Sunday, February 25, 2007

Why Interrupt?

Why interrupt? I know from my own attempts at art that sometimes it's hard to tell when a piece needs to be done. Aren't there always finishing touches that could change the feel? Hopefully make it better? But too many changes--changes like, say, a whole new coat of paint--can sometimes be overkill.

This is an amorous tribute to a nursery playmate, perhaps. Maybe the perseverating is part of the process.

Cereal Orange

He might say "orange" and still disapprove of the particular shade I choose. He'll give more specific instructions on occasion, like "dark orange" or "more orange", but his vocabulary doesn't allow for much by way of distinction. I can't say I regret that though--how else would I have any expression in the process? But today he said, "another orange" over and over, poorly regarding every orange I produced. I think he was disppointed with the way any new color was swallowed by the thick oil base we had laid down. "Whitish orange? Bright orange? Peach orange? Brown? Burnt orange? Serious orange?" Yes, he said, "Cereal orange!" And with a few strokes of cereal orange, he remembered he was hungry and needed a Cheerio break.

Primitive Toddler

This was done a while ago, and I can't quite remember our respective roles in its creation. But I'm pretty sure Sam insisted on the dark colors and I did some of the final touches.

Blue Fruit

For this one, Sam still chose the colors, but I provided the brush strokes.

Colored Days

Typically when we color, Sam gets to choose the hue, but I get to choose the saturation and brightness (and sometimes shade) of that hue. I usually choose the paper texture and medium, and Sam usually makes the actual brush strokes. There are departures from this format, but it is the default.

For this piece I chose bright shades. Sam, apparently bored with them, asked me to draw our dog (lying in front of us with only his curved back visible). He thought my rendition lacked a few red spots down the spine and demanded that I add them. We sketched in Mommy's face after that and finished with a wild spatula scrape across it all.

Although the finished piece isn't a recognizable portrait, it still keeps the mood of a coloring day with a lazy dog and pleasant thoughts of Mommy.


For reasons only close family and friends might know, my son ought to have a substantial patriotic streak. But here, I think, we see a subtle disapproval of the current administration (that I suspect has been projected on him by his mother).

The brush strokes and color choices are his. I just decided when to change and when to stop.