Archive for June, 2008

Video Game is to Fun, as Painting is to…

June 25, 2008

I can’t really think of what to write about this painting.  I think it is one of the strongest works I have done in a while, but I am not sure why.  I think the use of color and modeling is getting better, but I would hate to hang my hat on better technique.  This is not to say better technique is a bad thing.  I really believe that in most cases you need some kind of technique to make a good painting.

What worries me is that I begin to only pursue better technique.  Better technique can make a painting look better (“hey that is well painted”), but it does not make a painting more interesting or transcending or what ever a painting should do.  I want my paintings to do what paintings should do.

I remember reading a video game review a while ago.  I can’t remember the game, but it was based on a movie.  In any event the reviewer stated that he felt sad for all the people who contributed their time towards the making of the game, which while good looking and well built, had zero fun.  Fun, of course, is what, deep down, every video game longs to be.  No amount of polish can make a game fun.  Of course a complete lack of polish can stand in the way of fun.

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Peaceful Yeti Father Enraged!

June 19, 2008

Here is the third installment of the Yeti narrative.  I hope everyone is enjoying it.

My watercolor paintings are doing well.  I do find myself working at a slightly slower pace, but this is mostly because I am spending some of my dedicated studio time to looking at/and reading about paintings.

This has the unfortunate result of a lot of introspection.  One of the stories I like to tell myself is that I paint for fun.  This is largely true, but it does not answer questions found in painting books.  Questions like “why do you paint what you paint?” or “why do you paint like you paint?”

I do not really have good answers to these questions.  Most of what I paint seems to be based on what I was last painting.  Ideas and observations from my current painting will form the base for my next painting.  On the surface this idea of building on the past seems good and seems to be taking me somewhere.  However when this statement is reduced to its components, “Why did you do this?” “I did this, because before I did that.” doesn’t seem to be a very good answer.

Some people seem to have good answers as to why they paint.  Some people like to say “I paint from my feelings.”  I think that the next time anyone asks me in person why I paint, I think I will turn towards them, look them in the eye and say, “Because I am a damn good painter.”  I will try to look serious and attempt to intimidate them into buying a painting.  Years from now when people ask why they bought the painting they might reply “because I was frightened by the artist.”

That last bit was ridiculous, but I sometimes I think fear of the artist (not of violence, more of ego) impresses people to like their work.

Yeti Dad 2

June 14, 2008

Here is page two of the Yeti dad saga.  I was pretty happy with this one.  It looks like I should be getting my camera back in a week or two, and it will be back to watercolor.  For now I hope you enjoy this installment.

The Bad Yeti Dad

June 12, 2008

I left my digital camera in Southern Oregon so I can’t take pictures of my latest watercolor paintings, which is OK.  I sometimes worry that feeling the imaginary pressure to use a painting in a blog post can sometimes make me rush things that would be better with a little more time.  Having a little time away from the blog will let me reflect and see if this is true.  I am still painting, and have a new work I am anxious to share, but it will have to wait a bit until I get my camera back.

In the meantime I would like to share some of my other non-watercolor work.  As I mentioned in a previous post I bought a wacom tablet and still think it is just about the best artistic tool you can attach to a computer.  I am sporadically using it to work on a little comic called “The Bad Yeti Dad.”  It is just for fun, and a good counter-point to my watercolor work.  It also doesn’t require the camera.

As the title implies this comic is about a father Yeti with poor parenting skills.  He has three children and uses drinking and yelling as the crux of his parenting strategy.  While not autobiographical, it is a character I can identify with.  Right now I am on page 5, I am not sure if the watercolor blog is the best venue for this, but it will have to do at least for now.