Buried Ruins and More

It’s taken me some time, but I finally finished the painting of the buried school bus I’ve titled Buried Ruins.

This is a 24 x 24-inch oil painting on a cradled gessoboard. I like it a bit better this morning than I did yesterday. I don’t usually like my pieces immediately after I finish them, probably because I’ve been staring at them for too long, and even though I continue to keep my intention.

I wanted this to be a more loose and abstract one, and it is. It could have been even looser, as I wanted it to turn out a bit more like my Turtle House painting:

I suppose I could have put a little green into the sky, but I didn’t really have that in my original mock-up for this one. I wanted it to be a bit more foreboding or grim. Less happy and colorful, but also way less literal than say a sky like this:

Everything is Illuminated, 2006. Oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches.

The reason the one above is in this gaudy frame is because I did it for a commentary on a Thomas Kincaide show. All the artists in the show were given official Kincaide frames to do with what we wished. Most of the artists cut theirs up and re-jiggered them to make sculptural-type things, but I did a straightforward painting and stuck it in the frame. So innovative of me. I hadn’t engraved the nameplate yet when I took this picture, but it has one of those nice fancy brass ones on the frame where those two dots are. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t put the autobiographical character in there though. Oh well. It exists now, and now you know how I feel about it.

The new one obviously has a five-tiered cake in it. That idea came later on after I’d started the painting. It needed something a little “extra.” Something random and a little absurd about the size of a five-tiered cake. So it came into existence around the time I finished the bus.

I have one last painting to do for this show. I’m a little shocked that I’m so ahead of schedule now. The Rabbit House, which might just be a working title, should actually take a little while and even be a challenge. I only have it drawn out on the panel for now and here is a rather dark picture of it, which is all I have:

Rabbit House in progress, 2022. 16 x 20 inches on gessoboard.

This will be a challenge mostly because the house itself is going to be made of a kind of particleboard and that texture might be hard to capture, but I’ll do the best I can with it. I want it to look like it was thrown together with cheap materials and then abandoned. And kinda like the solar panel wouldn’t really be necessary. I’m not even sure if it will be all that interesting, but we’ll see how it goes.

I don’t plan on making more pieces for the show after this. It’s a total of twenty-two pieces, not counting the wall installation. This is a basic mock-up of the show layout:

Not all will be brand new; however, all but four have never been exhibited before. So, in that sense, they are new to most of the public.

I also decided to start applying for a bunch of artist residencies, even though I am always turned down for them. I applied for two of them yesterday (ones where I was close in the past), and I have some time to apply for a third by August that I’ve never applied to before. Then, there’s a bigger one that opens up around the same time, and the app is due in September. The last one I will apply for around September, then I will wait to see if I can get into any. Some stays are longer than others. Most are three weeks to a month, but a couple of them are eight weeks.

I’m still on the fence as to whether or not I’m going to apply to Skowhegan, which is all summer long (a nine-week session), mostly because that one is really the hardest one to get into and I think it’s probably not worth the bother. But I might. I applied once back in my late 30s and of course, got rejected. It’s mostly for Yale graduate students and such. I just don’t see it happening for the likes of me. It would be a true longshot. Maybe not worth the application fee.

Anyway, that’s all the news I got for now.

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