Apples 2.0

The painting above is slightly improved; the apples no longer look insubstantial (or insufferable).  It’s shaping up as a nice project.  A pity that circumstances have changed.  How?  Why, I’m glad you asked.

In the post below this one, I mentioned that I was doing a lot more painting these days, and that a lot of that energy was due to joining an online community of fellow artists.  Being around creative people is always fun and usually inspiring, and this group was no exception.  But you’ll note the use of the past tense in that second phrase.

The “problem” with creative people is that they are, by nature, also very sensitive people.  Since they pick up on ideas and moods and the turn of the light, their sensory apparati can make unintended leaps.

And that, in a nutshell, is what happened here.  The original list owner decided to turn ownership over to someone else, who then turned it over to a third party.  Both the first two then left over some unspecified argument.  Naturally, there was some speculation as to the nature of the argument–people do that sort of thing all the time.  I stay out of such discussions because 1) they don’t really interest me, and 2) they’re none of my business.  But it all seemed harmless enough.

Then, it turned nasty.  One email accused the remaining members of leeching off the goodwill and creativity of the (now gone) founders; this found little favor with the group as you might imagine.  Things got more heated, though there was still ongoing, positive discussion about turning the group toward the future.  It seemed like a bad little ripple, but we were riding it out.

And then, a really unbelievable email appeared, making accusations of bad intent all around.  And the group was either destroyed and recreated, or a purge of “unwanteds” was put into effect; either way, I suddenly (through no choice of my own) found myself an ex-member.  

I’m not the most social person in the world.  I hate parties and never go to them unless circumstances demand it.  This makes on-line forums pretty ideal for me; I can participate or not, and not have to feel as if I’m duty-bound to acknowledge others or be acknowledged by them in turn.  Sure, there are lots of egos, and little cliques form here and there, and if you say anything that might be misinterpreted, you’d better toss the appropriate smiley in there.  But for someone like me, who’d rather just close both halves of my carapace and be all internal, such groups are great.

Which is a shame the one mentioned had to melt down; it was helping me to create new works.  Oh well.  I’ve since had invitations to join some splinter groups, which I take as very flattering, but I’m not coming out of my burrow any time soon.  Are you crazy?  There’s bears out there!

Thanks for coming by, as always.  Later this week, you’ll see the new, improved apples. 


Apples and Oranges

This type of painting is pretty rare for me, since it’s based on a photograph.  Most of what I paint is made up out of my own imagination, and I don’t tend to use photos for reference (I know, you’re going to mention Telephone Girl.  But her photograph was only used as a basis for diving out further).

So…apples.  How about them apples?  Trying to duplicate the variancies of photographic detail can be frustrating.  I mean, every time I would try to add highlights to these silly fruits, I would end up altering the color scheme and I’d have to start over.  And it’s still not right.  Look at the apple in the top center–it looks radioactive.  (Click it for a larger view.)

I much prefer working with my own ideas than trying to duplicate reality; in the former case, I can break or adapt the rules as the need sees fit.  With photorealism, I’m enslaved by the need to preserve detail. 

Of course, it’s still my painting, and I’m not done with the apples, yet, as they’ll find out soon enough….

Heh heh heh.

Plasma Energy Conduit

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? A lot of the ol’ silence ’round these parts has been due to a lot of painting work. I’ve joined one email group of artists which has managed to kick-start my creativity–I’m working on about four or five canvases now, including the group’s August project (…sort of. The vote was for a castle, but I’m painting the apples.) So there’s that.

Also, I finally broke down and bought a larger TV, one of the digitally compliant ones so I won’t have to worry about the move to “all HD” a year or so down the road (one of those oft-promised-oft-delayed things). It’s a nice 42 inch plasma, and let me tell you, everything looks gorgeous on it. I also bought an external HD DVD drive for the XBox 360, and watched the HD version of Corpse Bride last night. Well… In Best Buys and WalMarts throughout this great land of ours, the HD movie I’ve seen most often demo’d is the first Pirates of the Carribean movie, specifically an early sword fight between Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom. And while watching, I note that I can see every bead of sweat on their faces. And while noting that, I think, If I’m watching every bead of sweat on their faces, I’m not being enthralled by the story, right? So the heck with HDTV.

Corpse Bride made me into a convert. I think the HD version looks better than it did in the theatre (not surprising, I suppose, since it was all digital to begin with, then transferred to film). I was completely drawn into the “reality” of the film. (Which remains a thing of rare beauty; the improved presentation didn’t detract from the story at all.)   As a caveat, though, I doubt this is going to affect movies made prior to the current century; I imagine that DVD technology pushed older films to the best display that they can aspire to.  I could be wrong, though.  (Like that’s never happened.)

Incidentally, I have a history of backing the wrong horse in the various cultural upheavals–I thought laserdisks, for example, were going to rule the world, and we all know how that ended up. And sure enough, shortly after a bought the little HD DVD thing, readings on the web make it look that, barring some unforeseen spectacular development with HD DVD, Blu-Ray will become the dominant HD format of choice. Sorry about that!

Some paintings, perhaps in a day or so, and thank you for your patronage in the meantime.