Sunday, March 29, 2015

Dreams and Surrealism

I was always fascinated by the following painting by Salvador Dali:

Salvador Dali, surreal,surrealism,surrealistic
Suburbs of a Paranoiac Critical Town Afternoon on the Outskirts of European History, Salvador Dali, 1936
Lots of fun stuff going on in this image!

But with all the neat things happening here, the image of the gal with a bunch of grapes fascinates me the most:

Funny -- she looks like people I see in my dreams. Not that she necessarily resembles them or that the dream peeps are offering grapes. But she has an other-worldly look, like she's talking to the viewer, except that we can't hear her. And why is she standing there, holding out a bunch of grapes? I suppose only Dali would know, and I don't know if he ever said; if he didn't, it's too late now.

I'm kinda thinking...I'd like to make some paintings that look like I've illustrated things out of my dreams. They almost always have people in them, although the faces are often obscured. Lots of space, lots of people, just going about their business.

Except in a dream that recurs every so often. I'll go outside, not realizing I'm wearing only my underpants (so far, I've never gone out naked), and nobody notices. Until I notice it, then everybody else notices it, too, and they turn and stare at me -- and by then, I've moved away from my door and can't just run back inside. And I'm all embarrassed...

I'm not into dream interpretation, so I don't know if it means anything or not. But I do get a kick out of the images the subconscious manufactures. They're almost, but not quite, realistic. But the UNreal parts are what I enjoy!

Sometimes, too, my dreams disturb me after I wake up. Nothing nightmarish about them, but I feel unsettled.

Don't know what it all means. But good surrealism reminds me of dream imagery (Dali seemed to be the best at it), and that's what I love the most about this genre!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Lights in the Darkness: Fluorescent Paints

Every so often, I get these ideas for things I could try that might broaden my appeal as an artist to more collectors. The latest thought: blacklight paintings.

UV,ultraviolet,blacklight,black light,fluorescent,paint,paints
Photo by (Colorful, huh?)

I've actually messed around with blacklight paintings years ago, in the early 1970s, I'd say. In fact, my first "real" painting was an apocalyptic vision with a setting sun. The painting was done in traditional acrylic paints, but the sun was finished in fluorescent red -- I wanted the sun to "pop." (I think I still have this painting, stashed away in a box in the garage).

Then I did a series of paintings in which I mixed fluorescent blue with normal white paint. I used this for sky color -- in normal room lighting, the sky was light blue, but under a UV lamp, the sky glowed a dark blue, muted by the non-fluorescent white that was added to the ultraviolet-sensitive blue. Thus, the paintings were "2-in-1" -- daytime scenes under room lights, nighttime scenes by blacklight.

I was never interested in the psychedelic LSD look of blacklight posters of the late 60s/early 70s. I believe some serious art could be made with fluorescent paints. Except for one problem:

Fluorescent paint isn't archival. UV radiation breaks the chemical bonds that form the fluorescent minerals, resulting in products that don't light up under blacklight. I'm not sure the paints last very long even when exposed to daylight coming in through windows or artificial lights at night. I'd hate to invest a lot of time and effort into works that could fade or change color within just a few years.

So -- if I proceed with the bunch of fluorescent paints I ordered, I'll have to make sure the paintings I make are fast and easy to do and placed in inexpensive frames, so I won't need to ask a lot of money for the pieces. The artwork would be original "posters" that may not be around in 25 years (probably much less).

We'll see what I come up with!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Courthouse Wash -- for Now!

Courthouse Wash is the title of my latest painting. That is -- it's the title for now. I was hoping to name paintings with more romanticized, poetic titles rather than descriptive ones. So -- title is subject to change without notice!

Arches National Park,red rock,redrock,sandstone,juniper,sagebrush,hawk

The size is 18" x 24" / 46cm x 61cm) and features a view in Arches National Park, UT in the late afternoon. Beautiful spot.

I'm not quite ready to sell this yet, at least not until I decide if I want to have prints made. It does appear on my website (which, of course, is either or Be sure and check it once in a while if you're interested in acquiring this piece.