Thursday, February 08, 2007

...AND were vending @ the Hukilau...the Huki-uki-uki-luki-lauuuuu...

As the title suggests, I have officially thrown my hat in the ring for the Hukilau. Which means that I will be needing to kick the Tiki art into high gear between now and June (It scares me a bit that the Hukilau will be a short two weeks before Art In Heat...but who needs sleep anyway?) I will even be flying you know that this is going to be a historic hukilau...

However, before we can sip from the tiki mug in paradise, we must first finish building the big top. The progress at Hexagon has been swift, and I believe that all of the technical challenges of the proscenium arch have been resolved. What is left now is to paint it. Below is a sketch of the design for one side (or "leg") of the arch.

Paint Elevation for Proscenium Arch Leg
Strike While the Irony's Hot, Hexagon

As you can see, there will be a follow spot operator in each tower. The paint job is being ably executed by Chuck...who is a graphic designer, and is very good at painting ornament. To give you an idea of the scale, the height for each leg is 19 feet. The running joke around Hexagon is that "its a good thing we don't open 'till June" (we open in three weeks, March 2nd!) you can get tickets here.

Before I get to the Academic stuff, I should mention that Jaya's Superbowl party was this last Sunday. It was a really great time, especially since she reserved a seat for me for the whole game (it wasn't a bad game either) but the real highlight was Prince. BEST HALFTIME SHOW EVER!

This week I also said goodbye to the Tiger Eating Roy, velvet painting. It now adorns the wall of Yancy's house. He won it fair-and-square at the Halloween party. Hopefully he will cherish its velvety terror the way I did.

So lets start with 14 Paintings... This was another horrible still life project. Steven wanted us to mix complementary colors to get different grays. I was a bit hung over from the Superbowl, so I did my best with what was there. I had a rectangular canvas, so I zeroed in on the carafe. I tried my best to get the reflections and a sense of transparency...which I think I achieved in my own awkward way. Which led me to the big question from that class...When I try to draw things accurately, they always come out a bit awkward, but in my own way. I am not trying to force an artificial "style" or "look", it just comes out that way. Should I fight this, or embrace it? Or should I exaggerate it? I have no doubts about my draftsmanship if I were given a dictum that "all must look as it does in reality"...I could knuckle down and do it if necessary. But we are not in that sort of environment. So when I am painting a still life, should I be guarding against my quirks, or embracing them?

14 paintings in 14 weeks, Second Week
Greys from Complementary Colors, Still Life

Academic Portrait Painting is a difficult class. Mostly because I am mentally exhausted after my morning workout painting crappy still life's. But also because I paint so quickly, I am left with having to entirely rework a mostly finished canvas. Since its oil paint, I needed to add a coat of medium to reactivate the surface of the (now dry) painting. You can see where some of it has run below the chin. Hopefully it will dry clear in a few months. Natasha said that I still needed to add color, and that my picture was too graphic and "like a grisaille". So I tried to add color that would help make the painting more of a painting, instead of a picture of the model (I hope that makes sense) In the end, I had to make hard decisions about how to make the hair (she changed it back to cornrows, but in different places) and add earrings. This was a great first painting for this class, and I am looking forward to the next "full figure" pose, which will be over the course of seven (7!) sessions...

Academic Portrait Painting, first pose, third and final session.

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