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

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