I started drawing with frequency when I was about five years old, usually around themes of space ships, Star Wars, Star Wars space ships, or the occasional World War II aerial dogfight (we watched a lot of this when I was growing up). Samples from each of those “themes” may appear indistinguishable to the untrained eye. 🙂 In high school I took some sketching classes and continued thereafter to sketch. About the time I was in college I tired of sketchy shades of gray, discovered watercolor markers, and began to abstract. Looking back on those now, I still think some of them are pretty good. After a hiatus of a few years when I did no art — I’d graduated, gotten a job and moved out into the “real world” — I decided that had been a stupid idea and began casting about for a new creative outlet. I noticed I was sitting in front of a computer a lot and finally decided just to use the tools at hand, which was mainly Microsoft Paint, yes — the one under Accessories in your Start menu, though it was called “Paintbrush” back then. After a few years of making art with my computer, I decided in 2008 that I really should try painting:
Yes, that is the tiny canvasboard that came with the acrylic starter kit — like I was going to paint “The Old Mill” — ppfffttt!!! This is the result of the first time I ever put brush to paint to canvas (there is a weird blue shape under what you see here, painted over). In this painting I was experimenting with gradations and highlights and dots (already!), in addition to painting in general. Depicted is the arrival and initial investigations of aliens at an interesting planet. The blue thing is an atmospheric probe being deployed. I think the silver and orange thing is part of the ship we (the aliens) are in. The red and yellow ring is an instrument representing the green rivers or fissures in false color.
The next few things I tried to paint were false starts. One failed so hard it became the canvas I use to try things out on. This is noted at right as the one painting ‘abandoned with harsh words’.
My next successful painting was two and a half years later in June 2010, inspired again by a trip to the Indianapolis Museum of Art:
Here I’m playing with the division of space and experimenting with the palette knife. It’s called “Order and Chaos”. ‘Order’ is the very ruly and sedate blues and gold around the outside, and ‘Chaos’ is the bright, exciting colors in the yellow field. Like teenagers to authority figures, chaos mocks order, and yet is nonetheless contained and restrained by it.
Then I did this one, and finally decided I should take a class about this painting stuff. Just messing around with it on my own, I had missed a few key points about how to work with the media that made it pretty frustrating. Oh, like using water. But that is a subject for another post…