Monday, December 1, 2014

Self portrait number 7 of 10 :: and a venture into an artists life

I am in a nice and serene mood! I'm also very tired. I'm noting my progress/state of mind since the last self portrait. 

I am reading a biography on my favorite favorite painter::: Modigliani. I used to be obsessed with Scheile in undergrad, and Van Gogh. With them in mind I had painted with very thick paint and uneven strokes. I painted with some sexuality, and I like that those painters always were expressive. The thick paint was hard for me to control. 

It's strange to me that I adore portrait artists so much. I don't paint portraits well at all, I prefer life drawing.  Portraits are a huge challange. To get the look right, I don't know - there is no way to fake a portrait, to polish a turd. It is truly a challange. I also struggle with shades of grey and lighting.

I'm happy with tonight's self portrait. It was quick, which I love since I'm tired. It also looks like me. 

I'm in the early life of the Modigliani bio. His family was very rich in the mining business, but they lost everything- they had "sold" their daughters in the form of doweries, and when they could not pay up they lost all their possessions and house to their inlaws! 

I didn't know Modigliani was Jewish, and I didn't realize he was Italian, though he spent most his adult life in Paris. He was also an alcoholic with Tuberculosis and died very young at age 35. 

What a huge body of work he left! His pregnant girlfriend committed suicide upon his death, leaving their 2 yr old daughter behind. No one is sure why she felt compelled to do this. He had several illegitimate children as well. 

I am about ready to go back to art school for a masters. I don't know when and where and I don't know how. I'm hoping its in Paris or Italy! But most likely somewhere I can afford. I'm terrified that I will not measure up. I distinctly remember in art school watching amazing painters paint with what seemed like ease - these were my friends! It's not only the painting technique that is essential (I had none) but the subject matter as well. And drive!! And discipline! I had the desire, that's about it. It was not until I discovered Lithography that I felt I could be more abstract and let the chemicals do some of my work for me. The reduction process helped me make interesting editions. I struggled with the chemistry:/( and I never got the plates to do what I wanted.  It was an adventure. I wish I could share some of those lithos here but they are rolled up. My work when I lived in Mexico was some of the best- go figure. I still take Litho classes at ACC on occasion. 

I found a 5' woodcut that I did - I copied a Modigliani painting, carved the wood, and printed it up at University of Texas .

She's pretty cute this is just a close up. She's rolled up in my office. She might make her debut over the couch. With or without a frame! She's about 8 yrs old now...I have about 3 of them. I printed about 8 at the time.

See! The cockamamie eyes! I am not alone. 

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