NASA 16 has begun
16 : 9 Video Still : Action – Sample One
16 : 9 Video Still : Action – Sample Two
I think, I have found a way of working to complete the 16:9 painting series. The above images are sample stills from 1 minute of video. The video is a composite of three elements: a photo, a painting, and video. The photo is from my own collection, a snapshot from my time and represents the soul. The video is a moving image from my own collection and represents the body. The painting is sourced from history, from the worlds collection and represents the spirit.
The digital construction of these images is easy, but the challenge is to blow these images up into some sort of working painting. The first step is to do a small painting – a study – and then a final large work. I am quite happy with the process so far, and can see that it is a useful composition tool. As for the painting side of things, there is a lot to learn – especially trying to get some sort of multi layered effect with transparencies – I will be trying to totally avoid the hard black line of my NASA series.
The other trick will be how to transfer the screen image to the real world to facilitate painting the image – it’s the challenge that's the key, who knows what the final image will look like in paint.
Holes in the ground and things underneath the surface. A few of my art works over the years have holes and people coming out of holes, or standing in holes or going down into holes. NASA #15 which has a hole is now finished.
The title relates to William Blake’s art works that were illustrations for Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Here is an example of Blake’s work, from the 102 illustrations he made for The Divine Comedy – Dante, Virgil and the Minotaur.
The Minotaur – William Blake
Here is another work, with hole, by Blake that influenced my drawing entitled "White Lies Last Dream”.
The Simoniac Pope – William Blake
White Lies Last Dream
The imagery in Blake’s work is fantastic, although I am not quite sure on his theology – but he does seem to be a fired up man. Here is NASA #11 – The Great Fires at NASA – it also has a hole.
NASA #11 – The Great Fires at NASA
In fact, I think all the NASA paintings have holes, but most of them are filled with water.
The SquareScape paintings are a series of landscape paintings within a square. The rules are simple : The quantity of paintings is indefinite and potentially never ending; each painting is to be 120x120cm in size; each new painting is to have a different style to the previous work; the works are to be experimental.
The SquareScape painting series is really a testing ground for new and experimental work – a place of freedom and no stress – a place to expand and let go. They are all done in acrylic on MDF board – so I will keep them out of the rain.
Eventually the works, will form a SquareScape exhibition – sort of a readymade show, with detached passion – a chronicle, happening on the side of life. A few, were in my ‘AS’ show back in 2008, and were well received – they look good as a series along a nice crisp white wall.
SquareScape 8 is now finished, except for a coat of polymer varnish and a shove in the corner. Below is the series so far – warts and all.
SquareScape 8 - Spots
SquareScape 7 - Bands
SquareScape 6 – Floaters
SquareScape 5 – Ellipse
SquareScape 4 – Balloon
SquareScape 3 - Pillar
SquareScape 2 - Warning
SquareScape 1 - Leaves
The above video is a composite of a still image, and a very short movie clip of an artist painting. The still image slowly glides across the 16:9 screen, while the superimposed movie clip has been slowed down. The music, from Simon Howard, has been added to create tension and acts as a timer for the whole transition. The idea is to have everything moving so slow, that the composition stands out. The idea of the 16:9 painting series is to create works that are informed by film/video, montage, collage, television and special effects, all within a 16:9 aspect ratio. I am thinking about using black gesso instead of white – which relates strongly to how television and video work. The background screen is black and then a light emerges to form the image. So, this video is the beginnings of a new painting series – the hard part will be translating what I find, as I experiment, on to a physical support using paint.
On a different note, NASA #15 is almost finished, but I might change the title from, “NASA and the not so Shuttle” to “Dante, Virgil and NASA” – but then again, that might not be shuttle enough – I don’t want to give the game away too early – but what the heck!
Here's a photo of where I am up to. NASA #15 (top) is shown here with #1(bottom) – they both have the same colour palette – next is #16, and then I am on the downward slide to #30.
Multi-Dimensional Maze 1981
When I was in primary school, when I wasn’t running around the bush and climbing trees, I would spend quite a bit of time indoors creating complex mazes, for myself, and others to solve. Sometimes, I would create large mazes by joining lots of mini mazes together – lots of note paper and sticky tape. In high school I was quite interested in Op art, especially Bridget Riley’s stuff – I think I could see that my mazes had developed an optical effect. In grade nine and ten I started to experiment with little optical art works – none of which survive. The above maze was drawn at art college for an assignment on game making - it is what I call a multi-dimensional maze. Below is two close-ups of the above complex maze – the maze is actually about 90x60cm in size and drawn with a Rapidograph pen on illustration board.
Over the last 30 years, my interest in mazes has declined as my interest in art has grown, but I have drawn the occasional artwork that contains a maze – either in the background or as a feature – here is one example. EE Pencil (now Staedler 9B), and acrylic paint on cartridge paper.
East West 1987
Both of these mazes are solvable – the multi-dimensional maze is solvable on a few different levels.