Warm up before you expect yourself to do something at a high skill level. Draw a bit before painting. Play your instrument or sing before stepping on stage. The same with creativity. Work diligently with your craft and maybe inspiration will show up.
I’ve been back in video editing land for the past few months pulling together the movie we made back in the late 1980s. FertiliChrome was written and directed by PS O’Neill (Shawn) and I’ve been working with him to get the edit up to snuff. We will be releasing a final cut in the coming year. This movie was shot and edited back when we had to do everything in the analogue world. Stacks of video machines locked with time code to the 8 track Otari tape machine for the sound track. It’s amazing that we even pulled this off. I transferred everything we had into the computer, synced things up and hoped for the best. Luckily, about 10 years ago Shawn had transferred the edited version of the 1988 film festival tape to standard def digital video. That tape had some problems and the sound just wasn’t as good as I knew it should be.
I had the master sound track that Steve Fisk had originally created at my Velvetone studio. Shawn had been thinking about and re-editing many of the scenes in the movie and I pulled his ideas together with most of the sound track we had to make it all work. Lots of audio and video to move around, layer up and massage till it worked. We are being faithful to the original movie shot on 3/4″ video in 1987 and 88, while getting it into a format that can be enjoyed now.
For the last two weeks several artists have been working in the big room at our local community gallery, GalleryOne. I put my painting hat on, hung out and worked there for a couple afternoons last week.
In my current exploration of painting styles and subjects I felt inspired to head out to the garden with a canvas and paints. This is about 24 x 36 and has a good presence in the room. I need to do some more flowers, brighter and stronger colors than the portraits I’ve been working on.
It’s a time-honored tradition to make copies of master paintings. The best way to really get into the mind and techniques of the past masters is to be right in front of the real painting in a museum, but if we can’t do that then utilizing the amazing access we have through the internet is pretty good. Some of the great world museums let us download a high resolution image of a painting, and print that out to work from. But, I still like having a real book with good prints to look at. This is a copy of the face from a 1623 painting called the “Merry Fiddler” by Van Honthorst. It just makes me smile when I see it.
This last weekend I went to a 2 day workshop lead by Aaron Coberly at Gage Art Academy in Seattle. It was great to go to a class and be a student again and observe a great painter doing his thing. The workshop was titled “Alla Prima Figure Painting” and we had a model take a pose and Aaron did a 3 hour painting in the mornings, talking through his process. Then we did a 3 hour painting to a new pose in the afternoon. I learned a some new techniques and shared some board time with new painting friends. The limited time really requires a focus and some chops that I will need to work on. Aaron is a good, supportive teacher for any level of painter, as there were some beginning painters and several more experienced people and his style and comments seemed helpful to all who attended. You can see Aaron’s work on his Instagram page or website: @aaroncoberlyart or www.aaroncoberly.com
I’ve been getting a bit more space for painting. It’s nice to have several projects going so while one dries I can switch and to another. Although I wanted to work on an older acrylic painting and everything about the materials and tools is water based so I have to set up an area for that next to the oils.
I’m at Mille and Bill Kohls on Maui. Yesterday we went to the March for Our Lives march and concert at the Maui Arts Center. A heart felt local event, amazing young speakers with clarity and vision. They really are getting their skills as public speakers down. The Kohl’s have welcomed me and let me use the double decker bus to stay and paint in. This is a painting in progress of Lulu and Penny, Bill and Mille’s daughter and granddaughter.
I’m at SeaTac airport waiting for my plane
…. time to play some tunes. My paints and supplies, a few panels and misc all fit into an old Samsonite blue suitcase from Goodwill. Just made it right at 50 pounds to check on the plane. I hope to have plenty of time for painting on this trip staying in the double decker bus up-country near Haiku.
I’m trying to get the winter color of our hills today. The gentle clouds drifted over the lip of the ridge and then vanished. Such fine gradations of muted grays. There are a couple of geese that come to our pond every spring, we want to think it’s the same pair. They flew in, honking to announce their arrival, landing together in the water. I’ve been thinking of some kind of bird flying by in this painting, but it can’t turn into a cliche. These Canadian Honkers might be the ticket.