A long time ago I was fortunate enough to see a special exhibit on Andrew Wyeth at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and it was AH-MAY-ZING.
They had just about every scrap of painting and drawing the guy ever did, all collated into one, huge, fantastic show. The opening picture, smack in the middle of the wall when you walked in, was “Soaring.” I could almost feel the wind whipping at the feathers of the birds depicted in the surreal landscape, as I felt somewhat sorry for the hundreds (thousands?) of gallery-goers in various museums around the US, sadly staring up at blank frame-shaped patches of wall once holding these beautiful works, now displaying a “temporarily on loan” sign in their place.
Ah, well. C’est la vie. Meanwhile, I feasted my eyes.
Tonight’s monotype print was inspired by one of my favorite Wyeth pieces, a painting entitled, “Trodden Weed.” (Feet modeled after yours truly.)
One of the things I love about Wyeth’s work is how his paintings cannot help but make you feel.
So, I leave you with this question tonight: How does this monotype make you feel?
Sometimes I even say to myself, “Seriously? Another black-and-white drawing?”
“Yes. Got a problem?”
There is something I really love about black-and-white. No matter how many color pieces I do, black-and-white is like that one boyfriend who you just keep going back to, not because he’s a sleazy hunk and a cheap date, but rather because he’s a romantic. He’s the boy next door who maybe everyone else failed to notice but you–and every time you come back, golly he just gets cuter.
In fact, a former professor was once singing the praises about the virtues of black-and-white art-making, saying that, “It’s really all you need. All of the visual information you ever need is there.”
I remembered this phrase, interestingly, on the heels of browsing one of my favorite textbooks by Martin Salisbury, where he states (and I paraphrase): “The important thing (about drawing) is whether or not the approach serves the drawing’s purpose.”
So. Let a drawing serve it’s purpose. i.e.: Show only what needs to be shown. Get rid of the weeds. Don’t overly complicate a piece if it shouldn’t be complicated, WHICH INCLUDES not adding color if it isn’t necessary.
Today I was out on an excursion (read: errands) and as I was completing my transaction I watched the outdoors become an increasingly menacing shade of gray. Luckily I managed to load up everything and stuff my son into his car seat just as the first humongous drops were starting to pelt at the windshield.
And then: le déluge.
Frantic shoppers were dashing out of the store in that awkward jog that happens when you realize that splashing around too much will ruin your shoes, yet if you don’t book it pronto you’ll arrive at your car as a drowned rat.
The scene was just screaming to be turned into a dark field print, since these prints lend themselves so beautifully to rough-sketch, textured atmospheres. The final result is from my imagination, but inspired by what I saw from the car in the parking lot.
Is there a better subject from which to practice monotypes than film noir movie scenes?
Nope, I’m not sure there is.
Among the many things I love in life–including chocolate, fresh bread, a good Gin and Tonic, and cute, chonky little baby thighs–is a classic old film noir (or really any old classic film, for that matter).
A couple of years ago (was it really that long ago?? Alas, I think it was!) I re-watched “Casablanca” for about the umpteenth time. Let me tell you, Bogey never gets old, and neither do his movies. Although he might have smoked like a chimney and drank like a fish and probably had about a million personal issues, he sure could make a movie.
And so, my latest print is inspired from such a movie–in fact, I had such fun that I might make this into a print series. HOW RAD would that be? I could watch my way into a monoprint series!
I think I feel a “Maltese Falcon” viewing coming on…