Spring Cleaning?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Like many of you, I've been afflicted with the flu this holiday season, and I don't know what it is, but I always get the urge to start cleaning when I get sick. For some reason dirt and clutter just seem so much worse at those times.

So, I put off working on painting in the afternoon to clean house. I wish I had thought to take before and after pix, but the image above gives you a rough idea of the situation ;)

Happy Christmahanikwanzika

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fra Angelico is one of my all-time favorite painters. His works exude a remarkable atmosphere, gentle, spacious, and occasionally with a mysterious flavor.

Christmas Special: Symbolism

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Symbolism has always played an important role in Christian and Renaissance paintings, so this week I present a fun fact regarding that phenomenon.

Did you know that the pelican has a profound meaning in Christian symbolism? It may seem counter-intuitive to use such an ungainly bird for anything of the sort, the pelican has often been used by Christians as a symbol of charity (love thy neighbor) because the bird will feed its own blood to its offspring if necessary. Now that's devotion to giving of thyself.

In this time when there is financial upheaval, starvation, and terrorism stalking the land, we could all take a lesson from the giving nature of the pelican and the keen observation of the natural world that led to its adoption as a symbol for the value of giving.

I hope we can all celebrate the act of giving no matter what form it takes or what religion you practice this holiday season.

(The above picture is a detail of Bosch's Adoration of the Magi.)


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I am busy creating lots of fodder for the recycle bin.

Are you the type that doesn't mind wasting reams of paper in the off chance that one day it might pay off, or are you the type that insists that every piece you set your hand to must become a finished piece of art?

I would say it's a question between type A and type B personalities, but it doesn't necessarily seem to work out the way IRL.

How to Fail as an Artist, Painterly Edition 1

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Painters, this one is for you!

It may have escaped your notice, but painting died a few decades ago.

'Why,' you ask. Well the reason is simple. Everything that can be done in painting has already been done. There's nothing new that can ever come out of painting. Again.

So how do we overcome this barrier as painters? Why, just take a page from still President G.W. Bush: redefine the word 'new.'

In this postmodern age we have now acquired the wisdom to know that words mean whatever we want them to mean, so I am calling on all painters forthwith to start a campaign to redefine the word 'new' to mean 'fish.'

A new tide will swell upon the art world leaving behind a mass of scaly, slimy, sexy new artwork that you just can't ignore (especially your nose). Easels will be abandoned as artists rejoin Mother Nature to create a new fusion of human vision and natural order.

The birds, snakes, and furry woodland creatures will join our cause. All those who oppose the new order will be pecked, and all paintings adhering to the out-dated world of traditional painting will be chewed to ribbons.

This is a rallying cry to all painters not yet ready to give up: 'We want a new NEW!'

Come, join me, my compatriots, as I storm the Empire State Building's observation deck this New Year's Eve with a kettle full of fish and an unseemly amount of vodka. There will be a good time to be had for all and a new definition of New shall be inaugurated!

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