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Thread: Voodoo Chile Slight Return

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Easton, PA

    Voodoo Chile Slight Return

    I posted a few Jimi Hendrix paintings a while back, and now here is a new one. (Hence the title of this thread -- though it might be better called "Rainbow Bridge.")

    At any rate I've been thinking a lot about ways to have the figures in my paintings merge more with the musical colors that make up the backgrounds. This is one move in this direction. I've included a follow up image that shows a bit of the steps along the way. I guess my method is the polar opposite ofthose who proclaim "speed painted on a single layer with no reference image."

    Hopefully the final outcome here shares in some of the freshness that a more direct process would embody.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	Hendrix Steps.jpg 
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Wilmington North Carolina
    Dynamic colors and fantastic painting

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Prineville Oregon
    Wow. Al... these past few works have taken you up several levels.. I always liked your color sense and ability to take complex themes and keep them simple and not over do ( something I wind up doing more often than I want). But I really appreciate the revealtion as to your process.. It shows me how you draw many sources into your own unique works.. Keep going... you are on a roll here..!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    I mean this with all respect, Al, but I have a couple observations that may or may not pertain to where you're coming from. Only for consideration from my viewpoint. It's helpful at times to grab a couple licks here and there, and perhaps you can consider these few ideas like that. For what it's worth.

    When one is deeply rooted within a style, it comes down to what one is serving, the style or the subject. Both roads have been taken by others with all kinds of varied results.

    Two examples of being very style driven: George Thorogood in an interview mentioned that they play a certain way and they looked for songs that fit what they already did. That admits that there are hits and misses whether they matched. He evaluates based on what worked with his style with no interest in changing.

    Picasso was going to paint Picassos and that was that because he really didn't care whether some people liked it or not because he was setting the standards and many people would love it because he did it. Whether his stuff "looked good" or not, they were Picassos and thus valuable because he was leading the way. There is intellectual method to what he was doing and the appearance was secondary to that.

    I seem to recall you are into jazz bass which suggests a certain artistic consciousness that I'm trying to see how it's applied here. Jazz often has a cerebral component. At least in our musically educated generation who are building a lot on previous ideas. And if one is playing in combination with others, there are certain structures, however loose, that are adhered to so they can fit.

    Granted there's rehearsals and jam sessions, and things that get pulled out of the middle of some spontaneous playing that get developed. But it's nice when one is collaborating because different viewpoints can enter into the mix to help polish it. Fine art painting, which is not generally a collaborative thing, we painters don't always have discussion as a way to bring things conscious to sharpen. And so components of our work can just sort of drift shapelessly.

    As a painter one doesn't necessarily have to be in synch with anybody else. But that can work for you and against you because people may or may not address the mechanics and structure. If people don't like something they most time will just ignore it. Otherwise they will say its great. Not always a lot of specific help in bringing things conscious.

    I'm trying to see where you are coming from with your approach from a jazz head space to see if it relates to visual art.

    The stages of your process that you attached helped me look a bit at your thinking. It tells me first of all that you are trying to do something specific, and tracking your steps to later analyze, like recording jam sessions and listening for things that worked. That's a great idea. If it's to show us, I assume you are open to feedback.

    So I wonder if applying the golden mean compositional device worked. I mean in theory it ought to. But I'm not seeing that you're quite working it. I mean it's a cool idea to be all free form with the color ground and try to rope it in by applying a bilateral symmetrical golden mean as a way to place key parts of the subject, but it didn't really get the why of using it.

    I mean it's a brilliant experiment, but there isn't a lot within the composition that benefited from it. It didn't balance the picture. Didn't make it symmetrical or compositionally better arranged. After all, you're sort of adhering to a pre-existing image and didn't really change the position of anything other than apply some of your chops to it. You angled the guitar at a slightly different angle, something you could do better with your eye because there are more important elements in the picture that suggest placement and movement more essentially like color masses and their values and relationships.

    The weight of your picture is on the right half, for example and the device was devised based on reflecting the perfect balance in Nature, to reflect that life form encoding -- as a device. In doubling the formula in your picture, the bilateral device is intellectually intriguing if one considers the bilateral symmetry in the body for example, but the rendition is imprecise so it sort of falls apart as a message (if there was one). In other words, if it's about balancing a picture, there are so many elements in action that the eye, or the gut, is really the ultimate gauge.

    As to a portrait, it doesn't say anything about Hendrix to me. I can see both painting a portrait to get a likeness. And I can see ignoring the likeness altogether and going for a gut level abstract emotional splash with not so much reference to a resemblance.

    As to an emotional hook of how you placed your color relating to Hendrix himself, Voodoo Chile Slight Return, I wonder about your sort of soft random billowy clouds of color either capture the titanic evisceration of the guitar in order to wrench electricity into musical form, or how it relates to either the primary shapes of the figure or the golden mean. "Rainbow" as a concept is groovy I suppose. Bridges too. But I like seeing how or why in the work. But that's just me.

    It looks like if you latched onto a concept if you pushed further one way or the other, it could serve you better.

    Again, the pic is okay as it is. I'm certainly not offended by it. But I think you're aiming higher and I'm throwing these ideas into the open perhaps to serve you as you work out your direction.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    I like it a lot!

    and thanks for showing the steps, very interesting!
    >>> MSIE's ArtRage Gallery <<<

    "It's a living growing mutating art sculpture painting synthesis." (quote screenpainter)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Easton, PA
    Pat, Gary, MSIE-- Thanks for the comments and for taking time to write!

    D'AKey -- a special thanks for all of your insights. You have given me much to consider and I sincerely appreciate the depth of your response. Your words are an amazing treasure and I'm thrilled to get the feedback.

    All jazz solos are the result of hours of shedding intersecting with the current moment. And I agree with George, you have to meet that moment with whatever tools you command.

    Some solos are perfect takes, some are flawed explorations. I can't always tell one from another -- in bass or paint -- I guess the audience is the best judge. I wish they were all as eloquent as you in making their judgements. I would learn much faster! Thanks Buddy!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    As always a fine picture AL
    Sometimes...I remember better with my eyes closed

    My Gallery

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    D Akey took the words right out of my mouth! Just kidding, it would take me 1/2 a day to say an 1/8 of what he said. But I do agree with him on this one and when I saw this before I was thinking to myself that it didn't look like Hendrix other than your title suggested it and that he was left handed. However, it is what it is and still a good piece of artwork.
    My real name is Neal Gilbertson, AKA Gilbert Neilson, AKA Jibes.
    I'm a musician too. Please come hear my music at:

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Rome (Italy)
    A great insight of Your creative process through this gorgeous artpiece!
    Panta rei (everything flows)!

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