Thursday, February 12, 2015

Apache Twilight: Fast & Fearless

February 12, 2015
   Got up this morning and grabbed two failed paintings out of my Do-Or-Die files and took another stab at them. This is one of them, which I "finished" before I came into work:

Daily Whip Out: "Apache Twilight"

   It had mucho problems: the guy was too anglo looking and the bottom of his body was decent but vague. Tried to emulate Van Gogh, and this description of his painting style, "He painted the way he talked: thrust and parry, assault and retreat. Barrages of brushwork swept across the canvas again and again." This is from the massive biography, "Van Gogh, The Life," by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.

   Vincent attacked his paintings with both paint and words, "muttering and sputtering, coaxing and cajoling, bullying and railing—giving voice to his arguments even as his hand gave them form, texture, and color." His brother criticized his work as too hasty, too "haggard," and urged him to slow down. But Vincent claimed that the faster he worked, the better the painting. And, so, I don't want to copy him (don't follow his path, but seek what he sought) but I do aspire to be fearless and fast.

"He became a fanatic as soon as he touched a paint brush. A canvas needs to be seduced; but Van Gogh, he, raped it."
—The Zouave Milliet, one of Vincent's few friends in Arles, France