Today as I worked in the studio, it struck me that a great majority of the last 200 or 30 pieces have been acrylic paint and ink, and created primarily with brushes. That really surprised me since, prior to this project, I used pens and colored pencils exclusively and was more or less terrified of brushes of any kind. When I started this project, I wanted to force myself to make art more quickly, more simply, more loosely, and in a wider variety of media. I think, without even paying attention, I have started to edge toward those goals. It's difficult to convey, in a simple blog post, just how much of a revelation this is to me, and just how afraid I really was to work with a paint brush. I've really begun to enjoy it, and the evidence is in how many pieces I've painted recently.
After I thought about this for a while, and looked back at some of my favorite recent pieces, I decided today to work on a few Moby-Dick-related pieces that weren't specifically tied to a page number or a line of text. I was lucky enough to have a bit of time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, so I made full use of that luxury by making some art purely for fun and personal exploration. These are the pieces I made today.
This first one was inspired by a Leonard Baskin print of the White Whale and the Ray Bradbury book Green Shadows, White Whale. It's a simple piece, but one which I think gets close to that idea of the White Whale himself. It measures 15.5 inches by by 10.75 inches tall and is acrylic paint and ink on found paper. Thematically, I suppose it belongs to the "Leviathan" series of pieces I was working on earlier this year, but had to abandon so I could focus on this project. I only completed the "Black Leviathan" and the "Gray Leviathan (Wounded)" so this new one would be the "White Leviathan (Green Shadows, White Whale)."
Next, the "Red Leviathan," a continued exploration of my strange obsession with innards and intestines. This one is acrylic paint and ink on found paper and measures 14.75 inches by 10 inches.
Finally, a simple piece, and something my wife called "The essence of Queequeg." Any regular visitor to this blog knows how tremendously fond I am of that cannibal, so I was curious to see what a simple painting of Queequeg against a bright blue background would look like. I am really fond of how it turned out. It is indeed "the essence of Queequeg."
This one is 7.75 inches by 10.75 inches, acrylic paint, colored pencil and ink on found paper.
None of these will be in the book or anything, so they're basically just ephemera or studies or whatever. They are all available in the Etsy shop. All in all, it was quite nice to give myself a day to relax and paint purely for fun.