Labor-Play weekend

FishDishMedLike Nolan, I took advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to get to work. Finished the panel on the right started weekend previous. I like working on panels. They feel like solid “objects” and can take the abuse of blade-cutting collage bits directly in place. I think that the staples will stay. Attempting to imagine some icons w/o appropriating symbols. Odd are that they are out there somewhere. Developing . . .

24 square canvas, acrylic, spray enamel, pastel, oil stick is maybe called “CluClutterGateMedtter Fence.” It was getting out of hand, but I think that it’s pulled together at last.

I have used muted color and even done restful rather than restive work before. Apparently this is not the time.


Above is clearly related to last week’s post. Larger at ~48 X30.” Canvas, acrylic enamel . . . My internal jury is sequestered. Still using those tile-spacer “stars” inspired by “Starry, Starry Night with Watermelon.” I listen to Heather’s reaction to works in progress, and they usually improve from her suggestions. After some deliberation she simply remarked “Butt cheeks.” I knew that revision was in order. Painterly overtaking graphic , at least here and for now. CC


15 thoughts on “Labor-Play weekend

  1. Oh, panel also includes a few modest found-objects, a washer, and washer as stencil a la tile spacers. CC

  2. Goodness CC that is quite a comprehensive website you have going there. That’s hard work. Did you make the website yourself? I enjoyed looking at your older works. It’s been quite a journey hasn’t it? cx PS I couldn’t find the Carousel work, but will keep looking.

  3. Hi Christine, I use WordPress, same as WBHD. Has some help setting it up. Once up and running, it is easy to post. Comprehensive might be kind? Believe it or not, it is not all up there. It is reassuring for me to see that I did work when I “wasn’t painting.”

    Nolan, Catherine (Unsettled Galler) sees a dark undertow in my most festive work! By darker, I guess that you mean in tone and pallet? I think there are a few here and there over time. Did some black/paynes grays last year. Dark. You know that is going to stick in my mind now . . .

    Thanks for the feedback!

  4. hey, Carey….that middle one with the ferris wheel/circles still my fav of these. But you know I’m quite partial to circles. Nice use of the black….not easy. I recall working for a month straight with Nathan Oliveira (who was my painter GOD at the time) when I was in Santa Fe. He suggested to me that I do 3 landscapes (horrors!) … one in a light palette, one in mid tones and one dark. It was a fabulous thing he made me do though I whined at first (’cause no one whines like I whine)..he wasn’t swayed by my moaning and groaning….a fabulous teacher. He NEVER touched a painting, and NEVER told us how to paint, but made us think about WHY we were painting whatever we were painting. More great advice from him was that there are enough ‘pretty’ paintings in the world already. Paint meaningfully. Gosh, I learned so much from him, may he rest in peace.

  5. yikes….I should’ve added a mention of your title: Play Day…. You WORK at those paintings, mr. Crane. Playing is for children, methinks. Love the newer bumper sticker out there: Artwork IS work. Playing is for (I’ll mangle this spelling) dilletants. See? I did it.

  6. Hi Nolan, thirty plus years ago sister Lise said to me “it’s OK to paint pretty.” Because who understood the “Dark Night of the Soul” better than then me, University of Florida BFA undergrad?

    When you say “pretty” I don’t think that you are suggesting that I am trotting the Thomas Kinkade “Painter of Light®” sentimental fauxstalgia flower strewn flagstone path. I can imagine painting arabesques of exuberance with a degree of expressionism that takes it beyond “decorative.” Minor-key grace notes. The darkness of hard shadows cast by brilliant New Mexico sunlight. Beautiful and meaningful. I don’t claim that I have achieved whatever it is I’m getting at, so you know that I’ll have to keep trying. A little pretentious? Remind me not to blog at two or three in the a.m.

    What I do take away form your comment is that artistic expression might evince a fuller range of experience, that I might broaden my approach to embrace some darkness? Accepted. I don’t know you well Nolan, but I believe that if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t care to comment. Thanks for making me think.

    Now, the subject of Art/Work/Fun:

    Someone once said of a painting “looks like you had fun.” I replied “Painting is fun in the same way that a crossword puzzle is fun.”

    There can be tremendous satisfaction in making art, and visceral pleasure in the splash and drag of paint. I agree. Experiencing a painting going south is no fun at all, a petite despair.

    I count myself as a process painter by training and nature, defined as starting with a schema, then improvising, one thing leading to another. That “conversation” with form can be very focused, urgent even. Maybe that is work in a sense?

    Small revelation recently to read Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913 – 1917
    Matisse. Matisse revised sometimes severely reductionist paintings over a period of years. And yet most look inevitable and fresh. Enviable.

  7. yi yi yi yi, Carey…when I said ‘pretty’ I WAS NOT even thinking of you. So sorry. Should have started a new thread/post with that comment. Forgive me. No insult intended. Just talking art stuff. I used to make ‘pretty’ stuff for hotel consumption and still do if commissioned…decorator perfect. I refer to it as commercial art when I do it, of course, haha.
    And I totally agree: painting IS fun. Mostly. You certainly have read a lot more and studied more about the process of painting than I have. Maybe it’s a personal thing because over the years so many have said how ‘lucky’ I am to be an artist. I agree, but they usually mean that it is so easy….like playing all day. So, that ‘play’ word does stick in me craw.

  8. I been buried under tonnes of pretty, dark, light, squoogey oil paint and am only surfacing briefly before I run screaming to a 3 day yoga retreat where I will probably just lay face down on my mat and mumble. I sometimes like to talk about painting beauty. It has moments of being unpopular in popular culture. Maybe some of my paintings… bah! maybe ALL… could be called pretty but I’m trying to learn not to care… to hang onto what’s in MY head while I’m painting them. It’s landscape. It is often beautiful.Something something. mumble mumble.

    Love the dialogue in this post… thanks

  9. Your landscapes, Carey’s whatevers are beautiful and I hope most of mine have beauty in them, too. Beautiful is important to me. And ‘pretty’ is not a putdown unless it is just pretty to match someone’s sofa. That’s the work I do for hotels. I love beautiful. And pretty. With substance behind.

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