Sunday, January 2, 2011

Choosing Ideas

The year 2010, and in particular the last couple of months, has been a torrent of activity. I finished the last of the BDSM skeleton paintings in early November, and made great headway on two new skull paintings. I spent two days last week driving down to LA to deliver 30 paintings to Bert Green for the upcoming solo show. On the way back, I came down with a bad cold. So I finally had some mandatory down time, and took it easy for a few days, prior to New Years. Sometimes this down time can be valuable. I ended up consolidating a number of ideas that have been swirling around in my head, and several new ones came to mind. When I'm just laying around, my brain is always rushing around at full speed. I just kept a notebook by my side, and started jotting down ideas as they emerged.

By giving each idea a place on this list, they are less likely to be forgotten . At this point, most of them are "ghosts" of an idea. I can almost visualize them, but not quite.

The procrastinator in me is always unsure of which idea to pursue next, and wallows in indecisiveness. But usually, one idea will speak out in a slightly louder voice, start to emerge from the vagueness of the intangible, and begin to take shape (with a little patience and discipline).

I still have two paintings in process: one nearly complete, and the other 3/4 complete. But at the studio today, rather than paint, I sat at my drawing desk, under a blanket and close to the heater, and just tried to make some of the ideas more tangible by developing rough sketches.

The drawing above is a little more complete than some of the other thumbnail sketches that I did over the last few days. In this drawing, I've depicted little baby snakes emerging from their nest/egg, which is a skull. Snakes are not inherently evil, and are generally beneficial for the environment. But nonetheless, they are a powerful symbol conveying a sense of evil. In this case, because they are coming out of a skull it implies that evil is not from without, but from within.

My initial thought is to have the skull sitting in grass and leaves. The baby snakes (the species blood python Python curtus,) will have a burnt orange/red color that will contrast nicely against the green grass). They will be writhing free of their pre-natal confinement in the skull.

I'm grateful to have a tangible idea coming to fruition that I can begin working on once the other two skull paintings are finished. The studio walls are very bare now, as I've emptied the studio of all recent works and delivered them to Bert. So it feels a little depressing. Having a list of new ideas worthy of pursuing will help offset this emptiness.

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