Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A New Painting - Finally

One of the first things I did yesterday when trying to function again was to sit down and paint. Indeed, as I was lying in bed with the flu, I could see my unfinished painting across the room and wished I had the energy to finish. Yet as horrible as I felt, the time was productive - visually - because I was able to study the painting and make some decisions about how to conclude.

Under normal circumstances, I'll paint a bit and at the end of the day set my work board up and study it from different angles and distances, rather like someone studying it in a gallery. From those observations I decide where to go next. So by the time I picked up the brushes on Tuesday after a several-day hiatus, I knew exactly what I needed to do to finish the work.

I realize it may seem an odd subject at first glance - a computer keyboard. But I certainly think everyday objects are fair game for artists in any medium. And there's obviously plenty of precedent. I chose this particular subject, sharply focusing on the keyboard's directional arrows, because for most of us now it's such a ubiquitous image. We conduct so much of our lives through these keys, from shopping to contacting one's friends and family. Here in New York City, for example, one could sit at the computer and literally order everything one would need to live: groceries, office supplies, entertainment, gourmet food, fast food (including McDonald's, which delivers in Manhattan), sex, toiletries, pharmaceuticals. You name it, there's someone ready to deliver it in Manhattan. Just fire up the computer. So the arrow keys symbolize choices and the directions we might take.

Realizing this is the first painting I've tackled since November, I'm not dissatisfied with the final product. I was a bit tentative at first, but the steadiness of hand finally returned . . . and it's a good thing because the pen and ink leave no margin for error. (Watercolor with Japanese pen and ink, 9"x12", Fabriano paper)


3 comments:

One Wink at a Time said...

This has got to be one of my favorites you've done. I Love pen and ink and my goodness, steady is what you got there! Impressive.

BooCat said...

Great googly-woogly, BrianC, this work really staggers my brain. It truly does. I stand in awe! I couldn't quit looking at it. I tried to open it in another window by itself, to isolate it from its background, but my browser wouldn't let me do that. This painting would be a great aid to meditation. It draws me in and at the same time is very soothing and quieting.

jblack designs said...

I love the subject--and the art. The colors are really great--and the sense of depth around the keys.

Glad you're feeling better!