Monday, November 22, 2010

seeking the silence.

i have been totally absorbed in my seek for satisfactory solutions for my new works. it has not been easy. i am a perfectionist. i don't feel happy with anything that sounds shallow or meaningless. and i have my ideals about what my art in particular should be. there are points in the artist's development when you feel like you have to move on, to explore new things, to find new meanings to what you are doing. people love my ornamented, klimtish, colorful stuff. well, i do too. i took years of my life to find out that i was a colorful person inside -- in spite of wearing black all the time -- and that reflected in my art. however, i have to confess that, during the process of my art making, there's a point, when the final color glazes have not yet started to be applied, when i strangely sense that "this is it" feeling, but for an urge of pouring color and ornaments everywhere i end up losing the momentum.

like here:

in progress: Lilith

and here:

in progress: Vali

(i don't know if i am making any sense at all.)

i've been trying, among others things, to hold the feeling of "that's enough, you don't need to scream so loud to make sense and be beautiful", the minimalism, the serenity and silence. i think i got that once with "Waterlily". Eastern philosophies teaches us about the meaning of the emptiness, and that reflects in their art. i think that one of the things that transmits that peacefulness you experience when observing a piece of Chinese or Japanese art, for example, besides the softness of the lines and colors, is the use of space. in most works, at least 30% of the area is an empty space. empty, but absolutely meaningful -- that emptiness is exactly what expresses reverence. here in the West, the emptiness bothers us. we just cannot be minimal. we have to fill up every space with stuff. when i paint, the background is the part that most bothers -- and intrigues -- me. i just can't leave the background alone and concentrate in the figure. i've tried many things, and if i don't fill up the space with little triangles, swirls and other visual paraphernalia, i don't feel good about the painting.

the approach i've been trying for a while is integration and adaptation. working on the background first, and then adding to it. make the figure to adapt to what the background commands. which is also sort a philosophical approach. to go with the flow, to dance according to the music. do not force, do not fight. just adapt. use the force you consider an enemy as an ally.

background was inspired in the texture and colors of a rock, and built with a sponge to give that grainy effect. love it.

when i was making the Materia series, i left each color of the 4 elements to guide me through the painting and teach me things. i found out how refreshing and invigorating the greens could be; the blue, so spiritual and apparently passive, can have a strength that sometimes is difficult to manage (in my opinion, is the most difficult color to work with). the same sensorial approach is being used during the making of the "O Fortuna" series, and it is probably something that will accompany my creative process for a while. working with the energy of the colors and the suggestions given by the shapes that will form by texturizing the backgrounds brings my process closer to a more "right side of the brain" attitude of making art. less rational, more psychic and visionary.

Friday, November 12, 2010

in progress: O Fortuna: The One Who Looks at the Mirror of Time

as expected, i rejected the former version and started another one, more carefully rendered. more focus on the pencil work. i think i like this version best.

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

work in progress: "The One Who Looks at The Mirror of Time" [2nd attempt]

Saturday, November 6, 2010

finally... almost there...

the muses are temperamental and like to play. they deny you inspiration for days, weeks, even months, and when they finally decide to grant you with their grace, they do things like depriving you from your sleep, for instance. that's no fun when you don't have to luxury to stay in bed until late in the morning.

but after a lot of blood, sweat and tears (and a lot of wasted paint) i suspect i finally found what i wanted for "O Fortuna".

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

work in progress: The one who looks at the mirror of time

this is called "The One Who Looks at the Mirror of Time". the pieces would initially have more simple, determining names, like "The Trickster", "The Temptress", since the idea is to create something like tarot cards. but the miscellaneous of colors is asking for more poetry, and i obey.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

this unrest

Revelation [work in progress]
(to be aborted, or improved maybe... who knows...)

last week i was organizing my pieces in year of completion, in order to put on the new website, and noticed how awfully prolific i was last year. 2010 has not been the same. maybe because of some personal problems, which has been put me away for the easel and made me spend time concerned with practical matters; maybe because of this unrest inside me that is continuously pushing me toward new ways to express myself.

in the last months i've been trying to pursue a style that is at the same time loose and rendered. i've been also wanted to dive into a more intuitive, less planned and left-brain oriented type of painting, which, for me, is easier to achieve when i start working with an underpainting composed of careless layers of paint and loose brush strokes; the shapes and colors generated by the underpainting will pretty much define the feel and the general subject of the painting. also, this method most of the times fixes the problem of the backgrounds - i never know what to do with backgrounds. i am also seeking to decrease the excess of ornamental abstracts and bring the focus more to the overall symbolism of the painting and the body -- an ancient intention that i have never been able to put into practice efficiently.

the wip above is a painting i've been preparing in the last days for the Nude show, in Lexington KY. deadline is super tight and i don't know if i will be able to make it. it plays with the concept of inner nudity - heart and soul - rather than literal body nudity. i like it immensely how the figure is coming out. however, the background is totally killing me because it is pretty much 50% of the canvas area (the photo shows only the center.) i'd better find a convincing solution until Thursday!

i need to allow me a little bit of serenity. and more hours spent in the sketchbook drawing loosely and without commitment with results, this big perpetrator of artistic blocks.


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