What to do Next

I haven’t been doing much physically since my last post, which was kind of a downer. I didn’t Tweet it or anything because of that. I talked about sort of taking a break, or at least holding off on that one painting I was working on, which is the one that comes from this sketch:


I transferred it onto a 24 x 30 inches gessoboard and started to paint on it a couple of times, but now I’m holding off on it because I didn’t want it to turn out like the rest of the Joshua Tree paintings. What I’ve been doing everyday is thinking about what I would really like to do next with my work and I don’t want it to be an exact continuation of either series I had been working on, so there’s been a lot going into my thinking process. Like I said, I’d really like to marry both series together in a way. I’ve done this once before and it was tricky, but once I got there, I was really satisfied. It’s a challenge I would like to take on and I think it would look good.

There are elements of each series that have been calling out to me, different aspects or techniques – ways in which I applied the paint – that I want to incorporate into new pieces.

For instance, in Drum Lab, there are areas, where I would have liked to explored more loose and abstracted features where the greenery was placed.


I liked how I painted in areas like this – a little kooky, but I just liked how it turned out:


It was just more “me,” for lack of a better description.

And with the mixed media pieces, I’ve been especially drawn to specific fabrics I picked out and have thought about using them more frequently, and to also start using them with unpainted manila pattern paper, as tricky as that would really be – especially with oils because the oil paint seeps underneath the paper. So a piece like The House on Doggie Trail…


would be difficult had those edges weren’t outlined in that very dark purple/black color. All of the other paper is painted over in full so you can not see any of the oily seep-through, and the panel itself is sealed off to repel any of the oils. You can’t see it in the photo image, but in real life, there are areas you can see of oil seep-through, but it’s not bad or anything. It’s just a feature of the work and it’s fine, but I would not be able to do it with oil against it on all four sides. In this case, not much oil was touching the paper. Anyway, it would be a trick to deal with plain paper with the oils is all.

And I would also like to use specific fabrics – minimal fabrics, but specific patterns, if that makes sense.

My favorite fabrics happen to be some of this old fashioned tapestry-looking stuff that’s crimson and beige.


And I like it with the plain manila pattern paper.

I’m also really into this bright blue and white print too:


This comes from Mt. Candy:


Mt Candy was the last painting I did. I started getting new ideas even then about how a composition like this could be incorporated into a kind of cluttered backdrop of one of the Joshua Tree landscapes, only painted more loosely, and in sections instead of a literal scene. I just have to figure out how to do it both technically, and also get really specific visuals on it in my mind or sketched out – or at least a skeleton visual on it. I feel like I’ll need this before I feel like I can start experimenting with it. But it looks like I’m going to have to learn more about acrylics. At least in sections where I want to use the manila pattern paper. I’ve just never been much of an acrylic person before.

However, for the holidays, mjp did get me a nice gift certificate to Blick! I’m going to spend it very soon. Happy me! Maybe I’ll get some nice acrylic paints.

I read somewhere in the last year or so that putting oils on top of acrylics is a bad idea. I had never heard of this before in all of my life until I read it from someone on an art forum and I’ve been wary about it every since. I know, of course, you should never put acrylics on top of oils. For those of you that don’t know that, read that again. Never ever do that. It won’t work. The acrylic will start to crack and fall off. It could be a good way to distress a piece of furniture though if you’re going for that “look.” When painting pictures though – really bad idea. I learned that the hard way very early on. But I’ve always known that you can place acrylics underneath oils. Gesso is acrylic/water based and it can go underneath your oil paint, put what I read recently said that it’s different because of the tooth. Or was it the chemistry? I forget now.

If anyone knows anything about this, please contact me. I have always done my under painting in thin acrylic washes. When I read what I read though, this was okay for some reason. It was specifically when you put a full coat of acrylic paint down under a coat of oil. And now, that’s what I would need to know because that’s what I would like to do. According to what I know about the chemistry, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, but maybe there’s something I don’t know.

In other news, I am going to be on Mat Gleason‘s new show called Modern Art Blitz! You can see the first episode on YouTube here. Mat runs Coagula Curatorial Gallery in Chinatown and has had his hand in about a million other things in the Los Angeles art scene. Modern Art Blitz is a show that airs LIVE on an internet channel called DromeBox Labs in the late afternoons on Sundays, I think sometime between 4-6 PM. I’m not sure what time exactly. It will then be available a couple days after on both Archive.org and YouTube if you happen to miss it live, so don’t worry. I will be on the show LIVE January 3rd.

It will be a fun conversation and I hope it will bring a few more people to my Artist’s Talk the following Saturday at Craig Krull Gallery. My talk is early, at 10:30 AM, but there’s going to be a lot of other events taking place at Bergamot that day too. Phranc is going to play some music right after my talk, and there will be other artist’s talks in a couple other galleries there. So all of that takes place on January 9th.

Well, what else can I say but HAPPY NEW YEAR!? I might come back and reveal some of my new year’s resolutions. Even though I don’t usually believe in them, I somehow have made a list of them for myself this year (again). I don’t know if I can stand by them but at this point in time I do feel pretty determined. And when I’m determined about something, it tends to go well.

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