Category Archives: art

Working Up To It

YOU*RE RIGHT! THESE ARE TRASHY! That’s what it means: Working Up To It!

A wider flat is naturally more inclined to an uneven stroke. And it consumes a lot of paint. You really need housepaint, like Ohm Cederberg (whom you probably will never hear of even though he taught and exhibited) used.

Here I am thinning oil on 2 of these using Skonsam Förtunning (gentle thinner), which won’t knock you down when you’re doing a wet-on-wet marathon even though it’s mildly annoying or cloying, and acrylics on 5, twice with the gesso painted over with acrylic binder because gesso repels thinned acrylics a bit. I did try thinning acrylic with just water, on the second one. The last one (006) is still drying in this snap.

With all of these (001 through 006) I was just working out how to approach something more permanent than paint on paper with these new things, a wider flat and thinner paints. The first two (3 images) are paper, and the rest on pieces of unstretched cotton canvas cut from a roll left from the days when I thought I should stretch my own for some reason I have since forgotten. This roll has been a drop-cloth and a backdrop before this.

Student-habits tend to become ingrained, perhaps. Scrounge and toil.

A bit cavalier, you might think, to leave no border for stretching the poor things one day, but as I say they are just exercises.

For the first time I actually tried to thin Water Mixable Oil Colors (colours) and mediums with (you guessed it) water! Could Grumbacher and Winsor Newton actually want to gull us? The thought had never occured to me! (Is nothing sacred?) Imagine my surprise, when these oils and mediums behaved exactly like oils and mediums of ye olde school do when you try to mix them in water! The pigment stains the water a bit, but the globs never dissolve. It’s like trying to chew chewing gum until it vanishes. So glad I didn’t start with a bucket-full!

These trial paintings are a bit like what I do with ink. I think I’m ready to approach a stretched canvas now, but maybe not. Plenty of old canvas left.

07, 08, and 09 are oils paintings I have added a bit to; they are repesented in earlier posts. (Ouch! I forgot to snap a shot of the biggest one, but I hate to move a drying oil painting around when it’s safely sheltered from dust, so it will have to wait a while even though it’s quite possibly finished now, but for the varnish next year sometime. If I touch up the gesso around the characters, will I have to re-gesso the whole damn background to match it up? That’s this one: , and as you might anticipate, the green is the background for a lighter (custom, so no-name) color I have now applied. I also added a bit to , and failed to snap it in my haste to protect it from further dust.)

Next up is an acrylic painting on cotton canvas (stretched!). A smaller flat than I’m practicing with in the previous was used for the 2 bold sets of figures. This one is new, unfinished.

016 to 021, acrylic on 55cm W linen (cotton was wrong, but it’s home-stretched with no cross-bar) canvas, has been featured here before under “work in progress”:

The last piece hasn’t been shown before, a mere 41cm W cotton canvas. Being small and complex (cluttered?) one tends to look at it close up, which makes one (me) wonder if it really will meet the specs on completion.

Some of these are just shots under differring light-conditions. Any actual changes are obvious ones.

Apologies for the image sizes. I forgot to shrink them a bit, so if you click “permalink” and then magnify you lose the whole thing on your average telly.

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Posted by on March 25, 2012 in art


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art lesson

Prove to yourself almost anyone could do it!

46cm rice paper, 22mm long flat watercolor brush (long for the volume it can hold; the strokes are more even with short bristles, but can be longer with long bristles), 3 brilliant yellow strokes, 3 sap green strokes, and 2 black strokes, all using daler rowney fw acrylic artists ink right from the bottles (which i normally never do; i always customise a color).

so there are 8 figures to imitate, first practice each one and then execute it. your finished work will not look exactly like mine when you’re done (the complexity of the figures precludes exact copying by actually executing the strokes), leaving the question: is there anything special about the one i did?

