I’ll try to spare you the hugely introspective blargy blarg blarg blarg that I’ve been mentally churning about for the better part of a year. Basically, trying to settle on moving past painting exercises and figuring out what I want to explore thematically as an artist. I wish it would come easy and predictable like the tide… but NOOoooooo I have to be more of the expressionistic type.

If I could only be the kind of painter that would simply be happy with exploring materials and focusing on technical execution of the work, I’d be so much more productive. I’d definitely would be more in fashion. Ah whatever that’s why I illustrate and do other stuff to make money. Discovering what kind of person we are creatively is part of the journey, sometimes we don’t end up where we would like to be, but we usually end up where we should.

To me, my best work is done when I work fast and have a level of emotional engagement. So I’ve been life sketching a lot, hiding in coffee houses people watching and sketching impressions, or sitting at home recalling moments from my very strange life and drawing what I can recall. The point is not to render the moment, but the emotional impact. I’m looking for the things that make me uncomfortable, thematically as well as technically and how to tackle them. What I’ve resisted is being the expressive more emotional painter that I am. It’s like I said, not fashionable, but painting to what I think the market wants doesn’t work and is frustrating anyway. Technical painting to me is like putting together a puzzle. Sure it’s intellectually stimulating to put the right marks in the right spots but at the end of the day it doesn’t really say anything.

And I have long resisted being too loud. I have been wondering quietly what would happen if I was… loud in my work.

I figure I have nothing really to lose.

So, this is the beginning of a new series. Linen will be the surface, oil will be the medium. The goal is to not linger too long on each work. Bang and move. I’m staring with a small self portrait (I haven’t painted myself in over 10 years). It’s half done right now, and I have to wait for it to dry for a few days before I can finish it. This is 9×12″ and has about 2.5 hours of work. I’ll show you the finished painting in a week. This is all underpainting (I’m experimenting using a green undertone to see how that affects the flesh tone in the final) and … goddamn my forehead is huge.

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