No Excuse, small painting 11

So this idea of naming non-representational paintings with the best words from page 42 of a random book, just isn’t working for me.  Seemed like an awesome idea at the time and the words were good, but the names don’t stick.  Of the paintings I’ve named this way, even I can’t remember what their names are, with one or two exceptions.  So enough of that!  🙂  I’ll just have to try harder to really name them.  As if the gods of painting were trying to encourage me in this notion, I got lucky with a name for this one, because there is really just no excuse for this:

"No Excuse", small painting #11, acrylic on 8"x10" canvas board, March 2012

"No Excuse", small painting #11, acrylic on 8"x10" canvas board, March 2012

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The “small paintings, on paper that doesn’t matter” have moved to 8″ x 10″ canvas boards, which don’t curl up.  Even though the canvas boards are  pretty cheap — about $1.33 each — that still ‘matters’ a little more than paper from a pad I got for free…  I was afraid this would change the ‘nothing to lose’ dynamic that gave me such a sense of freedom — thinking ‘go ahead, try it.  If it doesn’t work it’s just a piece of paper — just throw it away’.   And cheap though the canvas boards are, I did feel more hesitant at first.  Did not have the ‘what the hell’ feeling of liberation that I did on paper of no significance.  But, I really do dislike how paper curls up as the paint dries.  So I did not have the same freedom at first, but I think I’m getting past that, I think I can get past that.  Yeah, I know, strange and kinda ridiculous things going on in my head with this…  We’ll see how it goes.

So with “No Excuse”, I started with a red-orange-yellow gradation and some black lines intended to be a structure to ‘hang’ the abstract blobs on.  It looked like I’d painted Chernobyl or September 11th or something equally hellish at that point.  I masked parts of the painting and painted a few blobs and then just really lost interest, completely.  Set it aside for days.  When next I found myself staring at it, wondering what to do with it, I looked over and saw my palette knife.  Well Hello palette knife!  It’s been a while!  🙂  Did some fun paint smearing and mixing with the palette knife, added lines and the broad white stripes, more palette knife stuff, and finished it with some dots and drips.  What a mess!  There’s just no excuse for this!  🙂  But I like it.

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “No Excuse, small painting 11

  1. Jim

    Question out of left field. In what way is non-representational painting a metaphor for your life?

    • “There is really nothing you must be and there is nothing you must do. There is really nothing you must have and there is nothing you must know. There is really nothing you must become. However, it helps to understand that fire burns, and when it rains, the earth gets wet.” -Zen saying

      So coming from that, it’s also an exploration of what kind of cool-looking stuff I can make with paint. Kandinsky is also a big artistic influence for me. His was first the idea of composing with colors, using colors to make a visceral impact, rather than trying to realistically, or even impressionistically, depict something.

  2. Dani

    I like it (and the Zen saying)! I’ll spend some time with the painting then let you know what I see.

  3. Way to keep working on this until you were happy with it. Palette knives are a lot of fun, aren’t they?

    Great title for a great painting. It’s really got a lot going for it, and the colors are a beautiful combo. I’m so glad you decided to finish this one. Good work!

    • Thanks! 🙂 Continuing to work on a painting after it goes bad, until it get good again, is something I’m continuing to work on until it gets good again. Can I make that sentence any more recursive, or can I make this sentence any more recursive or self-referential.

      Palette knives are a blast, but they put so much paint down so fast that the canvas is full and the fun is over too soon! Or at least it needs to dry for a while before more palette knifing!

      Thanks for your kind comments! 🙂

  4. I really like the look of it for all its non-representational qualities. 🙂

  5. hedonsdog

    I know where I’ve seen that before, it’s the overhead map on google maps of Who-ville! 🙂

    I like it

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