Friday, July 17, 2009

Why Can't That Be Me Up There...

...Making all of you feel like dirt? Oh well. The life of a failure can be a hard one, especially when your dreams are so big.

The scene before the above one is one of the funniest moments in television in my humble opinion. Watch it here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Have I Been Cheating Myself?

I recently just completed my first painting using artist or professional quality oils. Up till now I'd never used anything but Winton, Windsor and Newton's student grade oils, but my local art supply store had Gamblin professional oils on sale, so I thought I'd finally give artist grade paints a try and see if they're worth the hype. I'd always heard how much more vibrant the colors are with artist grade oils and how you use less paint because of the higher pigment load and that the colors can last for a hundred years or more without fading or yellowing. Well, I do want vibrant color in my paintings and it is nice to use less paint, especially when that paint costs as much as $40 a tube, although I never really cared so much about the colors being true for a hundred years. Won't the earth be just a mass of toxic boiling seawater full of dirty jet ski-riding outlaws and pirates by then anyway?.

Anyway, when I first started my latest painting with my new Gamblin artist paints, I was pissed! The colors were a lot less workable, probably because of the higher pigment to oil ratio they had compared to the student grade crap I was used to. I like to paint right of the tube and don't usually thin with a medium, so getting the blank canvas covered with paint was rougher going than I was used to. Later once I had the underpainting finished things got easier, and I started to like my new paints. Then when I was nearly finished, I took an older painting done in student grade paint out of storage and compared it to my new painting done in artist grade. I was amazed at the difference! The colors in the older one looked so drab and dull next to my new work on the easel. So until this week I was prepared to write a new post extolling the virtues of artist grade paints and bemoaning how much time I'd wasted painting with cheap crap. But now that the painting is finally fininshed I don't know...

I mean I did use less paint, and the colors were much more opaque and covered better than the student grade I had been using. The artist grade also dried more evenly without the weird shiny spots I'd gotten used to, but after comparing the new painting to several more older paintings I've done, I'd say in most paintings the difference is not so great. Certain colors like reds and dark blues are noticeably better, but overall I've haven't cheated myself that much. Not with paint anyhow. And I've still got the same cottony unrealistic cloud formations, which if I can figure how to do properly on a test canvas I may even repaint. They're definitely the weak link here.

"With Teeth", 2009

24" x 28", oil on wood

Another name taken from a song off an album in my collection. Good track, but crappy video.

I've seen the painting used on the album cover at several garage sales and flea markets over the years. I didn't know until recently that the image was so famous. It's based on a sculpture called "Appeal to the Great Spirit". Thanks Wikipedia!