October 6, 2010

"Poissons"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 6"

These cold fish have been on ice in my queue since my last trip to France, which, as many of you know, was quite some time ago. Fresh in my mind these many months, they have resurfaced to remind me of why I started painting in the first place - because it's fun! At least it's supposed to be. I seemed to have lost sight of that fact recently. What started for me back in '07 as an experiment in "daily painting" - a new art movement with the sole mandate of completing a small work of art every day, became something quite different. I must admit that I seldom attained the stated goal, but I was content with 3 or 4 per week. Trouble came when I felt compelled to make the work tighter and tighter. Not content with small, quick oil sketches, I wanted to do something that would wow people. The diminutive panels ceased to be mere little studies and became polished works of art. The praise I got from these little jewels was like a drug. I lived for the comments on my blog. I spent way more time on them than I could ever possibly justify, given the monetary ceiling of the internet marketplace. I started using the opti-visor more and more. Frustration set in and I began to resent them. That, my friends, is my long winded explanation for why I have not been posting. I recently made a pilgrimage to the Corcoran Museum in Washington to see an exhibition of Chuck Close's prints. That man knew how to have fun. His "fingerprint" works are a stark reminder that we should have fun in the process. Embracing this revelation, I allowed myself to once again feel the support - to scratch and scumble and toss the paint. This piece may not be great, but it was fun and that's a start. I feel like I'm swimming upstream.

11 comments:

Deb O said...

Mission accomplished! Love the perspective on the fish in the foreground. Now, my son, go forth and play.

Mark Adams said...

Aye, aye, Capt'n.

chambersartstudio said...

Ah,yes, the sweet nectar of praise...as addictive as a drug. It was Degas who said, "Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do." He also said, "If painting weren't so difficult, it wouldn't be fun."

Mark Adams said...

Bob, You are as wise as you are talented. Thanks for the Degas quotes, which are very apropos. Congratulations on the new blog.

Anybody reading this would be well served linking over to Robert Chambers new site.

gmoore said...

Glad to see you back in the saddle (err.. studio). Nice post, nice realization. Keep at it.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Gary.

Sheila Vaughan said...

Good for you Mark, there's honesty for you. I see renewed freshness in this piece - just a simple statement simply stated but it works! I gave up the dailies a few months ago for slightly different reasons but like you I didn't want them to become an end in themselves and they were stopping me from exploring paint and subject matter in a way I felt I needed to - and I just wanted to try bigger work. As to the comments, yep, I agree. I disabled the comments box for a while but then put it back. I mean how else would we have interesting conversations like this and sharing the angst and agony, LOL! Keep going Mark. I'm off to check up Robert Chambers.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Sheila. Angst and agony indeed. I, too, want to get back to larger, more serious painting. Small panels don't lend themselves to the figurative work I have in mind. I'll still work on a few small pieces and studies but for now I need to get back into the gallery scene. I'll still be a daily painter, which is to say I'll be painting daily. I just won't be posting a new work every day. (Not like I ever really did - oops)

Alice Thompson said...

I appreciate your revealing post. Not every artist is open to telling us how they really feel. I once tried the daily painting test. Didn't make it past day 10. Each day got longer and longer and longer... you know what I mean. That's why you're up strange hours of the night trying to complete a painting you began nearly 24 hours earlier. You skip meals and chores to save time. I know how much work goes into your pieces and am really shocked at how affordable you priced them. There are a handful of daily painters who get $400-$800 on a 6x6" occassionally on ebay. They are excellent at marketing. They are also what I consider to be illustrators as opposed to being fine artist(I have a very complex view on that subject). You are the undiscovered gem. To someone like myself I think your 'Poissons' IS great. The level of difficulty combined with your standard of excellence that you set for yourself is in outer space. You place it higher and higher with every new piece. Before you know it you'll run out of oxygen. You could paint in any style you choose and I'd be willing to bet my unemployment check that it would be astounding. Why? - Because you understand all of the pricipals needed to make a masterpiece. It's second nature to you. You've demonstrated to us all that you've mastered realism in its purest form. It's expected of you to branch out and do something different. You should be having fun. You deserve it! Just keep swimming.

Mark Adams said...

This is why I love you, Alice. You get it! I'm blushing from the praise and am astonished by your insights. I must admit I am more than a little concerned about what this experiment in daily painting has done to the value of my real work. I can hear it now..."$2000? I saw your work on the internet for 150 bucks." "Yes, but those were tiny" I'd say. "So paint me a tiny one."

Dean Grey said...

Mark!

You managed to turn something rather ugly into something rather beautiful!

-Dean