“The Naphthol Crimson Wrench Head Danny” – does a tree make a sound in the forest if nobody hears it fall?

I am looking at my recent painting and it is poking at me: “you need to relax and let your hands do the magic.” It is fine if the painting is a bit different and not exactly what I was expecting it to be. At the end it is going to be exactly the way it should be. I need to lose all this imaginary responsibility of how one or another thing has to look. It is a complete bullshit which is only in my head. Understanding about my paintings comes to me not through my head but through a feeling which is hard to describe. This feeling just lets me know that a painting is done. I might be thinking over one or another canvas for days, but the result somehow is achieved by this unexplained sense. It leads my hands and then “it” happens – this sudden realization that a painting is finished.

Sometimes I have to drastically cover areas in my paintings that don’t work for me. This picture shows how I covered with the white the area which used to be painted with the turquoise green.

Funny how I am constantly on this weird brink of questioning myself about why in the world I am doing all this? Thankfully this question is like some kind of fog which dissipates the moment I start painting. It would be interesting though to find the answer to why I am painting and why I am doing all this creative work nobody would miss if I would not do. At the moment only a very few know that I paint. There are canvases nobody has seen. This situation to me sounds like asking the question: does a tree make a sound in the forest if nobody hears it fall?

Originally written on 02-10-18

Yesterday I made a huge improvement on my Naphthol Crimson Wrench Head Danny. I went through a few of “oh my god I am not sure if it is working” thoughts, but now I might be pretty close to finishing this painting. I am learning about the naphthol crimson so much, but it is still giving me weird results. The color just doesn’t lay the same way other colors do. If I mix it with the white it becomes pink and if I leave it by itself it tends to look a bit dirty, which is okay when I need this result.

The red of the square “beard” on the lower left looks dirty while it looks the way I need it to look on the top portion of the canvas.

I added some turquoise green to the painting. The color is working, though I did ask myself “why am I using these weird colors?” once yesterday. The whole point is, I am using these colors the way I am to make them look appealing. I don’t want to skip certain combinations and just stick to the familiar ones. That’s too predictable. My approach to the use of colors is a bit based/influenced by the graffiti culture/art. You have only a certain color in your spray can/paint container and you make it work. Many graffiti artists usually don’t have enough money to buy expensive paint so they use the paint they have on hand. This is quite true in my situation. I literally have a certain amount of jars and tubes on my table, so I pick one of them and say, today I am going to communicate through you, my dear, and I go on painting. Of course I could have easily dropped the naphthol crimson and paint over it with some other “less tricky” color, but this red has something I need to uncover. The naphthol crimson is also a hard color to photograph. It is amazing how it changes throughout the day with different light. So no, I am not giving up on the color.

Under the ceiling light the painting loses all the details I need to see.
The cold light reflecting from the snow outside brings out the turquoise green and gives the red a cooling effect.

I should say I do like the name I just gave to the canvas “My Naphthol Crimson Wrench Head Danny” (with the turquoise green beard (maybe to add later?)) I should start signing my paintings the day I finish them, not after a few days of waiting, questioning if there is anything else I need to work on. You already should trust yourself enough to know when the painting is done, sign and move to the next one. There is always going to be this “something to improve” feeling. It is normal. With every new painting you learn and improve your skills. Of course, a painting I painted a few years back is going to look different from the one I paint today. It is okay to be a little unsure. That is where my feelings should be. When I am totally sure, which I don’t know if it is ever going to happen, I might be in some kind of trap. Being unsure is okay. It means I moved into a certain territory I am not familiar with. Sign your work and move to another canvas.

The turquoise green became more permanent on the canvas.

I should say I am quite impressed by the amount of paintings I was able to produce in a year. After I finished my novel around this time last year I moved into the next creative stage, preparation for an exhibition. At the start my work on canvases was sporadic, but then, when the weather cooled down, I was able to find certain time slot meant only for the painting.

I am still to attack my large canvases which are patiently waiting for me in the corner. I will need to cover my room’s floor with paper, because I use more paint and it tends to drip more when I work on them. I am thinking on exploring body movement, but I am open to anything that happens. It just makes sense to me to have my focus towards “expression of emotional body movement.” I concentrate more on “portraiture” on my small canvases.

Only after I painted the portrait of R. as “the Blue Boy with the Violet Beret in front of His Pet Pink Tailed Dolphin (Fish)” (The Blue Boy Richard with His Pink Tailed Pet Fish) I felt like I was going somewhere with the series (I like this way of naming my paintings). For N.’s painting: “N. or the Interrupted Tea Party” sounds right. R.’s name is a bit clunky. Names of my paintings are getting clearer. I need a bit more time for “editing” the way I do for my writings. First draft is always very messy, but then the clean up begins and little by little my sentences become more to the point with less of needless explanation and ornamentation. This realization about my writings comes to me through my work on my paintings.

Originally written on 02-12-18

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