Friday night I started and completed a painting. One of my favorite things about painting is finishing one. I receive a great sense of accomplishment. Perhaps it's just the act of signing my name on the bottom. It's like asking myself for an autograph.
On the other end of the completion spectrum, an orphaned 18"x24" canvas has resided on my floor for a year and a half, with a pencil drawing sitting placidly on its front. I based the drawing on a photo I had taken earlier.
A few days before Christmas 2001, I visited a friend in Los Angeles, and we hiked up Mount Lee. Accompanied by two dogs, we rounded the spiraling curve at the top and were confronted by one of the most powerful and recognizable icons in the world. The Hollywood sign. Except our view was unconventional. Different. You see, we stood behind it. One hunded feet away. We looked down upon the struts and supports that held it up. Oz behind the curtain. I won't delve into metaphor and symbolism. Los Angeles suffers enough from this. But peering out past the sign lay eighteen million people. Many of them lured by the essence of this very sign. I took photos from this vantage point, and when I got home, I drew my artistic interpretation of this scene onto the blank 18"x24" canvas.
I knew how I wanted to render the scene. What I wanted things to represent. I also knew that I would use oils. So for the first time in a while, I broke out the oils, set up my easel, and began throwing paint up. I quickly remembered how messy it was. After haphazardly flinging paint onto nearby blinds and my guitar, I became disenchanted by oils, and put everything away. I placed the barely begun painting behind the door and left it. This was over a year and a half ago.
Now that I'm getting better at oils, and addressing my original problem, I can handle them with minimal messiness, I decided to adopt this orphaned painting today and started flinging paint upon it once again. This time with a little more tenderness. Here is a picture of my new start: