A much more eloquent version of what I was trying to say in my last post, courtesy of author Steven Pressfield. Science is most definitely not my forte but I like the Newtonian analogy that he employs.
Read this book -- it's "300" with real heart and a brain.
On a side note, I love the 'Writing Wednesdays' section of his blog, although I think that my obsessive reading of it is itself a form of the Resistance that he so often talks about.
I haven't actually liked anything else that Joe Carnahan's done but I quite love "Narc". It's gritty, intense, and raw, and that's exactly how I want to paint.
I had a clear vision for the backgrounds of my five panel piece (see previous post) as a flat and ambiguous space, but the inability of my brain to think in abstract terms has produced a bit of a muddled mess.
In my previous painting experiences, I have absolutely loathed what I have been making until, at some unexpected and unpredictable interval, the lightbulb clicks and everything ends well. So it's really just a matter of pushing through the self-hatred until this epiphany unfolds. That's what I like about painting -- you can keep on slapping down colours till the thing goes from ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly to magic.
First of all, apologies for the increasingly delayed posts. Since I typically dive right into my paintings without doing any real prep work (apart from gleaning some photographic source material) and because of how long it takes me to actually paint, I find myself in these long stretches of time where I don't feel like there's anything worth showing.
Final concept board
With that said, I have currently embarked on a new project that, for the first time in a long while, has pushed me outside of my conceptual comfort zone. It's a sad fact but since I've studied at art school I've become utterly dependent on drawing from reference. The emphasis on anatomical precision and formal qualities has killed the fearlessness with which I used to just draw. With this project, however, I've returned to the basics, and as difficult and frustrating as it's been at times, it's been just as fun rediscovering my sea legs.
Basically, I'm doing a five-panel series of full bodied portraits on 90 x 60 x 1.2 cm particleboard panels featuring character archetypes of the things I dreamed about becoming when I was a kid. Each will hold a sign that, when read in sequence, will spell out the phrase, "Not all dreams come true." I guess it's pretty melancholy but I wanted to make a piece about the sadness that exists in happy memories.
On a side note, I actually wanted to be a mailman because they got to ride a motorbike, but it wasn't as universal (or cool) as the other archetypes in the lineup -- hence, Evel Knievel. I thought about replacing him with a cop but that felt a little too real world for the vibe I was going for.
As a consolation prize for my tardiness, here's a page of sketches for the other project that I've got going this semester: a collection of six square canvases depicting G.I. Joe action figures that I used to own, posed and damaged in rough emulation of war-wounded veterans.
The name Robert Capa might be unfamiliar to many, but show them a photograph of his and there's a good chance they'll recognise it. Covering no less than five separate conflicts over the course of his lifetime, the man personified the archetype of the globe-trotting photojournalist. And while he was heavily scrutinised for staging maneuvers, it's hard to overlook the fact that he stormed the beaches of Normandy wielding nothing but a camera (only 11/106 frames were salvaged, courtesy of the overeager 15 year-old lab assistant).
Ironically, the name Robert Capa was a contrivance of the artist and his photographic partner (and then fiancee), Gerda Pohorylle, in an effort to bolster his recognisability as a freelance journalist. Born Endre Ernő Friedmann in Budapest, the man who would be Capa chose his namesake as both a nod to the director Frank Capa and a play on the Hungarian word for shark ("cápa").
However, as astute as his nose was for smelling blood in the water, it seems that Capa himself was unable to duck his own personal tragedies. His fiancee, Gerda Pohorylle (or 'Taro', as she later changed her surname to), was killed on assignment in Brunete in 1937 whilst documenting the Spanish Civil War. Over the course of WWII and shortly thereafter, Capa was romantically linked to Elaine Justin and Ingrid Bergman, but both were short-lived affairs and he never married either.
In 1954, despite swearing never to photograph another war, he found himself in the middle of the First Indochina War. Whilst accompanying a French regiment and shooting their advance, Capa stepped on a landmine. He died with his camera in his hand.