This took me less time than signing Tsoanra Inwix five times, in actual execution. Which is about how Miro works as well. And why, to me, it’s just play to work on rice paper with ink.

You can see I added the green while the yellow was wet, and the black as well, even though I had to wash the brush between colors. And I photographed it under a daylight-bulb before it really started to dry, because when it has dried it will be wrinkled, far from as flat as it is here.

The question anyone needs to answer to pursue art seriously is if art is just orginal, or is it very unique, more like a miracle. Nothing could be simpler than to repeat what I did here (in the time it takes to brew a cup of Keemun Mao Feng), several times in search of a variation just as good or better. Is there something very special about just this coincidence of these strokes or figures?

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Posted by on March 11, 2012 in art


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even closer; searching for impasto by 2D

I can hardly wait for reliable 3D computer monitors and internet. 2D is such an insult to anything not flat. Even the acrylic mustard bottle effect is very 3D in real life, despite the degree of flattening due to drying inherent in thinned acrylics. You can get some 3D feeling by using a light at the top which makes shadows

but the eyes don’t need any such artifice. (Ain’t eyes beautiful!!! Is it possible to stop thinking and see!)

Here are three sample efforts using my little coolpix; (my better cameras haven’t seen the light of day or night for several years now. I can’t recall what photolabs smell like, and my old costly digital is now outgunned by my cheapo coolpix).

These are 1600 pixels high. Click the thumb, then “permalink”. The two with the loop-shadow at the bottom are lying on the window sill; the other is on the wall (less direct daylight)

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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in art


a closer look

some fairly good indirect sunlight, on tripod so some canvas texture is visible at 1200 pixels high

click thumb, then “permalink” for full size

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Posted by on March 4, 2012 in art


Imperfect Old Things; a temporary post

These are just for some friends to have a look at, to see if they have any restoration suggestions. I spotted them as flawed in one way or another, mostly stains, when I was going through the drawers. The files are big so that the defects can be spotted if anyone cares to.

A couple of these I have in the defect file but I don’t see a defect today; maybe I was mistaken. I mention those under the thumbnails. A few of these may have been posted earlier.

If these friends I am posting these for want closeups or a circle around the defect or defects I will oblige. I only did one closeup of a spot.

I used the stretched canvas as a size-indicator. It’s 92cm x 73cm.

Click thumb, then “permalink” for full size; handheld-warning.

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Posted by on February 27, 2012 in art


Moving Beautifully Midst The Chaos

If you have drawn a beautiful line or painted a beautiful stroke on a paper or canvas or board, what do you do next? There the line or stroke is, so permanent and worthy of its permanence, and if you make a bad line or stroke next you will have defiled it! Here I am with beautiful unfinished pieces, and I am keenly aware that they are not finished and that I can ruin them completely; I can break my own heart, along with a few other’s.

This is a good place to be stuck, where you are not finished and also not aggressive. You need a beautiful second line or stroke, and it isn’t up to you to make it; it is up to the drawing or painting to make it.

Quite different from how one obeys. One obeys on a schedule. One finishes what one starts when one obeys. “Intelligence” has traditionally been a measure of how complex your obedience can be made, but no one can obediently do something beautiful, which is something that makes ones evolution manifest, shows that this is not a slave; this one is still alive.

So the drawing or painting just waits, like a statue of the Buddha in the lotus position. Because you also just wait. You don’t ever say, “I will paint some more on that one today.”. It is painting itself!

Where is the sense of this?

Making the inquiry more complex, there is a beautiful world, not just a beautiful line or stroke! How do you make your next move in a beautiful world? There is only one way. Only the world itself can make that move. This is how a child moves. A child doesn’t say, “I intend to go outside now.”, except as a result of having been taught that it’s the only way to say it. Any version that isn’t imitative of obedience can’t be real. This erroneous statement stands for that perfect act. Common Usage.

Given words of his own he would say, “The world intends me to go outside now.”.

The limitation of input, which is what we apply in order to obey by consent or design, is calculable. Anything not calculable is “chaos” to the conscious, the conscious being where overt and covert (resembling awareness; seeming experience) input is processed into an action resembling an action of consensual obedience, making consensual obedience seem less extreme, foreign-to-life and perverse. If some input were actually perception, then to act by other input (overt obedience) becomes less alien.

It’s an illusion or delusion like the astronomer convinced he is growing closer to the cosmos. In fact an amoeba is closer. As the pose grows the person vanishes.

A rider getting off his horse can indulge an illusion that the horse sees him as a friend, because he himself has a habit of obeying by other people’s design: obeying credentials, robes of office, impersonations of perceived urgency (the Reds are burning the world!), and so on. Obedience by design seems friendly or well-intentioned, promoting the delusion of perception by input.

But what does one do with “chaos”? Beauty is a chaos-effect. And if the sum is chaos it is only when the chaos is complete that it serves as intelligence. No part of chaos is the chaos. No part of an infinite set of fractal iterations is the fractal. And chaos is whole when the sum is the world moment after moment, perpetually. No project to input this ever gets off the ground. More science discloses a greater mass of the undiscovered, driving the illusion of ever knowing the sum further away. The more you can account for the more the sum eludes you. And this dissolves the validity of to move oneself.

The only way to be moving oneself is to first accept collateral damage!

In Behavioral Psychology we admit there is behavior we are programmed to ignore, which is actually the capacity to slight each other. I notice that you do this, but I ignore that you do that other thing. It tells you to Lie To Me!

If you do it right I will be noticing the lies but not the signs of self-contradiction, which is the same as I will believe you.

And you can watch how intently you yourself are programmed to do this. You hear words, but not laughter, as meaning, laughter being meaning we produce “spontaneously”, implying that only the world or the chaos can produce it. The meaning of any one laugh is extremely accessible to us, as we can see by the fact that we also laugh, and now and then we carry on little conversations composed purely of laughs.

Authority, then, is the ability to produce this new “person” who will listen to the lies and avoid the self-contradicting or animal or child sounds, signals and expressions. It’s done very simply: one always addresses the person one plans to create. The real person one just ignores, as if he isn’t there.

This is also Stockholm or Helsinki Syndrome. A hostage is addressed only as a willing participant. After a while the loneliness, the social claustrophobia, forces him to accept this role as one of the hostage-takers, even if he isn’t trembling with fear. A smart operator knows that making the hostage more afraid of him than he can’t help being to begin with is bad psychology. The opposite is the desired effect. The hostage needs to be afraid with and for the hostage takers, which means afraid of the rescuers.

And it’s all just a question of how to put it into words and impersonation. No conscious process has a scintilla of orientation in reality, so it’s just a question of picking a persona associated with an anticipated effect, playing a part that offers the hostage a part he can recognize.

Which is what chaos can’t be; chaos is always the whole of chaos. The Butterfly Effect. What does a butterfly in Tibet have to do with me in Europe every time it flaps its wings? It moves molecules, particles and energy, and they are all affecting neighboring molecules, particles and energy, which in turns are all affecting…

The ripples travel along lines of chaos. Wishing to follow these lines is insane; wishing to be guided by them is not!

Let me move beautifully midst the chaos, and I will be hailed as brother by all who do so!

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Posted by on February 25, 2012 in art


Rice Paper and Ink, recent

All the blacks here are china ink, and the three color-blends are acrylic ink. There are darker and lighter versions, because the light from the gray morning sky didn’t look as promising as the gray afternoon sky. The worst white seems the best colors. Does that make some kind of sense: gray sky, gray whites?

The 3 pure blacks are quite fun, but need for the viewer to try to take in the whole of each image at once rather than wandering around on it looking for clues.

If you click the permalink at the bottom you get the bigger picture. All but one of these are 46cmW paper.

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Posted by on February 24, 2012 in art