Monday, August 25, 2008

Toad

I mentioned in my last couple of painting posts that I am trying to get as free with the paint as I was in the abstracts, even when I have a subject. I'm not there yet with this painting, but this is on that road. And I'm excited by how this came out, and , better yet, how much fun it was to paint. I've been exchanging some e-mail about painting and "letting go" with Linda at Vulture Peak Muse (many thanks!). That, combined with her post about Oaxacan carvings, and everyone else's encouragement, inspired this guy. I can't wait to hang him up in my office and see how he looks there. I'll probably lock my door at night, though - this is the first one I've been afraid might disappear. He is the usual 19 x 19 - so it's a lot of orange, and a lot of toad. Click for a larger view.

Of course I have to thank my model, as well. From a bug walk a year ago (more photos in that post). He was gorgeous in his own right, but I took some liberties exaggerating the parts of his shape that tickle me the most. I've loved toads a long time - and frogs (but of course, Grenouille).

>>>> Appendix de Grenouille #30 <<<< There is nothing like a day out with friends to change the mood. Late summer sun, mademoiselles to lighten the conversation with their feminine "quacking" (as you say here in America), and the big smile of a fellow swimmer. After the Olympics and the inspiration of Monsieur Phelpps, one can be poetic about the water, but I still believe it looks best from above, and from a comfortable spot on the shore - or on the head of an amiable poisson.

And with the natatory races finished, we now have only the other race to view. All the more reason for time on the water, where it is most unwise to bring a television, or even a radio. If anything of substance were to be decided at the conventions, like alternative energy sources, then it might pay to tune in. But since all that gas is going to be allowed, simplement, into the atmosphere without being used to create energy first, we believe it might be best to turn the head, and the nose. Mind already made up, we shall turn up at the finish, to do our part - but in the meantime, the light is lovely on the water, and las femmes are charming.

10 comments:

DCup said...

Love that painting. I like his shape. It reminds me of when our kids were young and they hadn't really developed abdominal muscles. When they lay on their backs to have their diapers changed, for example, MathMan would call that 'Frog Belly.' I just loved to tickle their frog bellies. I still rub Cupcake's soft belly for luck.

Please tell M. Grenouille that I'm sorta, kinda actively ignoring the convention. The burn out is showing on me.

susan said...

That's a very nice frog indeed. The world needs more like him.

Randal Graves said...

There's a toad in there, a kernel of corn, a piece of candy, a single carved piece of wood painted shades of yellow. Very cool.

odd chick said...

I've been waiting and waiting to see this frog - he's enchantingly bulbous, that orange makes him delectable, and a sonorous softness that makes you want to scoop him up and take him home. I wish he was hanging in my office! Now that looked like a lot of fun.

Steve Emery said...

DCup - I have passed on the word to Grenouille, who says, "What convention?"

Susan - I have to see what comes next - probably not more toads, but other critters, I think. I have a thing about chickens that I think it might be time to explore with this new style.

Randal - thanks! I'm quite happy with this big fat guy.

Odd Chick - He is matted as of this evening, already back out in my car, and I will hang him up tomorrow. I can't wait. The paintings always look different at work. Some look better, some look worse, but it's fun to find out.

Steve Emery said...

Oh DCup - I almost forgot. We also used to laugh at the froggy look of our newborns. Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny - we've gotta pass through amphibian on the way to human. Anyway, I did think of those froggy little infant rears when I painted this bloated guy's tiny, bony butt.

And I still like to palm/pat my nine year old's tummy. He patiently tolerates this...

DCup said...

Thank goodness for those kids who will tolerate our attentions!

I've got to show Cupcake this painting and all your work. I told her about your work and she asked to see it. She's currently working on a flower painting in art (I believe it's in the style of Virginia O'Keefe.)

linda said...

imagine....it is 2AM and I am probably medicated more than I realize and I come upon this magnificent creature languishing upon my screen...I want to reach in and pick him up, tuck him into bed between dh and myself, he looks so round and plucky, an imaginative toady with a gleam in his eye that you can't quite predict....yes, it is this unpredictable quality that makes him very impressive and grand....I want him now, here with me....he looks warm and cozy in all that orangey light of skin he possesses...ummm, yummy yummy for the ? I do very much love and adore him and me thinks there are more to come of even greater grandeur if you could just get beyond that 19" square, dear S. I give you a very big A+++++ for him because he is large, bulbous and most orange if ever I saw orange before, I have never seen it quite so well done as this!

xoxo

linda said...

I forgot to mention his eyes made me feel swimmingly warm.

xoxo

Steve Emery said...

DCup - I think that must have been a Freudian slip on your part - it's Georgia O'Keefe (grin). We should all ponder what that slip might mean...

Linda - Many thanks. I've been looking forward to your response to this guy. He's hanging in my office - I got him inside between buckets of rain - and I love him. More! More! And the 19x19 is just as big a square as I can get off my Arches paper sheets... I have a 30x30 canvas in progress. I don't talk about that, though - it's a more complex project I'm enjoying. Maybe in a month or two it will be done. Thanks for the A+++++ - and I like toady's eyes best, so thanks for the comment on them in particular.