Tag Archives: Frank Tibolt

Painting: Rorschach 2 — Don’t eat that bug!

Don’t eat that bug!  I’d go for the plain looking crickets instead…

Don’t eat that bug! – Rorschach 2, acrylic on 9″ x 12″ canvas paper, May 2012

It may not bear much resemblance, but this was inspired by Marina Kanavaki‘s “Between the lines“.  I thought it would come out looking more like trees reflected in water than a like big, toxic larva.   …or perhaps to you it looks like a bunny?  People have been seeing so many bunnies and rabbits in my work lately it’s like a freakin’ unintentional theme!  🙂

Again, I scumbled and blended in the blue-gray background, and after that was dry squirted on lines of yellow, green, and black, and folded it in half, lengthwise this time.  Pulled it apart and voilà.  Took minutes to paint and two days to dry.  Yes this is acrylic, but a lot of it!

There are three quotes that guide my thought and action when I paint:

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
– Frank Tibolt

We need to just dive in and do it.  Stop just sitting around and thinking about what to create.  Because this is so true — action generates inspiration.  More good ideas come while actively trying to create something.  It’s much rarer to get a good idea just by thinking about it.  It does happen occasionally, but that’s the problem — it’s occasional — good ideas are just not frequent enough that way.

“The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful. And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”
– John Cage

This helps me stop second guessing if what I’m working on is good or bad.  Ultimately beauty and ugliness are completely subjective.  How incredibly beautiful is a big, fragrant pile of shit… to a dung beetle?  What do you think that same dung beetle would think of this?  But I digress.  Keeping this in mind helps me stop second guessing — which is paralyzing to creativity.  When I can stop that, creativity is liberated and I produce my best work.  Actually, I need to work harder at keeping this in mind…

“The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”
-Marcel Duchamp

This helps me keep in mind what it is I’m doing.  It helps me dispel delusions of ‘expectations’, because to conform to expectations — real or imagined, usually imagined — is to put yourself into a rut.  For me art is participatory.  Fitting ‘expectations’ would only discourage feedback, interpretation, and comment.

My artwork is participatory.  You play a large part in it, you create a large part of what it is with your interpretations.  You imbue it with meaning — deep or superficial, much more than I do.  In short, it becomes much more than what it was when the paint dried, when you give it your interpretation.  To me, the art is not complete without this blog — without your interpretation, your input, your comment.  This is my sincere thanks for your comments and interpretations!  🙂  Thank you!

And don’t eat that bug!


Filed under Paintings

Painting: Horizons

Here is a painting I recently completed, which I named ‘Horizons’.  I named it that for no reason other than that it seems to have a few.  Having a few smears of paint that resemble horizons and cloud layers resolves into a convenient handle with which to refer to the painting, or in other words, a name.  🙂  That is not usually the case with my work — this one was lucky.  …I should probably try harder to name my paintings.


I called it "Horizons". It has a few. Acrylic on 14x18 canvas.

My stuff is pretty non-representational, in other words, they’re not usually paintings of any sort of things you can put your finger on with a name.  I think ‘abstract’ is the word usually used so describe such stuff, though that is kind of a misnomer.  The first abstract paintings, i.e. Kandinsky, actually were abstractions — abstract representations — of actual things.  But that approach had ceased to be avant garde by the 1950s with abstract expressionism, and sometime in the 20th century the term ‘abstract’ became muddied.  I don’t start with an idea of something, and then paint an abstraction of it.  (Though laying that out there makes me think maybe I should try that sometime!)  I usually start with an idea for a pattern or texture or a technique or how I want it to look, and go from there.  And often end up somewhere completely different from where I thought I was headed.

Nor does my work usually have any deep meaning.  I’m not trying to say anything with my work, not usually anyway.  Sorry if that ruins the mystique for you, but to make up for it, I will let you make it mean whatever you want it to.  I’ve found that when I have something to say, words are a more effective vehicle than paint.  In short, I paint for fun!  And I try not to get pretentious about it.  I value the ethic of the crafts-person over what I think of as the ‘ethic of the artist’.  People who do crafts do them for fun.  The don’t expect their work to change the world.  “Artists”, and certainly not all of them, perhaps very few of them, but lets say the archetype of the artist, is driven to create Great Art That Will Change Everything.  That attitude is paralyzing for a beginner, because obviously a beginner has no chance at all of doing that, and this attitude is all to easy to fall into.  Anyway this is what I tell myself when I feel that coming on, before it paralyzes me into inaction.  This is also a good quote:

“We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing.  Action always generates inspiration.  Inspiration seldom generates action.” – Frank Tibolt

And this is half of the stated reason for this blog.  I hope to someday find myself painting because I need something to write a blog post about!

So what did I have in mind with this painting?  Techniques, textures, patterns, and the overall look of it.  I was experimenting with painting with a palette knife and mixing paint on the canvas in the red and blue parts.  I was making quick strokes with a very big filbert brush and mixing on the canvas in the other layers.  Last I was experimenting with dot patterns using the back of a brush in the alizarin crimson (maroon) square.  So, my thoughts were far from ‘the meaning of life’, they were just on boring painting technique stuff…


Filed under Paintings