La Verguensa

"The Shameful One"

The Adventure of Paining

Most of my paintings are some what process oriented. I start off with a sketched up idea. Then I follow up with some basic pigment. After that I start to let the act of painting take me in unknown directions. Often I will sort of vandalize the painting, or paint unrelated symbolic gestures above or beneath the topic, Then I will attempt recovery. My goal is always good composition over a predetermined result.

This makes painting some what like travel. I have my itinerary (the sketch.) But then I leave home and the journey  always contains adventure and the unexpected.

Here is an example:

This painting is called the Rabbi. I started by prepping the canvas and creating a border out of playing cards. I had met an artist from New Orleans who was re-using playing cards as his business cards. I liked that so I used some of my corrupted decks for this border. After that the canvass sat for about 6 months. Eventually I sketched this emotional sketch of a person burying head in hands.

Some thing aout it was all wrong. It did not go with the cards. So it sat while I pondered. (I was already starting to travel in my mind).

Eventually I re-sketched this drawing over the canvas. I liked it much better. From the beginning the effort had meaning to me. For one the cards began to represent the chance that god deals in our lives. Second, I drew the rabbi telling a story with a hand gesture My mom used to show this to me as a kid. “here is the church, Here is the steeple, open the doors and look at all the people.” This is a little methodist ditty. I also found that appealing because it illustrates all of the meaningful grey area in my own life. Now that I knew (from the actual act of painting) that I was contemplating thoughts on the seemingly randomness of life events and the needs of people to come to grips with this, I started to fill in the details.

The final painting contains a variety of detail. Some of it is symbolic and some is just plain personal. The background is composed of thumb prints. This is meant to symbolize the congregation to whom the rabbi is telling her story.

detail: I like to sketch in the thick wet paint.

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