George Jones, the old-school country music star, died yesterday at 81. Many years ago I had an assignment to paint this portrait of him for his "Super Hits" compilation album. I didn't know much about country music, but the one thing I knew about him was that he had a face that reflected many miles of hard road. I tried to get some of that into the painting. Reportedly, he liked it.
Adding my own list to the 15 most significant influences theme started by Yuko...My list roughly fals into two categories,devide into two categories, a group of things that had a profound impact on me during the same brief time in my life, the late 60's when I was growing up, ( things that made me want to be some kind of an artist) and a later group of influences that I have collected over the course of being a painter and illustrator. I have grouped the 15 into chronological order based on when I first took notice of them, beginning with James Rosenquist, who I discovered while hiding from my French teacher in the in High School library, to my current obsession with Vincent Van Gogh.
James Rosenquist's F-111. I saw this painting of a full-sized fighter jet- painted at the height of the Vietnam War- and became inflamed with excitement about making pictures myself.
Portable War Memorial, Edward Kienholtz. My high school government class took a field trip to the Museum of Modern art in San Francisco- I saw this giant assemblage and loved it. Kate Smith singing "God Bless America" is on continuous loop in the background.
The Beatles. You can learn alot about the creative process from them and especially the chemical balance between John and Paul, which for a while allowed them grow creatively and still bring their audience along with them.
Andy Warhol. His actual painting skills are often overlooked.
Stanley Kubrick. I loved his movies, but became especially interested in his personal process, his perfectionist personality and the way he molded every aspect of his existence to the service of his art.
Jimi Hendrix. Virtuosity of a level that it appears effortless. The truth is it is anything but.
San Francisco Rock posters. My bedroom ceiling was covered in them. When this "summer of Love" was happening I think it was taken for granted that it would go on forever.
I first encountered Giotto in my first art history class in college, I loved the introduction of psychological insights into depictions of events which had earlier been presented in static, formal ways. Giotto was a rebel.
Degas. I loved that he was an experimenter- sometimes the results were incredible: to me, this is one of the greatest portraits ever made.
John Singer Sargent. Dismissed as a "technician" in my history classes, Sargent was more than that. His watercolors (see above) are amazing displays of virtuosity, but his big early salon paintings, like the Daughters of Dr. Boit, show some extremely daring compositional courage.
Whistler's nocturnes. I was in london once late at night walking along the river after going to a movie. there was an erie greenish glow in the air, it was foggy and though the architecture has changed it looked a lot like this. Then I noticed a blue plaque on the house I was in front of, and- it was the former home of Whistler.
Vermeer. One eye has a blue highlight, the other pink. Who knew?
Nicholai Fechin. I love his drawings- his ability to mix very precise incisive live with loose tone-amazing.
Egon Schiele. The hero of art students everywhere, I resisted his magnetic pull until I traveled to Vienna and saw the real deal. I surrendered.
Vincent Van Gogh. There are so many reasons to admire his work. If you stand in front of this painting you can feel the struggle of the artist, the turmoil and pain and raw sincere emotion in every brushstroke. Sincerity is in short supply in our world, who has the courage to really put themselves into what they do, come what may? This guy did and I love him for it.
This was a great excercise- it makes me want to get out and get to work.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote Thursday on a bipartisan gun safety measure designed to curb illegal gun trafficking and purchasing.
The bill, which would toughen the penalties for those who purchase a gun illegally for others to up to 15 years and make gun trafficking a felony, has attracted the most bipartisan support so far of four measures headed for the committee.
Yesterday when I read the above article, skeptical in tone about the realistic odds of any real reform being passed, I finally decided to paint this picture- one thats been in my head since since Newtown.
One of my paintings from my "picture of the day" project. Im starting it up again- see below.
Last weekend while I was in New York I was interviewed by the great illustrator Sam Weber for his podcast series Your Dreams My Nightmares.
If you are interested, please give it a listen. You can check out this interview and others on soundcloud and subscribe to Sam's podcasts via Itunes . Interesting to see that it is rated as being "Explicit"...Yes!
Thank you to Sam for making it so comfortable to do- it was a cool experience for me- if you get a chance to listen, I hope you enjoy it!
By the way- I have decide to try re-starting a project I worked on quite regularly for several years, painting a picture every day for myself. Previously I worked under a time limit of 20 minutes, I think I am going to expand to 30. Every two weeks or so I plan to post 10 new paintings here on Drawger (pressure is good motivation).