Archive for April, 2008

Rabbit Eggs in Orbit

April 24, 2008

Rabbit growing and orbit

This is the last painting on paper from the 10 yards of watercolor paper I bought last year.  Its nice to be able to quantify how much you paint.  I paint about 10 yards per year, or 10ya/ye.  I have a new roll on order and I hope to improve my painting with the next 10 yards.  I think a realistic goal will be 10.2ya/ye although I will probably have to do a few more push-ups and eat some energy bars.


Watercolor forces you to search for better paintings.

April 12, 2008

The reason I enjoy watercolor paintings more than oil painting is the immediacy. With oil paint, if something goes wrong you can almost always scrape up the paint and readjust your painting. There might be some residual marks, but for the most part you can correct/go in another direction at any time. Like a studio album, if you come in flat you can always go back and re-dub yourself in. There is a safety net that allows you resolve the painting to where it becomes a “good painting.” This is not to say that oil painting is easy, far from it. Simply because it is more flexible does not compensate for poor talent/work habits.

With that in mind, I would like to make my case for watercolor. With watercolor there is no going back, only improvisation. If you lay down a bad color or shape you can work with it, but you can never undo it. Ever. You can try, but often this only makes things worse. However what you can do is try to evaluate why that color/mark/whatever is “bad” and try to maneuver it around to being good. This definitely calls in to question “what does a good painting look like?” and “just because a painting looks good, does that make it a good painting?” I like that kind of thinking, I like not really knowing what a good painting looks like, I like finding out.

It seems much better to paint a painting that makes people say “Hey! So that is what a good painting looks like.” rather than “Hey! That painting meets all my expectations of what a good painting should look like.”

I think watercolor forces you to search for better paintings.

Essay on Painting

April 5, 2008

I really care about painting (both the noun and the verb).  Not just my own, but painting in general.  It seems a little odd to say that I care about an activity\item so I will elaborate with some ideas, for my own sake if nothing else: 

I do not care for animals painting or for machines painting.

I think painting is a type of communication, but because painting is a visual art form it is hard to write about.  So instead of trying to wrap words around painterly ideas I will write about things and pretend that I am really writing about painting.

I hate stories that end in “it was all a dream”.  If a chapter ends with “it was all a dream” that is ok, because it is quite alright for imaginary characters to have dreams.  However it is not ok to have imaginary dream characters, despite how cool they sound in this sentence.  Imaginary dream characters are lame and a bit like a ending every idea you have with the words, “just kidding”.

Just kidding is a good tool for trying to take back something you said while you were drunk, but not a very good tool for communicating.  It is more of a tool to evade communication.

Inside jokes are fine, but will never be as good as real jokes.

Paintings are not jokes, but like jokes, not every painting is for everyone.  Just because a painting is not (interesting/for/speaking to) a lot of people does not make it a bad painting.  It does not make it a good painting either.  Like stories about your friends, there is a time and a place for it, unless your story is inherently interesting.  Or your friends are.  Or you have a really nice voice.  Which is probably not the case.

Music is cool because you can sing along.  This creates an illusion of communicating but is something else.  Singing along probably makes you a different person while you sing.  You can never paint along and that is too bad, or is it.  You can look at paintings with other people, but that is not the same as being in a band and covering a song.

Talking about a song is not the same as being in a choir.  It is probably not as fun or as satisfying.  Because there is so much looking at painting while you paint, I think there is a larger connection between painting and looking at paintings than there is between singing and talking about songs.  However, talking about paintings is not singing in a choir. 

Really only painting is painting.

Multiple Rabbit(s)

April 2, 2008


I think these paintings are heading in the right direction.  At least an interesting direction.  I am not sure about the color, nothing new, but I like the brown.  Not so fond of the pink circles and the lines need to be rethought.