Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mountains Paintings - #7 and #8 - Paintings from the Dead

I used a photo of the funeral of Jerry Garcia, with a deadhead crowd in the foreground, to get overlapping blind contour drawings for these two. The crowd was a great source of crazy lines that ran all over, from person to person, form to form, all the way across the page. After getting the pile of lines, I picked certain ones, augmented others, and erased some. Then I inked the lines with waterproof and light-fast black pen.

Then I begin to paint, often with the lines, sometimes not. These were a lot of fun. The first I call San Simeon, and I feel it is the spirit of Hearst that overshadows the painting in blue. I have no further explanation or reason for thinking this. I will not try to explain the car in the foreground, or the perspective used to draw it. It happened.

The other painting was harder to extract from the lines, but was the most fun of all. It's my alter-ego Virgil Tangelo, father of the talented traveler Nigel Tangelo of Hamjamser. This is Virgil in his youth (and in his long underwear) riding a friend. Virgil seems to end up in paintings without his clothes. My kids especially like the toothy guy in the bottom right - so do I.

8 comments:

linda said...

These are both alot of fun. In the first, if you want to see fish, fish are everywhere, cars then cars are everywhere, graves then those are everywhere! Fun :) Then Virgil and his fish is wonderful and my grandson would get such a kick out of him!

Steve Emery said...

Linda - I had the best time painting these. I may try one larger - in the 19x19 format, or the 18x24.

belinha said...

Thi sone is lovely!Light and gracious yet powerfull!

susan said...

They're very playful images but have a strong sense presence. Also, there's a natural balance in both the characters and the composition as a whole which reminds me of well done calligraphy.

I'm glad to hear you're excited by them because you should be.

Steve Emery said...

Belinha - Welcome, and thank you. I like your unusual avatar and your collages!

Susan - Thank you - high praise coming from you because I very much admire your sense of composition. I really like the way you arrange your page, and the way you engage your edges.

susan said...

I always enjoyed engaging with the edge and how kind of you to notice :-)

Karen A said...

Wow, I love these. They look so completely different from anything I've seen of yours. I like how you explore and experiment with your art.

Steve Emery said...

Susan - you're welcome - I think it's one of the things about your art that reminds me of the French of the late 1900s. They were also fascinated with the edge, with objects leaving the picture plain. The camera and Japanese prints, apparently, were parts of their inspiration to this, and it made their work modern in a way that's been with us ever since. But your work seems to capture some of their late 19th century grace (before the World Wars), as well as their modernity.

Karen A - thanks, Sis! I'm working on a larger one, to see what happens when these are big, on my beloved hot press paper, and with more time and tools at my disposal. Lines already on the paper... but I gotta go outta town... Later.