Tag Archives: Hans Arp

Painting update!

First, here is the Fairy painting in the frame:

Fairy, framed, a Christmas gift for my daughter, acrylic on 11" x 14" canvas

Fairy, framed, a Christmas gift for my daughter, acrylic on 11" x 14" canvas

I made the frame out of corner molding, and have had a lot of “fun” actually getting this thing into the frame.  Third attempt is in progress now, as I write.  While the glue dries on that, I’ll relate the annoying tale.  I made the frame just a little too big.  Something about cutting the pieces with the miter box, and getting them the length I measured, eludes me.  I can make the top and bottom, and the sides the same length without a problem, but it tends to come out too big once I get the painting in.  I had the same trouble with the frame I made for this painting.  Anyway, I liked the size because the opening was exactly the perfect size to not cover up any of the painting.  I paint seriously all the way out to the edges of the canvas, so I don’t really want to cover any of the painting up, even with the frame.  So I went ahead and painted the frame.  What I did not realize at that point was that this size left me with few options for securing the painting to the frame…  First I tried using brads to hold it in, but they’re just too short to hold in the wood of the frame, and hold onto the canvas stretchers.  They tend to just fall out, and one did Christmas morning.  And corner molding is thin, so I can’t nail them in very far without splitting the wood.  Which I did twice.  Glued that back together on Christmas Eve and tried using a combination of the brads and popsicle sticks glued together along the sides to hold the painting in position inside the frame.  This was all dry Christmas morning and I gave it to my daughter.  She loved it!  I had no reason to fear on that point.  🙂  As she unwrapped further gifts I picked it up and the painting fell out.  Luckily no one saw that.  So now the brads are out and I’m gluing short chunks of the corner molding inside the frame, using their angles to hold the painting in.  If that works, tomorrow I’ll hang the dang thing.  Sheesh.

So after briefly getting back to one of the paintings you all voted on, I started this instead!

...in progress, acrylic on 11" x 14" canvas

...in progress, acrylic on 11" x 14" canvas

This was inspired by two things :  First, the ice stalactites and nemertean worms under the antarctic ice from the “Creatures of the Deep” episode of David Attenborough’s Life.  (Very cool video there.)

I’ve also been reading more about Dada.  I talk about it so much on this blog, I figured I really should know more about it, and it’s inspired me before; with more exposure it likely will again.   Actually it just did: my second inspiration was Hans Arp’s “Automatic Drawing”, in the Dada collection of MoMA.  More ‘nemertean worms’ and other organic shapes there.  So yeah, this painting is kind of busy, but it started out that way

Another aspect of Dada was a rebellion against how calcified and rigid the definition of what was and was not art had become, at that time.  Even though impressionism had loosened things up a bit, it was not enough for the Dadas.  They blew the definition of art wide open, to pretty much everything we count as art today, with works like Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain.  This I think was done in the spirit of, “I’ll do whatever the hell I want and call it art, and declare that it’s not art at the same time just to mess with you, even as it sits in an art gallery.”  If somehow you have missed ever hearing about this (I know, it happens), yes, it’s a manufactured urinal turned on its side and signed “R. Mutt” by the artist.  So I was also painting the above in the spirit of, “I’ll paint whatever the hell I want to paint even if it does look like crap!”  Or more articulately, too much red at this point I think, and too ‘squeezed in’…

I also made a lot of progress with this one, but it’s so close to done now that I think I’ll just try to finish it up and post it Friday in lieu of an update now.

~ ~ ~

Update to the update!  The third attempt at framing the fairy finally worked, and it’s hanging on the wall now.  🙂


Filed under Paintings

Eight paintings in progress! Eight!!

Clearly I like starting new things more than finishing old ones!  But eight is really too many to have “in flight”.  That’s not counting the five I’ve decided are “stalled”.  It’s a gray area between “in progress” and “stalled”.  I fear some that I’m still counting as ‘in progress’ are actually stalled.  Anyway, here they are!

Yes, I am thinking the ones I’ve been working on for a while really should get done first, but with Christmas less than two weeks away #8 here has jumped to the front of the line.  Yes, it’s a fairy.  No, its not my usual choice of subject matter…   “Grunt, snort, hooah!” he said as he awkwardly broke eye contact to stare intently at the floor.

It’s a Christmas gift for my daughter.  ‘Nuff said and we need never speak of this again.  (kidding — feel free to tell me how awesome it is)   🙂

Yes, it's a fairy. It's a Christmas gift for my daughter.

Moving right along, I’ve been experimenting with modeling paste!  That’s fun with a capital PH!  So it’s modeling phaste?  Anyway, it’s in kind of a ‘St. George’s Cross’ phase now, but I’m excited to get back to this one!  Textures, baby!

Woo-hoo! Modeling paste!

I’ve also been experimenting with washes.  I mixed some paint and water and produced this:

Wash #1. A background for future abstactions!

It’s going to be background for my next free form abstraction.  Look for this to go the direction of Andlega Landslagi.  Though I like the outcome, that wasn’t really what I was looking for.  So I hit up YouTube and saw that usually artists apply water to the canvas first:

Wash #2. A background for future abstactions!

I liked this more, but also heard tell of liquid paints whilst in the land of YouTube.  So the next day I bought some:

Wash #3. A background for future abstactions!

And that is frickin’ awesome if I do say so myself.  And there is a considerable element of chance here too.  (I’ve since learned that the Dada who was first interested in chance as an artistic principle was Hans Arp, who was always my favorite Dada anyway.)  It took about 5 minutes to apply the water and color, then they each took overnight to dry.  By morning they’d all changed a lot since I last saw them the night before.  In the first and third, I used no green.  All that green is from the blue and yellow slowly mixing in the night.  I was having so much fun with this that after the third I decided I really had to stop, and paint on these first before I fill up all my blank canvases with awesome oozing colors.

Then there are the other three, which are at various points on the edge of ‘stalled’.

*Still* in progress. Just a smidge more progress shown here.

...in progress

...in progress

...in progress

...in progress

So you tell me — which of these last three should I finish first?  Comments are always welcome, and now you also get to tell me which painting you want to see me get done first!  🙂


Filed under Paintings