"I begin with an idea, but as I work, the picture takes over. Then there is the struggle between the idea I preconceived... and the picture that fights for its own life." -Georg Baselitz 

the above is very true for me.  always has been.  painting is a struggle and over the last few months I have pretty much grappled with the craziness of what is determined to be painted.  in the course of all this it occurred to me that I can't help but express my feelings about politics.  because whether I like it or not, politics is life.  and I have such a powerful sense of  unease, not specifically because of the idiot but yes, largely because the idiot has colored and tainted so much of our beautiful country.  he inspires hate and fear and adulation and idiocy.  we will probably endure, but who knows?

it feels as if I'm creating chaos. if you don't look too closely, these might be considered pretty but they're not what they seem.  there are few actual flowers in them.  I start with flowers but that's not what I want to say.  flowers are pretty...they can be metaphors for age and sexuality, not to mention nature, color, form. 

but if you look closely, these are mostly just colors and suggestion and shadow and form.  so I think of them as unstill lifes because I feel unstill and uneasy and they are unstill and unexpected and I've been trying to understand why I want to paint like this for months.  I start with a picture of what I see but that's not what I want to say.  yet, I'm drawn to these flowers - maybe as a start.  I only just figured how to get out of the way and let a painting happen but nevertheless I can't help my desire to define and make something sure.  but sureness doesn't satisfy me.  what is sure?  if you look closely, what's there is not pretty or defined.   

well the nyc bridge painting is pretty I think, but it's hard to see it. I keep trying to take a picture at the wrong time of day, only I can't figure what is the right time of the day because my finish is very high gloss and reflects the light.  still, my husband is happy because the guy is tall.  so it's us.  of course, it's not, but I get a kick out of the romantic aspect of it.  and I love him enough that I have worked on this painting for months - taking it from a day painting to a night painting - just to create something that pleases only him.  me, too.  

Views: 290

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on May 18, 2018 at 9:23am

:)  :)   yes   unstill   

Comment by Foolish Monkey on May 18, 2018 at 9:31am

right?!  thank you jon. 

I feel as if accurately defining my direction will allow me to better focus.  (and yet I've always thought artists who write "manifestos" were a little assholeish.  so there you have it. live and learn.) 

back to the studio.  

Comment by J.P. Hart on May 18, 2018 at 9:58am

tangoed up in blue!

'when my baby smiles at me I go to Rio! Rio de Janeiro ...!'


climber of the highest sycamore in America's Polyphentinal Land

workin' on (k)new routine with three(3) Granny Smith apples
O! the only thing that can stop a great artist with a brush is the status quo. Or maybe the clears. I just don't know, no?
Wonderful to know O!U!, Foolish Monkey..:...Danke Schoen!
Comment by Anna Herrington on May 18, 2018 at 10:05am

I've missed you being around lately.

I understand. The dis-ease and unsettled feeling have fallen all across our land. I try to stop my fears the guy will consolidate his evil minions and power and he will not leave. at all. and we're screwed. Then I garden and photograph flowers and hike in the woods. I'd paint, too, if I could... but yes, the unsettled vibe is there in those flowers...and everywhere in the world, it feels.

Your lovely kind heart to your husband. It looks good.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on May 18, 2018 at 10:53am

bob ross?


jph, poetry ties right up in this too, yanno.  it's lovely to know you too.  


anna, can't focus on the negative too much. spring is here and it's a particularly beautiful, elegant spring but no matter - I'm well aware of all of it....right down to this latest shooting in TX.  our world is gruesome.  I'm trying hard to say something in paint.   I'd rather do that than anything. truthytruth - I don't know if I'm saying anything actually, but I work hard at it especially now.  time is the enemy....i only have so much of it and I'm determined to get as good as I possibly can.  so thats my focus.  and if the political intrudes on it, then I'm going to use it.

Comment by Rosigami on May 18, 2018 at 11:50am

I love your analysis of your own work. That can be hard to do, because you are attempting to express in words what and why you make happen on canvas, and such a big part of that is ultimately inexpressible- which is why some of us paint in the first place.
Unstill Life.

Comment by Foolish Monkey on May 18, 2018 at 12:39pm

Rosi thanks

Thing is I will probably never know why I cant be satisfied painting what I see. I can do it but its not the point of painting for me.

I try to think about it because I have to account to my family sometimes particularly if it’s one of the kids and it’s something they like.  They ll see a perfectly nice painting and not understand why I have to push it beyond and take it somewhere else. A somewhere else I don't fully comprehend. So I think. Cant hurt. :)

Comment by koshersalaami on May 18, 2018 at 1:06pm

Do you ever get to the point where you are really satisfied that a painting is finished and stay satisfied?

Comment by Foolish Monkey on May 18, 2018 at 1:25pm

Kosh I think I simply get to liking a finished piece as if it were someone else’s work.   There’s always something I could do and would if it were damaged as I did with a couple of paintings earlier this year.  I can look and see what my thinking was or what I was trying for and even how I might resolve issues I encountered while I was in the process of painting it.  However with some exceptions here and there, once I varnish and let it dry, I’m done.

Also truthfully I like my work once I settle into it being done. Some pieces I actually hated when I put them away, I like now.   I’m highly critical.  This is good and bad because I may blow it by overworking but ultimately I don’t think my work is ever dull or mediocre 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on May 18, 2018 at 1:34pm

Oh.   I do like paintings I do from life like if I go out and do a small landscape or if I get someone to sit for me.   That’s when I paint very fast and usually they’re done comparatively quickly.  But they’re surface paintings, pure gut and facility and experience. There isn’t a lot of thought that goes into them.  They usually get done one two three.


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