Too Many Hooks!

watercolor, 15″ x 22″

The challenge lain was to do a contour drawing of a person or people, over lay a grid pattern from some unrelated source, then paint the piece, being sure to show the influence of the ‘grid’ and to embue the character derived from the drawing. It has been so long ago . . .last Wednesday maybe??? . . .that I have forgotten how much time I have spend on this piece!

What an incredible diversion from everything else in the world!!! This was a great challenge, but there were just to many hooks on which to become snagged . . .and some I had created myself. One of which was to work on a soft, hot pressed paper. Mind you, this paper doesn’t accept color well, so you get what you get, whether or not you intended it to be that way. That was another hook. The other one that I handed myself was that of a value composition . . .to plan it and stick with it . . .(I do that in my work anyway, but it made for another ‘purpose’ on this mission of insanity). Then there was this amazingly complex drawing with waaaay too much in it. (I become very tight when I spend hours on the drawing!)

Having committed my self to complete this project, I had hoped to do so with honor . . .that is with a fine finished piece full of mood, solid composition, evidence of the grid, emotional content . . . . .and, oh yes! Did I mention stunning color, brushwork and incredible examples of radiant transparency? I think I did say ‘insane,’ didn’t I?

So here is a full week of effort. Stiff. Off purpose. Blotchy. And everything else I can dream up and, to summarize: yuch!!

So it is done. I accepted a challenge (mostly to honor Myrna Wacknov.) Maybe I’ll have another attempt later, but first, I have to remove about six of those ridiculous hooks. What was I thinking???!!!

8 thoughts on “Too Many Hooks!”

  1. AHA!! And this from da man who provides us all with many hooks to hang ourselves with… 😉

    Actually, Mike, this painting does have a very unique mood to it, and a story. Makes me think of a chilly morning at a little town in France, the woman on the right coming back from the boulangerie with baguettes, bumping into a her friend and telling her about a mutual acquaintance who said this-and-this-to-her-and-how-dared-she!

    I am chickenishly procrastinating the grid challenge, as I am not quite sure how to incorporate it.

  2. Well, at least you get the story, Nava. That is exactly what was going on. The grid is hiding inside this painting. You can see it more as an underlying abstraction rather than a means of composing. If you are interested in how the grid can be used, look up some of George James’ work on the net.

    I have better ideas for this painting. The use of hot pressed paper was a trial, pure and simple. I am thinking I would like to play on an matte medium coated piece of cold pressed paper, then work it as I would a piece of Yupo. I have more thinking to do, first.

  3. Mike, I love the effect of the grid, it is a very unique style, I am actually working on mine and I agree with you about the hot pressed paper, I tried recently to work on it and it was frustrating, but you managed to pull it off with in this painting. Lovely colours 🙂

  4. I dunno Mike, I studied this piece and I like it. It’s not overworked has lots of interest with a focal point and a story to tell. And then a cool little abstract foundation from the grid. It’s great!

  5. Thanks, Ambara! The grid provides a bit of interest, but is not the foundation for the composition. I am definetely going to have another ‘go at it.’ Stay tuned.

  6. Hi Mike,

    Well, I see I’m not the only one who sets him/herself impossible expectations! But you did what you encourage your students to do — finish it! It’s an interesting piece, and I see now that what I thought was a second left arm turned out to be a baguette. Whew! Thank you for sharing this experience with all of us.


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