Friday, January 16, 2015

30 Days of 30 Paintings - Day 16 "Hexidecimal dream f"

Here goes days fourteen fifteen and sixteen. I took on a monumental painting project during the 30 Days of 30 Paintings, "Hexidecimal dream f".

After the original half-completed painting was stolen, it became a serious road block for me. The completion of this painting symbolized my artistic recovery and moving onward. During the painting I feel like many unseen hands were helping me.

It was a joy to reclaim my painting. It was even better to see it realized after so much time thinking about it. 

I can't help but look at this finished painting with joy, I feel it says everything that I wanted to and more. There are many layers - literally and figuratively speaking. The title "Hexidecimal dream f" refers to counting digitally in the hexidecimal numbering system.

We normally use base 10 numbering system (10 fingers). Hexidecimal uses base 16, mainly because of computer hardware registers. If you are in the ones column with base 10, when you want to go past number 9 you must go to the tens column and put a 1 in as a placeholder and a 0 in the ones. In hexidecimal, after 9 comes a, then b, then c all the way up to f. f is 15. If you count starting from 0 to f (or 15), like with computer registers, then it stands for 16 instead.

This is a portrait of a girl at the age of 16. The girl's head is filled with dreams of digital thoughts. It's a recursive environment and there's some interplay between the realities. How much of digital life (tv, movies, social media etc) seem real at that age, or any age? Still, it's her inner dialogue. It's the place she turns to when she thinks about her future. It has shaped her world completely, even though she is aware of it's influence. It feeds her rich fantasy life and at times spills over.

"Hexidecimal dream f", 30x40", oil on linen, ©VP Miller

Link to the first stage of the painting.

Link to the second stage of the painting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 13

Someone told me that artists generally shouldn't show paintings in progress. I'm sure there are very good reasons for this. I'm sure we as artist some believe that should keep all of our technical abilities and development secret. When I worked in I/T I never withheld knowledge. It's not my nature, and I love teaching. It's the same way with art for me. Even if you have two artists painting the same subject side by side using the same techniques, the paintings won't be the same. Artists put themselves in the painting. I think forgers are fascinating not because they are so closely able to emulate masterwork but because they are able to keep their own selves out of the finished painting.

In keeping with the 30 Paintings in 30 Days project I'm showing my work. This painting may take a few days so you'll be able to see a real transition.

 "Hexidecimal dream f" in progress, 30x40, oil on linen, ©VP Miller
 Thinned oil washes were put down all over the canvas. The face was fleshed out a bit. Some parts of the layered image in the foreground (the man) were filled out a bit.

Click to see the first day of this painting.

Monday, January 12, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 12

The project has evolved from painting 30 paintings in 30 days, to painting daily for 30 days in January (except I just took the weekend off). 

I'm also not always going to do one painting per day. I think in the future if planning for another 30 days/30 paintings I would have preplanned. (cough) I highly recommend not only planning out ideas for paintings for the entire month, but also planning out a few weeks of easy meals. Yesterday, I managed to plan out the next two weeks of meals and half will be some sort of crock pot miracle. 

I would plan ideas/objects for daily paintings for still life and also locations with time of day, for plein air. Not that you have to stick with the plan, but it sure is handy when it's 2:00 in the afternoon and you haven't figured out what to start next for the day.

Today, I started on a large painting. This is one that I've wanted to tackle literally for years, but I had serious blocks when approaching it. This is a do-over. I've already painted this subject. But the (not quite) finished painting was stolen. It's a long story, and really not all that important. The main point is that I'm no longer giving the pain of having it taken from me any more energy. I plan on painting a better painting than it's last iteration.

Here's the beginning. The last time I painstakingly sketched on canvas and then discovered what happens when you apply thinned oils over it (it smears and you can no longer see your marks). This time I used odorless mineral spirit thinned oils to get the proportions down on canvas. It also allows you to make corrections on the fly by blotting and reapplying.

Beginning of "Hexidecimal Dream f", 30x40", oil on linen, ©VP Miller

Tomorrow I start laying in the color field.

Friday, January 9, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 9

"Bang", 12x16", Silver metal and oil paint, ©VP Miller
I'm really enjoying experimenting in combining metal leaf materials, in this case silver, with oil paint.

Bang. It is a fun toy trick pistol. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 8

"Rooster 2", 8x10", Acrylic metal gild and oil on canvas, ©VP Miller

I have had so much fun with these two paintings "Rooster 1" and "Rooster 2". They were experiments for me using acrylic and gold metal gilding over which I applied oil paint. I am really happy with the way they turned out.

Here they are side by side as the finished set:

"Rooster 1" and "Rooster 2", ©VP Miller

I'm glad that the 30 Paintings in 30 Days has challenged me to try different techniques and to "just do it"!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 7

"Rooster 1", 8x10", Acrylic metal gild and oil on canvas, ©VP Miller 

And now for something completely different.

I've had this concept in mind for some time and decided that this 30 paintings in 30 days project would be perfect for experimentation.

I used acrylics, and gold metal gilding and painted with oils over it. I love how the composition really stands out with the gold gilding. My rooster boy really shines!

This is the first painting in a two painting set, they are meant to be hung side by side. I will feature the second painting tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

30 Paintings in 30 Days - Day 6

"Job Well Done", 18x24", Oil on linen, ©VP Miller

This is a homecoming. A private moment. I'm proud to know this couple and the sacrifices they have made for their country. They are wonderful, funny, loving people. They have a beautiful family. Too many times they were service separated. They know it's part of the job. This fleeting moment of being together after so long apart and it's rush of emotions, is suspended in time. 

I've been wanting to do this painting for a couple of years. I started it in watercolor two years ago, but I didn't like how it was proceeding and I put it aside. Then I started painting in oils, and knew that I'd want to do this in that medium but I wanted to make sure that I could do it justice before starting. So I painted other things, with this always in the back of my mind. Sometimes plans change like that.