Queen’s Interpretations (Near Death Suite)

Non-objective painting on canvas – synthetic polymer paint
30″x40″ 2017

This painting is only three months old. Just a little baby πŸ™‚ It might still change as I continue to work on it, I think I’m done for the foreseeable future. I’m settled in my creative mind with it. And some of my outside critics seem to be relatively calm about it, too.

That can often be a good stopping place. A creative “declared” truce. Even if it’s all in my head, which is usually the case.

Do you see what I have to put up with here? ME!! HAHA The creative battle is so much about dealing with keeping my mind calmed down so I cal really SEE what I’ve painted. It’s tricky sometimes. I don’t want to paint out the brand new creative parts. They can fool my old thinking brain with their novelty-like or weird-ass oddly different appearance. I’m making this sound like a crazy sort of pursuit. It’s not quite that, but you’d be surprised sometimes what the mind will put itself through and drag me along with it.

Truly creative newness is not so easy to make, to recognize, to keep, to live with, etc. It can be uncomfortable – it can look like a mistake. AND…

MY REALLY CREATIVE HITS OFTEN LOOK TOTALLY AWESOME AND I DON’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING ELSE BUT STARE AT THE PAINTING FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME.

Glow (of recognition)

Glow (of recognition)
abstract painting – synthetic polymer paint on canvas – 1976 – 86″x60″

 

This wee painting πŸ™‚ (all of 8 feet long and five feet tall) was my second large-ish painting to produce, in art school, way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. Or if not dinosaurs, then flying-saucer men or something. It’s getting fuzzy in those parts of the old head-kicker.

I painted this huge a monster with a different palette first, mostly an arrangement of blues. That didn’t suit me, as so often happens, so I fixed it. I remember very late nights alone, just me and my brushes, in the big painting lab working away. This is the result and it was rather popular with some of the students as I recall.

We hung it in the big stairwell by the main art office (where large paintings were hung all the time). The stairwell was enclosed in an interior space about 30 feet high with skylights at the top and the one big wall just ideal for large paintings!! πŸ™‚

This painting (which is now suffering from my art school lack of photographic technical abilities) was a natural for that space. My apologies for the lack of a good slide of the painting and no slide of the stairwell. Oh well. But I was able to save my one photos quite a bit Β with my digital painting program abilities. How some things have changed in all these years since 70s art school especially the digital revolution.

So, I remember one small event after we got it hung. I was looking up from the stairs below, and a classmate and I were shooting the breeze about how it looked and art in general.

About that time, a faculty member came down the hallway. I didn’t really know this teacher but my classmate, John, did, and he went over to visit with this faculty. John came back in a couple of minutes, clearly in a bad mood. He told me that the Fack had a criticism (well it is their job, I guess). Apparently he didn’t like how I’d dealt with the “corners” of my painting.

Being way way too sensitive to criticism, I let this get under my skin so deeply that I became hyper-duper aware of corners in my artwork for the next… FOREVER YEARS!!!

WT HECK?? And you know, another student in the class, my very good friend, Donita Myatt loved this painting, and bought it from me. True, she only paid me $50. That just covered the cost of materials. But my wife Cindy & I went over to her house to see it installed.

Donita and her husband had a very nice home, with one of those “sunken pit” living room spaces. My painting was the showcase of that room!! She had big Philodendron plants on either side of it and her cathedral ceiling Β had skylights and track style lighting shining on it, too. WOW! I could hardly be upset about the home my “corner-challenged” painting had – it was living much larger than Cindy & I were! ha!

Finally, just earlier this year, I seem to have overcome my “painting corner” PTSD. . . I’ve been working on a lot of new abstract paintings on canvas and with a little effort on my part it seems to have faded into the background din. Oh yay!

