Saturday, January 28, 2012

February show of my abstracts at Johnny's Gone Fishing

I'll hang a show in the back area of Johnny's Gone Fishing on W. Main Carrboro tomorrow, January 29th and it will be up through February. I've decided to show abstracts. Here's a new one. I pulled a failure from who knows when and saw a few glimmers of hope in it. After a couple of days of fooling with it something popped out. Finished and ready to go.

This is Not a Stained Glass Window. Acrylics on canvas. 24 x 30

Friday, January 06, 2012

This has nothing to do with my painting!

chris beachams 4, originally uploaded by beekalove.
Me and my boys at the remarkably gracious Christmas party/dinner we attended at the Edmondson's home in suburban Philly. Photo by my remarkably talented niece Becca Beacham.

The portrait or the abstract, portrait/abstract, abstract/portrait....?

Coin flip and it's, hold our collective breath.....the abstract that gets the blog treatment!

I'd never worked with such an odd shape of canvas before. It's, IIRC, 12 by 48. I started with an idea maybe 18 months ago. Fail. I pulled it out every few months, sometimes painting on it, sometimes just looking. Finally 6 months or so ago I did some pretty drastic modifications and I felt somewhat better about it. But something didn't ring true.

It had the box/window motif that has been a largely unconscious part of my painting from the beginning. (I'm sure there is some deep psychological reason for boxes/windows in my painting but I'm not going to go there.) Was structure the problem? How about color? Both?

A couple of weeks ago I had finished working on something and didn't feel like quitting and I had some paint that I didn't want to waste. So why not, I couldn't ruin a painting that didn't work could I? So it goes.

The color was the real key I think but the changes also improved the structural/compositional aspects. It's okay and it might not be finished but here it is.

Skyscraper (working tile). Acrylics and ink on canvas, 12 x 48

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Sometimes things just happen

Several years ago when I was coming out of depression I was creating some mixed media collage type pieces that were pretty angry - mostly because of 4,500 dead American soldiers in Iraq for no apparent reason. This piece started that way with NYT photos of burned bodies and such. This is about version six with no more dead burned bodies. An x-ray would show lots of layers of paint, collage, mistakes, corrections, misdirection, bad decisions and...well you get the idea.

So the other day I was working on a piece and I mixed some paint that turned out beautifully. For those who are not painters, paint mixing is an art and a bit of alchemy. You need a secret handshake and a close connection to the Buddha to get colors right. Usually I can't remember the handshake and the Buddha ignores me. This time though - ahhh - a beautiful pastel yellow that was perfect on its own and when mixed with a bit of Crimson Red (paint colors have names, odd sometimes like Neutrino Bold Turquoise or Betty Davis Eyes Green) came out just right in a reddish pastel contrast. I'll probably never be able to recreate it unless I reach totally enlightenment. Unlikely.

Anywho, I grab the aforementioned multi-layered painting and the magic paint and started to work with little hope. A line here, some paint there, a crock of the neck to see it from another perspective and ultimately I step back and Buddha has graced me with something I like. I sleep poorly wondering whether I'll wake up, go downstairs and realize that the new version, well, sucks. It's happened more times than I care to remember.

This time I don't think so. I like it. For now.

"This is Not a Flag", Beyond mixed media on canvas, 24 x 18