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Scene of the Crash (seems right for this Land of the "Free")

2022 is already half over, and it’s been a category five whirlwind! Do I need to say anything about the state of the Union?! I mean, I know the 4th of July has eroded to mostly partying, but this is ridiculous! Let’s move on. I’m getting testy. The first five months were all about travel and moving, and finally, in June, I was able to reassess where I left off before the year began. A painting I started last November entitled “Scene of the Crash” is one such work. This painting is a benchmark for me. It is the largest painting I have done, measuring 20”x20", since “No On Hires a Bald Guy in 1967,” which measures 24”x36”. If you have not seen this one, it is a hyper-real interpretation of the tragic death of my father back in 1999.

When I first started practicing art, I worked big. My two BFA show paintings were multi-paneled, and one required a story-and-a-half space to display correctly. I like big but have been a little timid trying to get there again. Working big fits me, a solid step forward.

In each painting I do, I try to learn something new about the oil painting medium and push it further than I have ever utilized it before. This painting is no exception. I like to pour paint which usually works better with a water-based medium. However, I am addicted to the richness of the oil medium, so I have been trying to employ a similar technique. The first day in the studio working on Scene of the Crash involved thinning, pouring, squirting, and dripping colors onto the canvas. I liked the look and was quickly reminded that if not appropriately supported, the paint will weigh down the center of your canvas and pool there! Of course, I could not stop seeing that. However, in the overall process, that did not matter.

If I had to generalize "Scene of the Crash", it would be daily happenings that may go unnoticed or that may promote aggravation without actually processing the information provided. In the painting, the stony asphalt surface all but consumes the subject with its irregular shapes that match the beetles in size and nearly in value. Then your eyes catch the glint of the chrome green, and you are pulled toward the center, which creates a disorganized spiral around the beetles out to the yellow-orange stripes on the road and back again. It’s organic with a touch of industrial that lends well to the overall tragic nature of a crash.

I found these little guys on my morning walk. I was privileged to see these magnificent creations of exoskeleton green-sparkle and delicate orange-tinged paper wings before a gust of wind swept them away to continue their tiny contribution to the life cycle.

I always love hearing from you! Tell me your thoughts on this painting. What do you see and feel when you look at it? If you are an artist, please share the trials and tribulations you have faced as you continue your journey.

Next month I’ll be talking about my newfound obsession with trees and sharing some of the work I have been doing related to this subject.

That’s it for this month. Thanks so much for reading and sticking around as I discover my mojo as an artist on social media! Talk with you again soon!

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