Rectangular art is once again safe for me to tread…

Pyrrhic Horse Trader

Pyrrhic Horse Trader
synthetic polymer and latex paint on canvas
1976
60″x96″

I hope to post large images from my website here, so that when someone clicks on the LARGE IMAGE link on an art thumbnail he or she will either come to a larger image here on this page, or to a blog with a spellbinding blog post written by l’il artist me… πŸ™‚

The featured image is the first big a painting I ever produced, way back in 1976. I know it was that year because it was the Bicentennial Year, 1976 and I painted a sort-of Bicentennial painting.Back in the day we had no woodshop to speak of. I went to Handy Dan Lumber Store and picked out 2×2 lumber as straight as I could find for my stretcher frame. I think I did the actual frame building in the painting lab at school. It was summertime and the classes were quite small, as I recall, so there was a lot of room to spread out. With no woodshop I couldn’t cut a bevel on the wood, required to make sure the canvas didn’t leave a mark as you painted, on the front. So I bought quarter round and glued and tacked it to the front of the 2×2 sticks.

The 45 degree cuts for the corners I simply estimated and went for it. The whole thing was held together with nails! Talk about old school πŸ™‚ haha And then, to strretch it, I didn’t even have a staple gun. I used tacks and a hammer. That took quite a long time. Now, my memory is getting fuzzy these daze. It wasn’t my first canvas to stretch. I might have bought a staple gun by then.

Actually I believe I had. It was so much easier and faster with a staple gun. I put some stars and stripes in it. This photo is not the final result. I did add some stars in the left side long blue stripe. Perhaps it wasn’t necessary but I was having a bit of trouble getting to a complete “FINISHED” place. That’s still a difficult place to find.

Some paintings are rather open-ended. You can paint on them for a loooong time. But no compressor and pneumatic tools. I have several now and they help so much.

Back then, though, I was a real artist, more than now, in that regard. I didn’t have a ton of money and I used some latex paint for gesso, too. That didn’t seem to be a problem either. It should have been according to strict conservation methods, and if the painting had survived it might have, but the painting had a different destiny awaiting.

A lot of people liked that painting. My good friend Sal Hernandez came in from working with grounds to just sit and look at it. I know he liked it. And I had another friend who seemed to like it. This was a high school friend who will remain nameless. Why? Well, in my youth I was prone to smoking entertaining herbs. So, I traded that painting to him for a quantity of hash. Yeah, I did.

Well, no I don’t feel guilty about it. I was 19 or so, and I sometimes did goofy stuff. That was one of the goofy things. But he did make a generous trade. And, I gotta tell you people, the next semester of college was my lost semester . . .

I spent a lot of time lying on my couch not doing too much of anything except smoking hash. It got me stoned as all get out. And as soon as I would recover I would smoke some more. I think I had a bit of an addiction for a few uhhhh how long was it? It’s kind of a blur.

I’m surprised I did as well in my classes as I did. I wasn’t taking all art classes just yet, as I recall. Somehow I survived that semester and didn’t flunk any classes. I think I dropped a class though.

This is a rather boring blogpost. It’s too bad because that painting looked really really good! i liked it, but sometimes my artist mind will trick me. I’ve thrown art away when I got into insane artist mode. Or traded it in questionable deal like the one I just described.

And there was one more thing, too. As some point I went over to my friend’s house. He had the painting outside against a wall. That was sort of sad to see, but it gets worse, at least for me. He had decided he didn’t like some parts of the painting, so he painted them out!! Yikes!!

I was not too happy about that, to say the least. But I was not too assertive at that time in my life (or any) so I didn’t say anything at all. But it bothered me, and so even after over 40 years here I am still bringing it up. Jeez.

Oh glamorous life of the artist I’ve led. That remains a difficult thing to recall, though. And, I plan on not recalling it too many more times. So, don’t plan on any trades. I want money! Of course the problem is, I don’t like to sell any of the art I’ve created. It’s never easy…

wee studio

The featured image is my wee bedroom studio (well, how it was a few months ago – made a few upgrades since then). I spend a lot of time in here. And it’s pretty small as you can plainly see. But I’ve managed to build my own $5 easel system that can support a canvas of 48″x60′ rather well. Of course, navigating such a canvas into the bedroom through my narrow hallway is a submarine-like adventure, but it’s doable with colorful language.

