Sunday, May 24, 2009


The previous post is a jumble of photos that I wanted to get up quickly for a friend. My captions and comments were thoroughly jumbled by the site software, so I removed them.

Okay. First image. Anne playing the guitar, a few years ago, egg tempera from photo. (To see what a real artist can do with this stuff, find a copy of _New Techniques In Egg Tempera_!)

Second. 'Christmas Eve' Oil over powdered-pigments-&-watercolor mixed with flexible glue, on plexiglas. (It doesn't look like the woman in the original photo, but she too was & is that beautiful. Someone (else) had given her a toy snake, & she started hamming it up under the Christmas tree.) The oil glaze was necessary for mitigating the artistic effects that can set in with transparent media.)

Third. Oil on panel. When I painted this, I was too Representationally Challenged to make the gamba player look like anyone, but I love the way the instrument came out.

Fourth. oil on panel, granddaughter. She'd just discovered she could play "scarey music" and turned around with a look of wicked glee, which vanished before I could aim the camera. That's lost, but this is good.

Fifth. oil on used canvas. I don't know what it means either, except that the guy in the store next door had a brother who'd started to paint once, & left him with this canvas underfoot. I do things like this when the attempt to be representational is Too Hard! But as with some poems...This is not a painting of nothing; it's a painting that might have anything in it somewhere.

Sixth, Los Angeles in August 2000, glue etc on vinyl desk blotter scrap. My photo from the Sept 2000 Street Light.

Seventh. oil on canvas. I didn't have a model, had to wing it. An image suggested by a passage in a Roger Zelazny novel... & the horse reminded me of the ending of one of my poems

...and how will you know who you are
til justice arrives
on a red horse
to break
your perfect
When will you know who you are?

The next image, edited & corrected for perspective, is from a photo of Dorothy Day, found in the Los Angeles Catholic Agitator. flexible glue-plus-watercolor & acrylic on masonite.

A woman on the bus asked me: "Did you paint that?" I modestly told her, yes. "It's different," she said.

I've been working on a bastardized version of the technique reintroduced by Ernst Fuchs,
described here:

with some wonderful examples on the site of what a real artist can do with it!

I say "bastardized" because I've been increasingly doing the bottom layers with mixtures of acrylic glazing medium & vinyl acetate (a glue & sizing material)

Doing the first layer in red, then putting in the light areas with more-or-less transparent white (which is how that technique begins) turns out to be an excellent way to make an image appear out of seemingly-nothing! If you, too, are representationally challenged, try working from a good tracing/or/drawing on a dark background! Maybe not with egg tempera, the first time!

My gift is for poetry, not for visual art. But look what can be done, with a little attention!

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