January 23, 2005

Green Lantern

I've been thinking of a certain work on paper done just before we left for Spain.

I hauled up the images into my screensaver.

I have to let this rest on it's back for a few days, sorry for the oblique angle.


Stephanie has been spotting green for over a year now. Rowney Georgian makes a yellow green that has always attracted my attention. A little obnoxous, the sharp yellow in it gives off an electric feel like a shock when you mishandle wires in some appliance. I curb this effect with some white and then I dirty it a little. I mixed it a month ago, and the huge lump sat in the studio until I alighted on this project.

Looking at the screensaver, I tried to gleen what had attracted me to that work on paper, I tried to avoid simply making a copy. But the schema is strong.

A green background that's a little dirty, made by rags, the result of a scrape off, a previously aborted attempt. A slightly altered green was remixed adn thrown onto the surface. The ballistics renders a reliable form: sent into flight from a swing of a loaded pallette knife, a globule spins about several centers of gravity as a tail, a tendril of paint trails behind to the launching tool, to my hand.

This dynamic form then hits the surface of the painting (a picture plane, literally) and the final miliseconds of ballistic form imprints itself onto the surface. Tadpoles, heads and tails.

I scoop out the heads with improvised stiff paper cut with my trusty shears. Disposable pallette knives. I keep it cartesian to let you know that I know and that I was there. As the scoop ends, a fillip licks the paint into a tongue. A ball of color, this time a compliment, goes into the breech and I comb the top with another shard of paper until it's flat.


The big turning point was a turn away from my preconceptions. Looking at the screensaver, I had relied on the schema a great deal. And with that schema was a brown flourish that figured the field, resolving the effort. Needing a bed to work this... flourish (I don't like that term particulary, but it is a useful handle for now) had to wait. And in waiting, I increasingly questioned the need for it.

Late into the experience, the bed was getting rich and my hestitations more firm. At the eleventh hour, I decided to get some sleep instead of finish this painting off (fortunately, these colors dry very slowly). As I left the studio, I realised that small moves might be better than large flourishes. Small moves would conserve the virtues of all this greeness.

Posted by Dennis at January 23, 2005 2:35 AM

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