a blog coming on”, as i remarked to a friend in an email just this morning– and i can!! it’s been fulminating in my mind for a few days now, and so i begin.floto 13

we’re approaching the end of the year here, and besides christmas this is also the time to begin thinking about carnava’l– or mardi gras, as others like to term it. one has to begin thinking about it even earlier, if one wants to put a float into the parade– there is so much work that goes into one, and before that comes the design stage. i walked over to the “works” yard yesterday morning– they do a lot of the construction on these floats out there– molding of pieces and such– and when all is over the floats return to the yard for deconstruction. they do keep little bits and pieces of some floats, i imagine in case they want to use them in the future, and their storage area is chock-a-block with these all but forgotten details.floto 7 seemingly good fodder for photos, but there are actually too many details most of the time for good composition. i will have to walk out there regularly for the next few months and see just what is happening.taco 9

something is happening with my painting as well– i finished up the initial application of complementary colors and began stage two– the underpainting, i like to call it– the base coat upon which i do the actual painting i am thinking about. this stage is about messing around with colors to give the third stage some pizazz, and also it’s about some experimentation on what i want to do later. this photo was taken a few days ago.taco 21

and this is the most current photo, taken yesterday morning, but things have moved on since then– however, you can see the progression. unfortunately, as i am thinking about it, this does not give much information on what this painting is really about. what this painting is really going to be about is the two figures in the foreground– the motorcyclist and the woman in the apron– and the leaves and flowers of the flamboyan tree stretching over all their heads, indeed almost from one side of the painting to the other. however, i have to finish up the sky and a lot of the detailing in the back and midground of the piece before i actually apply that paint. it is making me nervous, as i have never done a painting in this way before– or perhaps it is just a little hyper-awareness of what is going on. i know that the new brushstroke i have been using is going much more freely now, and i am relaxing to what i am doing.

nervously relaxed, that is.



stepping away from the safe cocoon of being inert, taking the first step onto the tightrope, beginning to draw back the already taut bowstring where my comfort zone was– it can certainly be daunting. frightening, even. i have done this so many times, but the stage fright inherent in really beginning a new piece just makes me crazy. i procrastinate, do anything BUT get down to it, find ways to avoid it– until it gets to be so big in my mind that i have to get off the schneid just to keep from exploding. such was the case this morning.My beautiful picture

but enough of that for now– i feel more like talking about some photos, the photos i have been digitising and then photoshopping. a rum bunch at times, with a lot of mediocrity, especially in the early stages of my career (i have been moving through my trove more or less chronologically). it bugged me at first, as i couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the hell i was trying to do most of the time. it finally hit me that my purpose had been, unknowingly, to teach myself all about composition, at least in photos. suddenly it all seemed to be so clear– i was taking a vast amount of photos, but getting very little in the way of usable stuff. add to that the fact i was trying to get the perfect combination of shutter speed and aperture, and you might notice i would take almost a whole roll of celluloid on one frame, done in somewhat different ways. sometimes i was successful, but sometimes i just plain failed. still, slowly but slowly, i learned and the number of frames per idea began to lessen. i began veering away from straight B&W photos, and moving more and more into infrared B&W, as i found the way it portrayed an image fascinating. basically it reads the reflected heat inherent in any scene, rather than the light– thusly a clear sky shows as a hard blue black, as it reflects no light, whereas clouds become quite magical.My beautiful picture

everything seems to be more made of a wondrous gas instead of a solidified material– it appears to shimmer and buzz with an inner energy.My beautiful picture

which, of course, made it even more of a bummer when kodak decided to discontinue making this great film. there are infrared films from other companies, but none of them bring to the table quite what this one did.My beautiful picture

thank goodness for “save draft” and taking a little extra time– this morning i began by expurgating a little diatribe on the faults of my negative reader, the one that has since crapped out and left me looking for a new one. it was trite and boring– at least, that’s what i thought when i re-read the sucker a half hour ago.taco 1

and so, back to the painting– yes, i took a long time to get to work on it. i had distractions, like a month of diving and other stuff, but fear was the deciding factor. “i still have about a week’s sketching to do on it” was my well-worn excuse, but i suddenly realised i had done the sketching and was merely on tiptoe, trying to sneak around my feelings. what i am showing here is the first layer of complementary color– the underpainting, as i have done many a time before. not much of these colors will remain when all is said and done. also,stategy is involved– this time i plan on painting pretty much the whole sky as a single thing, and then applying the leaves and blossoms of the flamboyan tree on top of it– likewise some of the walls to the righttaco 3

a little further on here. most of this piece will be shades of green and blue, with some reds. where there is blue the complement is orange, and with green it is red. the sky has three different complementary colors, something new for me as well. kinda looks hideous at the moment, no? one of many ugly phases these paintings goes through. however, one thing is sure–i have gotten it underway now, and have no idea where exactly it will end. it is enough that, for now, i have begun.