I have three cats in my little family who live inside my studio. The one in the window ledge is Buffy. I love my little calico Buffy. The problem is she and Shumi don’t really feel a proper sisterly love towards each other. Or maybe any 😦

A few years ago they got into a fight that seemed destined to a bad ending. I had to stop it in a hurry so I doused Buffy with a big pot of water. That really cooled her jets before she did some serious damage to Shumi. Still made her little ear bleed though. What the heck?

The next morning I installed a plywood door (plywood should be my middle name!) in my narrow hallway and now I have a duplex – my kitty-plex home. So Bunny & Buffy live in the back half and I spend much of my time back here in this wee studio painting, blogging, doing web design, watching movies… sleeping you say? HAHA that’s for sissies!! No, I wish I was more. But I’ll sleep when I’m done making art!! So…

Anyway, Shumi lives in the front kitty-plex” comprising my kitchen & my living room (which is really about 80% art gallery). You can see my home art gallery in some of the art photos on my website “Perturbations” – displayed in my home gallery.

Also, I have another studio painting space in that west side of kitty-plexia. It’s not quite usable now, but I see the need to get it up and running, again. I did most of my painting in it way back at the turn of the century. Probably you didn’t need to know a thing about it. But, I really wanted an excuse to type, TURN OF THE CENTURY!!

So, I have an unusual art studio arrangement. But my little cat family and I are having our little creative lives together in this place, for many years now. Could it be better? The salads are always crisper somewhere else – isn’t that how the old saying goes?

I’m trying not to waste my life looking for better lettuce elsewhere. Boab is not getting any younger apparently. My knee’s been able to predict the weather better than the local weathermen for years now!! Obviously this is not the life glamorous by artist standards! ha! But I’ve been able to produce some artwork that not only moves me steadily down my art path (plain to see as I’ve been gazing at it for 50+ years). And from time to time I get all geezer gassed about a painting and commence to hobble dance around the studio πŸ™‚ haha So I’m good πŸ™‚

Hot Jupe!

Astrophysicists and cosmologists (and cosmetologists for all I know!) are busy as all get out finding exoplanets. These are planets that I guess are also busy – busy orbiting other suns. Not our sun. I’m talking about suns way the heck out there, in other parts of our galaxy. Maybe by now the telescope people have managed to find exoplanets that are orbiting suns in other galaxies. It’s all very exciting. Certainly it is to them, and it is to me, too!

I need to refill my coffee – back in a bit. . . . Ok, that took a while. Hope you were enjoying the featured art on this blog. I painted it about 2-1/2 years ago. It’s a pretty big diptych to be painted on wood. The title indicates, hopefully, that the Hot Jupiter exoplanets were my main inspiration for the piece. Of course I do abstract things in my work just a bit. But who knows what’s going on in other solar systems?

According to the astrophysicists some of these exoplanets orbited their sun several times while I was making my coffee!! (well, uhhh …) They are planets in a hurry, though… really so crazy how fast some of them are orbiting, some of these HOT Jupiters, in orbit about 6 feet off the solar ground and orbiting so fast, orbits just a few days long – maybe hours. I’m not keeping up with those Jupes! Are you?

No really, I got interested in the Hot Jupes several years ago. I’m not just sitting here sipping (well, maybe slugging, ok) caffeine drinks as I blog blog blog, paint paint paint, code code code. I’ve always had a big interest in astronomy.

