2013 9 i had intended to name this post “girl with sharks”, after the painting i just finished this week after about six months of angst. sometimes being an artist is all about “what’s next?”, and i must admit to being prone to this– sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes a flaw. anyhow, i was looking round for what i was going to attempt, when it suddenly occurred to me that i have as yet to take any official photos of my sculpture, “inner conflict” truth be told, since i finished it three years plus ago i have rarely even looked at it in anything more than a superficial way– my only thought being that after 21 years of toiling on the piece i was absolutely sick of seeing it, and so it got ignored for three. long. years. i knew in a “sortuv way” that it was a little dirty, so the first order of business would be to clean it up so it looked as spiffy as possible when i did the imagery. easy,no? an hour or so of work perhaps and then wait a day for it to dry (marble being a form of calcium carbonate is slightly hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs some water), then slap a coat of wax on it and VOILA’!!– instant sculpture. but– mea culpa!! it was quite filthy really, and i spent a couple hours out there, sweating a river, at the end of which time i realised i must go out there again tomorrow and do a more thorough job on the piece. q-tips will be involved. sigh. my negligence was criminal, and so after i finish this blog it will be off to the spanking machine for me– maybe three times!! more to follow on this subject. err, the subject of the sculpture, that is.

gs8 ok, so on to “girl with sharks”– i have not had all that many commissioned pieces in my career, but i thought it would be somewhat of a challenge to do what this client wanted. basically there is a place somewhere around the bahamas where an enterprising photographer can go out on a boat. once arrived at the destination the water is chummed and when the fish that eat the chum come round the sharks arrive. a model enters the water, creating a photographic opportunity i suppose….. and this photog wanted me to do a painted version of one of his images. i played with the idea somewhat, expanding the image and moving some stuff around, taking the model’s mask and fins and snorkel away. wish i had the earliest images of this piece, but sometime last january some #$@%^&^%***^%$#%#@!! thieves entered my house and absconded with my computer. GODS CURSE ALL THIEVES!!

gs18 BUT!!– suddenly it was the middle of diving season an things got very heavy– i was tired and my tiny brain was so full of nitrogen that i could do little painting. it went on and on, and when at last i got shut of it i was quite lost in the wilderness, couldn’t remember much about my tonal progressions and had no idea how to get back to where i had been. in the end it took a lot of sitting in front of the piece, just looking at it, marinading my brain in the various threads running through the design. real boring stuff, but slowly it seemed to work and so i picked up my brushes again and began working. or not. i was pretty frustrated, i’ll tell you that. but slowly the stints of painting extended themselves and my immersion in the ocean of paint was complete. the ocean came first.

gs24 and then the sharks “happened”– suddenly they had weight and seemed to inhabit their area in a three dimensional sense– even the water had a deeper field of focus. either the light at the end of the tunnel or an oncoming train, but it didn’t stop me. then, as happens sometime, it seemed to me i had hit a reef– “the girl”.

gs29 i really struggled with her for some time, trying to understand all the volumes and shapes involved– i got to know that damn photo quite intimately, you might say!! and slowly but slowly it began to yield its’ secrets. turns out it wasn’t a dusky brazilian gal, but rather a caucasian blonde– huh!! her bikini wasn’t white, but a pale blue. the more i understood the more it began to happen for us.

gs38 it wasn’t without its’ bumps though– i can remember one four day stretch of sitting and looking at it again, at her, before finally hoisting the brushes again and painting frantically. and so, after everything, it happened.

girl with sharks 2016 acrylic 19.5X26.75 in.jpg now– what’s next?? oh crap, it’s back to cleaning that damn sculpture again. but first, a visit to the spanking machine……