Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Friday, February 24, 2006
The Hague 1882
Dark and warm, in the cottage.
Brown, and like the smoked fish.
This wish, this paper torn from
the brow of Millet.
This sketch by Vincent being made.
Coarse, like its master.
Full of mutual love,
the perspective firm.
Sien and the baby laid fast
and permanent in graphite's
soft grip, dark and warm.
In a way, thoughts are real. Thinking about something or someone creates that thing or person to some extent. The more clearly or strongly something is thought about, the more solid or corporeal the thing becomes. So, thoughts of a person create a duplicate of that person. Therefore, thoughts about a dead person will create an afterlife for them by creating a duplicate of them. Good thoughts about the perosn will create them in a pleasing condition and bad thoughts about them will create them in an unpleasant condition because they are defined and created solely by the thoughts of them. So, under this sytem, every ill thought is a condemnation and the quality of a persons afterlife depends on how many people liked the person when he or she died.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
First came the old Dutch masters. These painted photorealistic portraits, mainly in browns. Then came the Italian masters like Raphael, Leonardo etc. These painted religious pictures also in fine detail mainly of religious and mythical subjects in blues and golds. Then came an exploration of extremes of dark and light and flesh, and pictures of people in houses or doing ordinary things. Then in Holland and France came pictures of peasant people in fields or in doorways. By now it is the late 19th century and photography had been invented so things were afoot. Impressionists appeared who painted ordinary subjects in very bright colours and often impasto. The English rebelled against the new stuff by painting pre-Raphael subjects in fine detail, and soon art deco, art nouveau, dada, surrealism and abstract impressionism appeared and when Mondrain painted squares and Pollock splattered painted as an art form had been explored. It happened somewhere in the 1950's.
So painting is dead and only sensationalism exists, an ever lasting genre. Of course this is not true. Writing as a creative force did not end when the dictionary was written and now there are few people who are old to remember before that uncelebrated cut-off point in the 50's. Now only the sensational, or otherwise popular count. Painting is far from dead but bouncing along like it has always done. Any genre goes and any combination is valid; what one paints is as valid as it was at any time in history EXCEPT in the 20th century when the style in which one painted was more important.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Friday, February 17, 2006
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Life is like an incomplete circle. After the inspiration for chair design that was the last 'Imagine' programme on BBC1, I've displayed one of my chair designs. It's fundamental idea is that it slopes b about 45 degrees, allowing the sitter to lounge at an angle. A second chair design idea is to make each leg a spring, add a foot rest and screw the legs to the floor, this should be a bouncy but comfortable design.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Today I've been listening to my latest CD, Beethoven's 5th, 6th and 9th symphonies conducted by Herbert Von Karajan, simply wonderful. I had the idea of making a film of Beethoven's life, the sole soundtrack of which would be the 67 minute long 9th symphony here.
My next purchase will be cold pressed linseed oil. This artist shows how he washes it and that his five year tests indicate it to be as lightfast as poppy oil, although the alkali refined stuff seems to be the worst for yellowing. This makes some sort of sense. So my current oil lightfastness list in descending order is: beeswax, cold pressed linseed, poppy, walnut, linseed stand oil, liquin, alkali refined linseed. Safflower and sunflower oil are reputedly like poppy.
He also states that amber is yellowing and dismisses it like that. I like amber so this requres some thought. On the plus side, Dali recommends amber in his 1947 book and the Blockx company make it and they have a good reputation. Amber stones don't seem to have darkened in 20 million years, some are white, so perhaps any darkening is an atmospheric reaction alone. On the negative side, Leonardo recommended amber varnish and his paintings are rather brown compared to Raphael's... but perhaps only the varnish is amber and the cracking might let air attack the paint layers. Amber is brittle so should probably never be used on anything that might bend, or get rolled up like the Mona Lisa was when it was stolen. Perhaps beeswax will be an adequate substitute, although amber's flourescence in ultraviolet light and the refractive index are desirable properties and it's simply nice to paint with.