Sloppy Still Life

Sloppy Still Life

By mike flugennockSaturday - February 19th, 2022Categories: UncategorizedTags:, , , ,

…in which the spirit of Vincent visits my 19 year-old self, turns away even more utterly demoralized, and shoots himself again.


The technical part — learning the UI, how it integrated the Pencil, all that theory-of-operation stuff — was the easy part; I pretty much had the software down cold in 2 or 3 nights. Now the real work is starting, which actually learning how to freakin’ paint.

Since I “officially” retired from the design biz, Mrs. F has had to listen to me occasionally mumbling all dreamy about taking another whack at learning how to paint — y’know, like a proper painter — some 35, 40 years after leaving school.

I stunk out loud in my oil and acrylic classes back then — all clumsy, hesitant, intimidated; I could rule markers, pencils, charcoal sticks, chalk and pastels like a boss, but making the jump to painting was like the Coyote crashing into the wall with the fake tunnel he painted on it to catch the Road Runner.

I hadn’t really planned on “painting” as such, here, originally — just going into it with some ideas on how to approach live sketching on the Pad — and the next thing I knew I was like — holy crap man, I’m freakin’ painting. It just sort of happened; I was completely sucked in by how easy it was to mold and shape the virtual space to behave exactly like paint, like a nice brushload of fresh acrylic, straight out of the tube, scooped right out and glopped on there.

…and the absence of a deadline, of the stress over how the work will be graded and semester portfolio finals and the senior juried show — all that crap — means I can just throw up a “canvas” and start slashing away and not worry if it “comes out” right away, ‘cos it’s not going to be “graded”.

The studio view and the two still lifes are the first pieces I’m OK with showing to people — where I’ve finally got my chops to where they don’t suck. I’ve spent the past 3 nights burning through 3 or 4 “canvases” a night to get one that doesn’t suck, and the ones that don’t suck are better than the ones that didn’t suck the previous night.

They aren’t that remarkable in themselves, of course — they’re basically first-year light-and-color study type of stuff, and I’m making a lot of first-year mistakes because I’m basically starting again from zero — but satisfying in that my “painting” chops are already way the hell ahead of where they were after 4 full years of school.


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