A great one has left us. I probably can’t say more intelligent or touching things about him than already have been said. I think Easy Rider and the lifestyle of Hopper and his ilk had a deep and lasting influence on today’s culture and counterculture. What’s probably greater, he did what he felt like, and was good at it most of the time. Check out his paintings and photography if you haven’t.
In interviews he claimed that his drive behind painting and doing photography is that he wants to leave something behind that lasts. But while his art is good, he left the most lasting impressions on the world by just being himself. Of course, being driven was an impotant part of it.
My most poignant memory about him would be that saturday afternoon I watched The Last Movie and fiercely tried to enjoy it, while the rest of the family kept complaining about that “awful waste of two hours”. I think I was in my late teens and had seen Easy Rider recently. He was not even of my generation, I’ve been born 1972.
For a few moments I was contemplating doing some sort of commemorative art. But again, what could I do that hasn’t been done? Also, I can’t draw a harley. So I’m going to honour a wild one by being wild. I had an automatic drawing session today and post the results, which I wouldn’t normally do. And yes, I’m gonna drink more than one beer in his honour as soon as opportunity arises. When I do those I scribble or paint with closed eyes until it feels enough, then I paint over this what I feel like.
Some time ago I wanted to stop that separation between private and public art, seems I haven’t gone as far on this path as I told myself I did. It’s people like Dennis Hopper who remind me what joy there is in being wild, being myself. Probably we’d better not go as far in this as he did at times, but I know I could use some more of his spirit.
Two pics without title
Black ink and acrylics on watercolour paper, the first one raw the second one coated with white acrylic paint first.
Size: 17*24 cm
A bad cold kept me from doing much at all this week. I don’t want to neclect you completely, so I’m offering a peek into one of my sketchbooks. It is a sketchbook made from Himalaya paper, that is similar to other east-Asian papers, takes up liquid like tissue paper. I like it for quick sketching because it doesn’t really allow slowness. I was sketching an onion, playing with different colourways.
onion, done in sepia
onion in sepia and light ochre
onion, done in sepia and burnt terra di Sienna
realistic onion; done in Sepia, light ochre and burnt terra di Sienna
So I got round to something halfway creative this weekend either. I worked a bit on this acrylic picture. It is supposed to be something halfway between a water swirl and an abstract spiral. I started it as an experiment about working with little glass beads and mirror shards embedded in acrylic gel. It took ages because I had to add the embedded stuff in multible sessions to avoid accidentally ruining my own work again and it always took long to dry. I’m not entirely shure if I’ll leave it as is or give it some finishing toughes.
I have been painting too much: I still seem to think in acrylic pigment colours not in DMC colours.
Like I always seem to do when working with colours, I looked for the acrylics I can use to mix them. I chose light ochre, English Red and Indigo, together with white for the mixed colours. Basically the yellow/red/blue colour scheme in somewhat muted colours. I show the pure colours and equal mixes, and how I made the tif colours from them.
The blues are just Indigo and white, the ochre is light ochre as it comes out of the tube, the beige is light ocre and English red in equal parts plus loads of white. Of course, you could just use water + the effect of the white paper to make it more light. As a comparison, I added the original palette again.
OK, again no great progress with the tast challenge. I’m somewhat uninspired at the moment, and quite busy with outdoor activities. But here is another little watercolour sketch. I’ve done more of them over the last weeks, but this is the one I like best. This is a sprig of a little azalea. Unfortunately I have forgotten what type that beauty is, I had it for years now.
Spring flower sketches
The left one is an English primrose, the right one a Mahonia. Watercolours on chinese Whenzou paper.
So I haven’t been painting much for months, but do want to get back into it. I wanted to bring some of the playfulness I’m learning with embroidery into it, so I started small. I did those fast sketches of spring flowers on chinese sketching paper. This handles liquid almost like tissue paper and is very thin, so it asks for fast brush action and doesn’t really allow for error correction. The results are sure no masterpieces but it was fun to do them and I guess that’s the way to go for me.