Sorry for the absence, but I've been terribly busy. I had managed to be consistent in blogging for nearly 3 whole weeks! and then I got stuck doing stuff. Not really amazing stuff either. If I had to account for my time away from the blogosphere I would have to say that the biggest time-sucker is due to the fact that I am growing a beard.
After moving to portland nearly a year ago my wife and I have discovered three things:
1. Everybody has tattoos
2. Nearly all the men have either a beard or an ironic mustache.
3. You see many beards-in-progress but not no ironic-mustaches-in-progress.
Conclusion? You must grow a beard before you can grow an ironic mustache.
So I'm growing a beard which will eventually be shaved into some sort of ironic mustache. What kind, I haven't decided yet. My wife hates the idea, but I do the cooking so she can't kick me out without starving to death.
Victory is mine.
So during all the beard growing, I have been painting. Believe it or not, watching paint dry is far more entertaining that watching a beard grow: so is dancing. But, not surprisingly, I am very good at painting and not so good at dancing.
In the last few paintings I have really been really returning to my roots of glass, metal and paper:
Almost Coffee 10" x 10" oil on canvas
To further enforce the root returning phenomenon This will be the third time I have painted that particular coffee pot. Each time I feel that I get a better grip on it's lines and colour. This is however the first time I have painted it without using a Grisaille. In the past I've used Venetian red for the underpainting (especially when painting copper) but this time I just went for a direct painting method. I was like:
This picture, of course, is only a simulation.
My beard is much better.
In the past I've used the indirect painting method, which involves painting over the aforementioned grisaille underpainting. It is possible that I've gravitated to the indirect painting method because it separates out the components of color and value; allowing the painter to first focus on the drawing, then the value, then the color. I find, more and more, that I can handle much more visual information as my skills continue to improve. (That is to say, as my beard gets longer). Not that indirect (grisaille) painting doesn't have it's place among the skillful. Jean Leon Gerome used a glazing technique to paint "Pollice Verso"
Pollice Verso means "Turn the thumb."
In layman's terms, the guy on the ground
Incidentally Gerome had a mustache which may or may not have been ironic:
Oh the Irony!
I have no doubt that I will return to glazing in the future since I am as faithful with my technique as I am with my choice of canvas and support. I have a few miniature figure painting I'm kicking around in my head, but first things first:
Gotta get the beard sorted.