You hit the target on the head, Scott. The look in your eyes is lechery defined – and the light you bathed the hooker in is so show biz – like those late night sex shows on TV
Hello Scott. I’ve been very absent from commenting for too long. I feel as though I’m coming back to a place with lots of excited chattering and noise, which is very encouraging, especially for you. The comments you have recieved say so much and you really do deserve them. As a fellow oil practitioner (30 years now) I know what can be achieved in a short time with something which has a bad press for being a slow drier. When one knows fully the capabilities of the medium (I think its called mastery) one knows how to pace the work.
I’m interested in the visual connection with your work and the Rennaisance pieces which you posted at the beginning (was one by Ucello?). There is a certain naivety in those works. Everything was being learned, and landscape was detailed in almost the same exacting way which the figures were treated, leading to a (to our modern eyes) distinctive oddness. I find this in your piece. The only things which don’t really display this oddness are the animals (and the rider) and especially the dogs, which show an understanding of anatomy and movement not yet understood in the Renaissance. I hope this oddness, which shows itself particularly in the cut-out quality of the foliage, was something you intended, otherwise I feel that I have just cast an unintended shadow on your achivement.
I see in your work, as I feel in mine, that there is no formula being followed, no easy approach being rested upon, as happens SO often with SO many ‘artists’. Whenever I start a new work, although I feel as though I have mastered the medium, I also feel as though I am starting from scratch, each time. I see this in your work too. It isn’t something we make happen or seek, its just there.
Very nice to hear from you again, Martin. The images shown were early Botticelli’s. He did a series on the same tale. In answer to your statement, I guess I don’t think of myself as a realist, but a creator of a parallel universe, where the vision is a bit hyper. Colors are stronger, tonalities often a bit enhanced, expressions more intense. I know this world doesn’t look just like the one I live in, but it is coherent, and better expresses the subject matter I wish to realize. Some pieces are more in this world or that, but all carry that oddness you speak of. In this particular piece I had no time to think about what I was doing. It is, environment-wise, a pure Hess invention. I had a guy sitting in my studio for 4 of the days I worked. I think he was a bit baffled that my landscape just evolved, no reference material to speak of. The trees, bushes, earth, roots, branches, and leaves are all out of my head. This was partly a function of speed. With the deadline, there was no time to work from real trees or bushes, even if I’d wished to. So the result is a pure product of my mind’s eye.
Like you, I have no idea how a painting will proceed, but faith in my ability to pull off whatever direction it runs in. I never made foliage in this exact fashion before, so that was an experiment, that had to work. And did.
I look forward to seeing this at the show. And thank you for all of your effort in sharing this process with us mortals.
We’ll see you at the opening, then?
It is fun to share the process. And I even got some useful feedback that made the piece better.
I’m shooting for the opening but may just see it quietly. Your pieces are absolutely luminous in the flesh (and well worth the 5 hour drive). I still find myself day dreaming about ‘Self Portrait with Up Turned Collar’…
wonderful painting. in the reproduction at least, it looks like the kind of work that would need to dry between numerous layers, regardless of how many hours in a day. I can’t figure out how you can do such complex oil in only nineteen days… it looks like what an old master would work on for months!
Richard, as I recall you live in NY. Maybe it is a SoCal thing, or my simple medium, but my layers are usually dry the next day. My under layers follow the Dutch method… lots of earth colors. The expensive colors are saved for the top layer. The earth colors dry fast, as does Cremnitz white, my main working white. Rembrandt would often mix some umber into his lake colors (fast and slow driers) to speed up drying, and he lived in a cold environment. I do the same, but it was really hot during the last two weeks in LA. Stuff dried fast.
yes, mine are generally dry the next day as well, though after a while, they start to get tacky and need a break. And yes, I also stick to earth colors in the underpainting, though I’ve never used Cremnitz. I used to use a pre=primed lead white ground, but they stopped making it. (just as well, it was always powdering off the edges). I’m just impressed that you could get such complex layering of colors throughout the painting in only nineteen days… without the photos, I wouldn’t have believed it, lol. I think you had a piece in NYC recently, which I unfortunately missed. I hope I can see your work in person next time.
I read up on the Cremnitz. It is Lead white, is it not? (its basis is Lead carbonate.) Are there any issues with yellowing over time? Those thinner layers (I mean painter with turp – the white dries over night for me in San Diego. (I stopped using any zincs, and even titanium and went to Gamblin’s radiant white (which I like very much) but I’d like to try lead white.
Ah. Good job! What show is this for again? Also if you click on Objects on OM it’s all this painting in New Objects! Like animation, the rest of us have been slacking!
Yeah, I saw that yesterday. I felt vaguely guilty!
Koplin Del Rio Gallery, 2nd installment of their 30th anniversary series, this one about narrative, September 8th, 2012.
Congratulations. Fine Masterful work in every way. I will look forward to seeing it somewhere, sometime. I hope you had a great lunch as a finishing reward!
It will be at Koplin Del Rio Gallery, 2nd installment of their 30th anniversary series, this one about narrative, September 8th, 2012.
Strawberries were a good choice. A balanced meal and balanced colors. :D