Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I have this thing about Chuck Close

At the end of my art school career I saw his exhibit at the old Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. I was overwhelmed. And this was back in the 1981 when he hadn't started this kind of patterning, which is a thousand times more overwhelming to me than his previous huge photorealist portraits.
Its a long and boring story but that exhibit virtually ended my desire to paint. And since I had just been introduced to quilting, I changed gears and the rest is history.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to see his new work in Milwaukee and once again I melted into a puddle of rapturous ooze.
All that gooey brushwork and multiple layers of color made me ache to get out the paints. But fear, have I mentioned fear? prevented it until now.
Feeling somewhat cocky after having framed over a dozen of my new works, I blithely ordered the dvd on Close from Netflix and when we finally got our electricity turned on again (another story entirely) we sat down to view him in action.


O the gloriousness of the gooey paint, and repetitive patterning. I swoon. I just must try this.
Copyist! The editor in my head shreiks. So I back down and slink off to bed.

At 1:30am, I wake with the idea that I can sneak down to the studio and just try this out, secretly. I have a new piece of canvas waiting for me, and a sheet of freezer paper will work for a clean palette. The oils are laid out in the spectrum and I drew a grid of 1.5" on the canvas and began to stir the colors.


This is the first layer, and is quite full of wet paint. There will have to be some cool colors added to complete this but I think I may have something here...juicy-paint-wise.

And then I refer to my Chuck Close book and see just how far off the mark I am.


I just don't know from loose.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:18 AM

    Melody, I'm not a painter, but I have been fascinated moving thru this with you. Thank you. Rhonda

    ReplyDelete
  2. Melody, your enthusiasm is infectious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Bonnie11:39 AM

    You are opening a whole new world to me...it's like taking an art class....watching....learning and enjoying the process.... It is important to know that if at times we do not fail, we will never achieve the success we are striving for in our work. Keep the brushes in motion...looks like you are 24/7.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ditto what Brad said. And I love "red x" from a few days ago. And your still life (I've been away and am just now catching up). And youru pears and apple with watercolor on the canvas have a wonderful look/feel to them. I hate singling out a couple of works though...truly they are all fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What an inspring person you are. Wish I could come take a class with you. A friend showed me your blog and you are now a firm favourite. You're never negative about anything!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Just have FUN with it! I did a Chuck Close project in my beginning drawing class this semester - I had a ball!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've seen one Chuck Close painting in the museum in Sedalia, MO, and I nearly "swooned." A DVD?? I must check Netflix. OMG.

    ReplyDelete
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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com