. Once that was done, I felt I guess it's not gonna be brown now because it takes too damn long a time to repaint the whole thing with that tiny brush. I primed it all again in white and began with purple as my base color. I've made or tried to make red on brown paintings since and they have almost never worked. One day. You can really see the veiling well from the gravity pulling the paint from the textured sections. I love this technique in pouring, as it really lets you see differently through colors. I've had many Rothko thoughts when people see this in reproduction, but never has anyone said that when they see it in person.


Gaining Acceptance
48" X 36"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas

It's been said, and I have first hand experience of this, that thoughts do become things. Case in point is this painting, as I was pouring the top, which is one of the few mixed color pours, I knew that the Ohio Art League's yearly show was coming up, I knew that this year was a special one that was to be held at the Columbus Museum of Art. I knew little of the person who was going to jury the show but I did know his name was David Reed. I researched him and thought he would probably do a really cool exhibition. Which he did. While I was working on pouring the top a thought popped into my mind about my taking this work to the warehouse where he would look at the work, and how ironic it would be if this painting was named GAINING ACCEPTANCE and it was the painting that got me into this show. I had also chosen REGRESSION to enter, I actually thought it was a stronger painting and that would be the one accepted. Then obviously I hoped it would be both paintings that got accepted. Once the painting was finished I took it with REGRESSION to the warehouse to get it ready for judging. A few weeks later I got my card returned to me with GAINING ACCEPTANCE as the painting that got chosen. What a big deal this was for me. I tell David about it every time I see him. I'm still so honored to have been in that exhibition. David wasn't there for the opening, or at least I didn't know. It was such a wonderful event, but unfortunately I have no photos from it. I still remember where it sat on the wall. Good times! And a sign of things to come.

You can see the review below. Click on it and you can see it larger, right click and you can possibly view it even larger.


I still have this review on my wall, and forever looking great since it was laminated.


White on Green
44" X 34"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas

White on Green has been my hardest painting to photograph. I haven't tried again since somewhere around 2009 or so. This was always a painting that I wanted to spend time with but have always had another painting that deserved the viewing wall a bit more. One day it will have it's own wall. You can see the signature on the bottom left corner again. It actually camouflaged itself pretty good in the overall look of the painting. The extreme contrasts in this painting even give the green a black look in certain lighting situations.


Untitled
25 1/8" X 24 3/16"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas
Private Collection

As you can see on the bottom left, my signature at the time. Granted the real signature has always been on the back of the painting. The white on this was thinned down so much in an attempt to get a transparency in the pour. It was successful but at the same time I was using a matte medium for my pouring so you see no gloss in the pour. This painting was given away to a person I just wanted to give something nice to. Now I wonder how they are taking care of it. It's probably in a closet in her home. I will never just give work away like this again. I was in my head thinking the space I would get was more important at the time and it really isn't where I should have been in my head.


Untitled Diptych
60" X 72"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas 

 Late 1999 I began making this diptych. I actually believe it was begun in the fall months when I was able to get with Dad and make come stretchers. We liked making them instead of buying, they were just much more easy and cheaper to make. We went a day before and bought the wood to make them. Went to Children's Hospital where my Father worked and had access to their wood shop. So on Saturday we would go down there and use their equipment and made two stretchers. We did pretty good too, they have a small opening at the bottom if you don't hang them as well as you can. We used to talk about how to put them together so they sit better on the wall, but the paintings have never left the house except when moving. I was working on this painting when 1999 became 2000, a small brush I used to paint the surface, I for some reason was only into using small brushes to make large paintings. Maybe it had to do with my desire to spend as much time as possible on the actual painting of the painting. Both canvases had their ground colors painted on my bed. One panel was poured on my bed, by the time I did the pouring I was learning more about how to paint on my bed without accidentally sitting in wet paint after. The second panel was painted during the winter at my friend Garth Stanley's Mom's home. Her name is Joyce. Very nice lady to let me use her basement to finish paintings while it was too cold to work in Dad's garage.
 

Green on Black
22" X 18 1/4"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas

The second finished painting of the year. I knew I needed to make smaller works if I was still going to be painting in my tiny bedroom and working on my bed. It was also one of the first to incorporate the "signature" I would create at the bottom left corner. This is also one of the only paintings completed with pre-primed canvas. I never really liked the feel of primed canvas so I gave up on it quickly in my development. Visual memories come back to sitting on my small stool going back and forth from staring at this or staring at the television which at the time I had recently discovered the best art documentary ever made... Painters Painting. Once I discovered that film it pretty much lived on repeat as I would paint. Except for the warhola section which was also forwarded through.


Uncertain and Uncomfortable
48" X 36"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
On Canvas  

This is one of the last paintings I made in 2000. This one was also finished in Joyce Stanley's basement. I remember dragging the painting out from my car as I drove up the block to Garth's place. Thankfully I have always had cars that could handle a 4 foot wide painting in between the front seats and the flooring behind them. One good reason to always buy the sedan version of a car.

Regression
48" X 36"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
on Canvas  

This was the first painting made with pouring two colors simultaneously. At the time I made this spring had come so I was able to once again paint in Fathers garage. I believe the photos below were taken by my friend Garth Stanley. He helped me document a number of paintings as I was finishing them. My Father also helped one or two times but usually I would paint on the weekends when they were out visiting their cabin on the Muskingum River, which they would do every year I was living there. Nice thing was in the summer they would use up all their built up time off to spend weeks at a time down there hanging out with their friends. Left me with plenty of wonderful time by myself to do what I wanted. Granted the time did drone on and there were many times I wished they would come back early on Sunday so I could spend some time with my Dad before he had to go back to work the next day.



The big brown painting behind me eventually became "Four in the Afternoon" a painting which Garth Stanley also helped me complete. He didn't do much that day, I asked him to come down since it was my first large format painting and I asked him to come down in case something happened. I did almost slip on the plastic sheeting that I placed on the floor, wasn't long after that when I got back to using only rosin paper for my flooring needs.


Highway
40" X 36"
Acrylic and Wood Filler
on Canvas  

Highway was the first painting completed in 2000. In these days, it's kinda strange but I didn't have much of a place to paint in these days, so necessity being the mother of invention, I was painting (pouring) on my bed in my bedroom. I would cover the entirety of my twin sized bed in rosin paper, as I later found out rosin paper soaked up plenty of the left over paint and was thicker and better than just layering down old newspapers. After the painting was completed, I would prop it up like I always do to keep the painting slowly moving which creates the "veiling" with the undercolor which I like with the texture. I'd immediately put fans on the painting to get it to dry as much as possible before I had to clean off my bed to go to sleep. I almost always had the wall above my bed to be where I would hang the work to dry the rest of the night. It was this manner of painting that allowed me to learn about how long it really takes for the acrylic to fully cure and dry, for the most part you never want to place one acrylic painting leaning on top of another, no matter how long they have been drying, they can still adhere to the other. 

This is all firsthand knowledge.

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