Second Reflection” oil on linen 60″x48″ unfinished
Jellyfish” oil on cardboard packaging 14″x22″
My son Ivan has a blog that he posts his better art works on from his first year in animation school. He thought I should be doing the same.
I just photographed both of these paintings in order to include them in my NYFA grant application. I have been applying for a NYFA grant for many years. “Second Reflection” to the left here is not finished, but it is now too cold in my studio to work out there. I was working on it up until 2 weeks ago when I had to be careful not to hold my brush too high above my heart for too long or my hand would go kind of tingly and numb. ANd then I would be so cold that I kept accidentally knocking my brushes to the floor. The paint seemed to stay wet longer in the cold, but I had a weird problem with thin wet applications of paint “crawling” when put on top of already dried paint. It was like using water-based house paint on top of oil without sanding first….
    Anyway, aside from weather-related technical probs, I have never had such a great experience with a painting. I get completely lost in it for hours which is different. Until now, I used to get completely involved working on a painting for about an hour and a half. Then I would feel a burning desire to take a break, stop, call it a day, or whatever. This painting is different. If nothing from my “real” life called me out, and it wasn’t too cold, I would work on it till I was too hungry or tired to continue, which might be entire days. It leads me on and on and on. Each new mark that I make seems to point to the next spot that needs addressing; I am aware of the whole thing being a carefully synchronized “machine”? Not a machine, more of a web, where a change of one strand can compromise others, or indicate others that need addressing. I also think of orchestral analogies, which I alluded to in my grant application. I am the conductor of this visual symphony…guarding against dissonance unless needed, toning down the loudness here and there, making sure the different moments lead one to the other….keeping the rhythm going throughout, etc, 
   The “jellyfish” painting on the right was a much faster accomplishment, but it is a beautiful integration of “found packaging” (complete with holes in it where water gun was yanked from cardboard) and painting. It is painted from a photo of my son LEo when he was about 5 holding jelly fish in both hands. I worry that no one will know what he is holding (thus the title), but Ivan thought that it didn’t matter, that he is obviously holding something and it just doesn’t matter what.

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