Thursday, July 2, 2015

Strike One

I was recently interviewed for a local PBS show called Arts Bridge. It will air sometime on July 4th. Though if you are like me, and I hope you are, you never watch TV during it's regularly scheduled time. I mean, its not 2004 for goodness sake. It will eventually be online to view at your leisure- like right before you start binge watching Breaking Bad.
It is good timing, as during the interview they filmed me starting a  painting which will be hanging in a baseball themed show at Cincinnati Art Galleries opening on July 11th. Don't worry, I'll remind you about it later.
Honestly, the interview date snuck up on me. I forgot to do two things: first to loose some weight for TV, and to set up a still life to paint during filming. Thus my fat self had to hurriedly set something up the day before. Composition can rarely be done quickly. Let me rephrase that- Good Composition can rarely be done quickly.
So, the final painting a bit different from the one I had started.
Here is the initial 'bad composition' lay-in. It was a pretty good start and should look interesting during the TV spot.
Now, I sort of knew this had problems. It looks like an awkward "V" on the canvas. There is no real center of interest. You have the hat shape on one side, the glove/bottle design on the the other. The dark of the glove looked like the bottle was showing through. The hat and glove just barely touch. Basically the design sucked.
I worked on it one more day like this. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to do some work before you realize how bad something is.
Even the Halloween skeleton seems horrified. Things had to change. I had the bat scotch taped into position. As I was painting the tape gave way and the bat crashed down like a sign from the heavens.
My process from here on out is to start with tons of cursing and self denigration. Maybe a coffee break. Do some push ups. Then get back to work.
So, I moved things around a bit, to strengthen the center and get things back on track. Also a stronger tape job was in order.

I scraped the offending areas back to the canvas, wiped out what I could with a turpentine soaked rag and started back in on the 'improved' image. Instead of being all flayed open, this arrangement feels more like a grouping of objects. Even the skeleton seem happier.
I would say this new composition feels quieter and more hopeful- like a summer afternoon. Man, that was downright poetic what I just said. I should raise the price.

 'Ready to Play', 16X 20, oil on linen, © 2015 Richard Luschek

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