“The Pilot” – triggering emotions through unconscious changes + overwhelming amount of possibilities

This one little painting (The Pilot) has already gone through many changes. For some reason I am trying the painting to look a certain way while there was no real plan for how it was supposed to look. Literally I get distracted by some line on the canvas and the whole painting suddenly changes. It is interesting that this experience in a weird way reminds me of my first mushroom trip when I saw an amazing amount, overwhelming amount, of possibilities changing in front of me continuously. It was impossible to stop this flow. Now I am finding myself in a situation when a static painting does a similar thing to me, it doesn’t stop from changing every time I work on it.

Stage one.
Stage two.
Stage three.
Stage four (considering the kitchen sink :D).

After I follow something new I see on the canvas that “something new” covers things that were previously set there. It takes a lot from me to be able to just stop and say, that’s it, this is how this painting is going to live from now on, because a part of this “dissatisfaction” of a certain line comes from unconscious realization that I am trying to cross into another level of painting, but my old techniques are not enough anymore to bring me there. So I find myself as if on some kind of bridge between my hands, my eyes and my mind.

Somehow I need to learn how to let certain things just go and move on. Today I am looking forward to approaching this painting without the imposed importance coming from my mind. I will let my hands guide me. I am not sure how “hard” it is going to be for me to remove this whole “importance” thing from my work. At least I am raising this question, because sometimes I do find myself, I don’t want to say trapped, because that is not the word, not the feeling, but somehow, almost in a way, numb and kind of “whatever,” almost as if there is not enough oxygen in my room or something. At moments like that I get really easily distracted by all kinds of stupidities.

Originally written on 01-22-18


It is a bit unsettling to find myself in a situation when I begin questioning if I needed to leave the painting alone. All was already good, but I still keep adding new layers of paint on the canvas. But then, after this mayhem in your head you wake up in the morning and see that the decisions you made the day before were correct even though they did change the painting.

This stage of The Pilot started feeling like I am close to hitting the target.

Right now, I believe, I am very close to finishing this painting which has become a certain type of study of a skull. I see on the canvas some influences, some are from the beginning of the twentieth century’s style of painting. There is some cubism, some fantastic creatures, some skulls and what not (maybe I could have added the kitchen sink too? Ha!) In general, looking back at the progression of this painting, I should say, the painting is quite different and it does show that I am improving my painting skills. I can already see why I am not satisfied by flat images anymore. My characters I paint look at me from all kinds of angles.

Detail: the skull like character on the lower left corner of The Pilot.
Detail: characters on the top right of The Pilot looking from all kinds of directions.
Detail: close up of a character with the violet mouth which becomes the helmet of the pilot.

Today I feel an itch to begin a new painting. I guess this one is triggering something I would like to explore now in another painting. This one already has quite a bit of information. I need to leave it to live the way it is developing. I need to be very strong in my decision making, because there is always this point in my work when I get into “correcting” something just to reveal new information and that new information takes me even further away from what I have started.

I do have a feeling though that it would be great to have another painting to accompany this one, almost like another scene of the same film, but with a different story coming out of it.

Not sure if I am going to continue with small canvases or with a large one. There is this nagging thought that I have not finished the last large painting with the orange flying angel. I guess, there is always going to be this feeling that something is not completely done. But that is okay, it is all a process. This process to me is more about how I react when I look a my canvases. If my emotions are triggered, my work is done.

Originally written on 01-23-18

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