Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cocktails with the Crimson King

Well if you ever wanted to know what my Id looks like... this isn't quite it, but it's getting there. My latest painting, the first in a series I'm calling "Cocktails with the Crimson King" is called "The Numbers Man". I originally was going to call this guy "The Messenger", but another character popped into my head that fit the bill for the name a little better. He'll be coming along presently. At least I hope he will. This dirty birdie is keeping the books and keeping his eye on you. Apparently you've "accrued" some sort of debt.

I had a lot of fun painting this piece. From the happy accident with the crow's head to spending loads of time fiddling with the glasses it was a joy to work on it went fairly smoothly from beginning to end. Like anything there are parts about it I don't feel 100% about, but when it's time it's time. Plus I had a deadline which always helps in the decision-making process.

It's been a good exercise in both spontaneous and technical painting. I like the feeling of not... feeling like I have to paint a certain way. Once you start doing a thing it's easy to get stuck doing that thing. That's fine for a production painter, but it's not much for self-discovery. When you're producing art for the sole purpose of selling it you can lose touch with the drive that caused you to start creating in the first place. I've seen others get stuck producing a certain type of work because it sells. I have nothing at all against that. Lord knows we can all use a leg up, but I've seen the frustration it can cause. I hadn't reached that point, but I was severely questioning what I was doing. I had a bit of an epiphany and realized I had to let go of the idea of "Me" that I'd put together over the years. You grow accustomed to yourself and who you think you should be much like you grow accustomed to a well-worn set of shoes. You know they're well past their prime, but you can't bear to part with them.

That being said I'm still going to keep producing the cityscapes, but I plan to put some more emphasis on these new pieces. I'm wondering how, if ever, they'll come together. I find that I'm not as concerned about selling them or whether or not people like or approve of them. I like them. I want to produce Art that I like. My tastes vary. Why shouldn't my work? This isn't just about a vocation. It's about looking back at the end of my life and saying, "I'm glad I did that".


Cheers,


R

2 comments:

Jessica Torrant said...

Bravo! Words to live by my friend and may I say, that painting is hot. Who knew birdmen could be so sexy and mysterious? ;)

But I hear you about keeping your work fresh and new, challenging the way you work and being open to where inspiration is leading you rather than boxing yourself into a limited definition. I've played the game myself thinking about what will sell and it's an instant turn off to all of that good stuff that happens when you make the art you are driven to make. I love this piece and can't wait to see what's next from you. Cheers to 2010!

Jessica Torrant said...

PS Rob I featured this painting on my blog http://lookseesaw.blogspot.com