Okay, I thought it time to put up one of my straight up tornado paintings. Plus I want to see what it will look like here. We still see the little homestead there at bottom right but the scale is changed. Still, it is very accurate to the size of these monsters. And this painting is much bigger than usual for me. It is 54 × 108 inches and something at the time that I had wanted to attempt for a while already. I’d like to do an even bigger one at some point.
And it is all out of my head after having seen both tornadoes and tornado videos over time. I wanted also to have almost separate experiences for the viewer upon any kind of scrutiny of the surface. There is a relative ton of palette knife work in the illuminated, right hand side of the funnel whereas little more than washes make up the portion in shadow.
And it is called “Unforgiven” for a small culmination of reasons. An artist I had known at the time named Dave Goetz, who was ten years younger than me, died from a combination of angst and the last remaining dash of naivete in his life. He was extremely charismatic and energetic, a sculptor, a welder, and with a dazzling future ahead of him – the kind of individual who was born to lead armies but that the world has grown too small. We were going to work on a project I have still in the works that centers around Virgil’s Aeneid (more on that later maybe) but when he suddenly died the project was put aside. But – our favorite movie was Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and this was the one painting at the time which Dave had seen in its early stages but never got to see finished up. In addition, the circumstances of his death left some, including myself, at first upset and conflicted over his final, fatal conduct. Anyway, you can see how the title starts to add up. Dave had seen to completion every one of the dozen or so paintings I had finished for the show in which this piece was centered but not this one and he had been very excited to check it out.
While no one was looking I placed a note into his coffin, hiding it under his arm. It says, “Call me if you change your mind” and with my current phone number.
This is something I love about Open Museum, reading what goes on behind the scenes.
I am a big tornado fan. Tornados move and destroy like Mega Godzilla’s and are completely unforgiving. But, they have the beauty and grace of a ballerina at times, and yet they’re monsters. I remember as a kid watching the water go down the hole in the bathtub, and it reminding me of a tornado one day , and a ballerina the next. You’re paintings always strike me as reality, not imaginary. That’s one of the reasons I love them so much. You are able to create an actual tornado on canvas with paint, and its really there. There’s no doubt. When I want to see what a real tornado looks like, I look at youtube, google, and your website.
Thanks! I ABSOLUTELY agree – how can one not be conflicted in checking out these things?! Ever gone chasing? It has turned into something a little different with a good number of yahoos out there but it can still be done responsibly.
I like the simplicity of this one. Seems apt considering Dallas. Your tornados seem like the future of middle America.
Thanks! I want to do one more psycho-size like the one in your garage. Maybe paint it with a broom. But yes, the center of the country is questionable. With more energy in the atmosphere these things could get wacky. And TX last year?!! Nothing but heat. My buddy in Austin was going bananas and his dad had to sell off a herd of cattle that he’d had for almost two decades.
Thrilling, terrifying ride. I love the sensation of being dwarfed- even while touching the ultimately finite. So sorry for your loss but glad it added to the beauty of this piece.
Wow, this thing deleted my response to you. Hmmm. But great to hear from you as always and thanks!!! Me, I’m looking for a little window to make it up your way. Will keep you informed. :)
JMW Turner move over!!! Wow, this is fabulous. (and scary) I just love your world. I also love that you can explain the artwork! My whole life – which has been filled with visual arts of different sorts – I have always been denied the artists “explanation.” I have rarely understood the artists psychology behind their artwork (I don’t understand poetry either). The only way to understand was to read a review/critique. This usually was not desirable since it was only an “interpretation” and brought the critiques own agenda/perspective into the mix. I get so excited by reading the explanations you and others at OpenMuseum offer with your submissions. Thank you! Brilliantly executed artwork, enhanced but the explanation. ;-)
Thanks again! And feel free to ask any questions. Sometimes I don’t have much in the way of an answer but other times I can obviously go on ad nauseam. I’m hoping to have some more personal work come in here at a point but trying too to load them up in a way that makes sense. And I’m sorry that this particular scan of the image isn’t clear enough to see the brush work up close but perhaps I’ll rescan it at some point.