In addition to the rain paintings and the machines on display tonight at the McColl Center for Visual Art closing house, I am including a video montage of the machines creating the paintings. Thanks for that idea, Rick. Anyway, a little out of context here, but I have posted the video to Youtube and present it here.
With my closing house show at McColl Center for Visual Art this Friday, time has been scarce. The week is quickly going by, so I’m jumping on to post while I have a split-second to do so. No time for chit-chat, but here’s an 5′ x 8′ that will be on display at the show. I’ll run my mouth about it later, but for now here’s a detail.
This one is a little narrower than the previous clocking in at about 5′ x 6′ or thereabouts. This one came out better as a whole, but it lacks the interesting up-close details from yesterdays.
I would not call these a direction exactly. I mean, at this point I don’t see giant splashy non-objective watercolors as my future. This could change of course, but right now there is a lack of a cohesive formal arrangement in these. There a load of fun to do though, so take them as you will. But I’m driving at something with these, two works for the upcoming show on the 21st. A couple more of these and I’ll whip the final two out here. Hopefully they’ll be painted by then.
Part of the idea with the machine paintings is to create the conditions for the watercolor to be watercolor, to find it’s own path and create its own syntax. I have made a few attempts to apply this approach to the act of painting, where the paint is applied in slashes, strokes, splatters, etc. in patterns and forms to best facilitate the watercolors own will.
This is a heffer at 5 feet height by about 7 feet width. I utilized a paint roller for the largest strokes underneath, and tried drawing on the paper straight from the watercolor tube, then slashing through it with wet brushes. Some splattering for good measure, although I’ve never liked the results of that gimmick.
I framed most of these this weekend. The last posted piece is getting doubled-up with another painting from the same machine. It’s an anomaly from the set in that there is post- painting manipulation. All the rest are framed and presented exactly as they came off the machines, shredded and stapled edges etc. By doubling these in this configuration, it’s presented differently from it’s original context. For the record, this wasn’t my idea but I’m okay with it. I think it may appear too flat otherwise to the casual viewer. Doubling gives it a bit more intentionality.
In the meantime, not much rain forecast in the upcoming days, so I guess I’ll have to get back to work painting myself. However, Lucille is really working hard. Nightly dew is producing results, just nothing at full maturity. This week Bob Bickey at the Center showed me a little welding. I’m thinking about trying that for a couple upcoming machines, taking advantage of steel structures instead of wood to open more dynamic possibilities.
I think I originally assumed they would be light and airy, mostly stains rather than bold punches of color. This is one of the first ones from Rose, and it was close to my predictions. It’s worn and dirty, and the colors are mostly washed out like oil stains on a driveway. As I noted before changing a few factors like location and paints made a dramatic difference. Right now I’m captivated by the bold colors of the newer ones, but there is something to these murky ones making them distinct. They are haunting in a way not so with the others.
Machine #3, “Lucille,” is my most productive device. We received a slow and somewhat short rain last night. This morning I checked the ladies, and Lucille was the only one to have produced a completed piece. It’s a judgement call, but I left the others to take in a little more rain this afternoon, which is no longer called for.