Again, though, I guess it’s good when a blogger can be a little bit honest. Sometimes ya gotta figure things out and it can takes a bloggie a while on that. As with my meteorology avocation-ish I’m getting the feeling (and understanding) that a lot of the interest I have is coming from the innate artist in me, and is visually driven. I don’t have too much interest in calculus, ya know. haha

Aren’t negative numbers real numbers? I’ll tell you what my interest in learning higher math was (is) … about -500. So I DO have a “real” interest in it, from a mathematical point of view ~ kinda. πŸ™‚

No, really I’m glad I’ve lived in the 20th century & now this new one, whatever the dang thing’s going to be called. They’re both very charming in a quarky sort of way. Ohhh, I hear the groans from people who’ve heard that one way too many times.

Well, better get back to my web designing. I do love that! So thank you so much you math and science people who made computers and the internet happen. And who invented telescopes. If I can ever move to a dark sky place (like my dream of a home in the Land of Enchantment) aka New Mexico. I plan on once again trying for my cherished 18″ Dob!! Oh Yeah!!

And of course New Mexico is a GREAT Place for visual artists like myself. New Mexico hits so many happy buttons. No need to search for my own personal Hot Jupe πŸ™‚ But! I’m kind of living my happy dance life now. Here, in Texas! How did THAT happen?

Learning by . . .

Learning By . . .
acrylic paint on canvas – 30″ x 40″
2016

Β This piece will rearrange or enhance the synapses I believe. After I finished the artwork and was enjoying the view (sometimes I can actually do this without mentally attempting to “improve” the painting). I began to have a new and curious feeling I hadn’t quite felt before with one of my abstract paintings,at least not so directly. As I gazed at the painting somehow I felt a mental change, like I was smarter (in some way). Perhaps it was similar to the way a baby looks at a black and white mobile to get its brain booted up.

I thought the act of viewing this painting was rebooting some part of my mental processes – like new software. I could have titled it Bob_2.0.

I suspect many people will think this is completely ridiculous but I intend to continue working on the complex black and white paintings – with a few color elements – to this end. They are a big favorite of mine anyway, and this interesting feeling I had is an extra impetus to work on them. I’m not sure if the retina cones are processed in the same way by the visual cortex and brain as are the b&w rods, but it seems to me they could not be quite the same, and probably are very different. I don’t seem to get that booted-up feeling from colorful art so much as from some b&w art. This also seems like a good direction to pursue.

the-hallucinogenic-toreador2I used to have a poster of a Salvador Dali painting, “Hallucinogenic Torreador.” It is probably my favorite Salvador Dali work that I’ve seen. Now that painting might operate on my brain like my abstract painting, “Learning by . . .” But I don’t recall feeling like my brain was getting booted-up when I viewed HT. It’s been decades since I owned that Dali poster. The Wiki link has a lot more information on “Hallucinogenic Torreador” than I ever had before, which was minimal.

Β 

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Installation 2006

art installation

Think of a song, to the title of “Secret Agent Man” of about a million years ago. But it’s called Installation Man! πŸ™‚ haha. Well, it felt like that when I was trying to make this installation work at Underwood Center back in 2006!! I was granted a work reprieve of ONE WEEK!! to make it happen in the back end gallery space. Not a boatload of time. I could have worked on it more – Dawn Wolf-Taylor the director was ever so kind to give me rides to and from the gallery.

I had already quit driving by that time. Seizures (that should explain it). And she probably would have given me even more rides up to the gallery to work more.

I painted 80′ (as I recall – at least) of wall space and installed a mobile in the center. It was imho a good success. If I’d planned better it would have been even more cool than it was.

But my painting process has always been about painting and then repainting, often several times. This project was not going to easily lend itself to that. More planning would have been probably building a model and working through a lot more work in the model stage. I’d never done too much of that.

But the photos I took and all the mileage I’ve gotten since, using those photos to create new artwork, have been the best part of the experience for me. I’m using a highly modified one now as the header photo for my new website: Abstract Painting by Robert Terrell.

As time goes by I might search for more photos of the world famous (in the mind of me) art installation at Underwood Center 2006.

I lost any fear of painting large, that’s for sure!