Wednesday, July 29, 2009

the big-ass paintings

this is a painting of my father, max - he is depicted here several times as it is he and his alter egos - moving skyward by an attached party balloon. my dad had a very dry, deadpan sense of humor, so i thought it fitting to show him being festive while celebrating at a birthday party with his non-expressive face. that's my humor.
i have a series of paintings of my dad circa 1949 and often i put him in a party hat. it just makes sense to me.

as you may be able to see this painting is leaning against a tree. it is a big-ass painting. today "Max, the Party Animal" was installed in the bar area of the restaurant in the sophia hotel on broadway and front streets. the restaurant is named the currant - as in the berry. (artist reception to be announced - i think it is august 18)
so, what does big-ass mean to me? something over 3 feet squared. this painting is 4foot by 6 foot. really not that big for some and not that big compared to the stuff i created in college, but big for recent work.
as i started to work on the big canvas, i began to remember what it was like when i first feel in love with painting back in the 1970's at san diego state university. i learned to stretch my own huge paintings back then - and abstract expressionism was what i excelled at.
i remember liqitex acrylic paints had just come out with new colors like pink and light turquoise - and the many other colors that had white added in. it seemed extravagant to buy paints premixed. but these were glorious. i was used to mixing titanium white in cobalt blue, cadmium yellows and reds, etc. i remember the controversy in those days was, is it crappy art and a sellout if you did not mix your own colors? and for that matter - was it a sellout to use the plastic-y acrylics at all. oil painting back then was the prized medium. but i liked acrylics and i liked the new premixed colors because acrylics dry very fast - if i ran out of a color while painting, i didn't have the frustration of trying to mix up a batch to match. i just bought another of the same color. liquitex's system was very good and trustworthy.

(heavy sigh) i really miss the art department at SDSU. it would be fun to go back and soak up the atmosphere of the primal passion of the learning artist once more.

3 comments:

Tess said...

Go, go, go!! Go and soak it in, go and be a guest teacher, guest artist, guest. This is wonderful and I think it is great that it's being displayed as you described. What fun it will be for people that will recognize him in the painting.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Max... At a wedding reception, he pulled out his wallet and said "here's a picture of my pride and joy", thinking we'd see a lovely picture of Lisa and Danny, we saw a bottle of Pride and Joy! He laughed loudly accompanied by his mischievous smile. Ah, Max...

lisa bebi said...

oh, that old pride and joy trick, eh?
you know after her died, some 20 plus years later, he still had the pride and joy in his wallet?!! i guess we all have our pet jokes. mine is max in a party hat. i never get tired of that one.

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