Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I Clean My Brushes with Gasoline

Seriously, I do clean my paint brushes with gas. Turpentine is something like eight dollars for a half pint. Gasoline is less than three dollars a gallon and it cleans just about as well. It smells a whole lots worse, but it gets the job done cheaply.

The last three weeks I've spent a little time painting. I paint in oil, with linseed oil as a medium. I paint on canvas most of the time although I have done cardboard and I do have a flat piece of bark I dried out this summer that I am planning to paint.

The first one is Longs Peak. It's a view of the east face featuring the Diamond. Admittedly, it's one of my worst paintings ever which is even more unfortunate because it is 24" by 36". Fortunately, it's enough of a likeness that I can tell what it is. Longs Peak is my favorite mountain by the way.

I painted El Capitan. This was fun. Taking pictures of it from Yosemite Meadow I could not get the whole rock in the camera with my iPhone. It is 3000 feet tall and a mile wide. If it can be called a crag, which it feels like, it must be the tallest crag in the world.

I have been inspired by Piet Mondrian and De Stijl (The Style) paintings for years and I finally decided that I wanted to do something similar. Well, I changed the style a little to suit myself, and I turned all metaphorical to come up with an idea. It's called Society. I see it as a description of resource consumption in the life of an extinct society when graphed on an exponential time scale.

I made another metaphorical painting with the title: War. If you could see it up close you would see even more detail. I painted totally monochromatic within it so that up close you see figures that you can not see from far away.

To finish off my abstract metaphors for now I painted "A Little Gray Area". It was still wet when I took the picture. So often I think that people try to group decisions into ultimatums when a range of options is really available. For example, what to do tonight? Some options may be safe and others may be dangerous, but the many are somewhere in the middle.

I have one more painting planned. It's not abstract, it's about coffee. It is going to be pretty cool but I haven't finished doing the research yet.

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