Friday, June 11, 2010

Headache

I have a headache. I've been staring at a computer screen all day. Mostly, teaching myself video game architecture... I have a lot of reading to do for my classes. I don't particularly feel like doing any of it right now. It's getting darker in my room. I should probably turn the lights on. This is a strange stream of conscious babble. I'm not sure what I feel like doing right now... Bye.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Painting

I haven't felt like painting lately. Not just lately, but for almost an entire year now I've only really felt like painting a few times. It's kind of sad. Maybe I have a distaste for goals that seem achievable. Something about painting lately has seemed too predictable. I keep vacillating over whether or not the problem is too much freedom or too much constraint on behalf of the classroom environment. Or maybe it's the fact that I've progressed from the classroom to the studio. I do tend to feel the need for people to be around when I paint. I don't pay them much attention, but there's something supremely isolating about going into a painting. To preempt mental/spiritual isolation with total physical isolation may be too devastating.
I do prefer painting with music. It does relieve some of the isolation... So maybe my slump is just due to having an unreliable mp3 player, or not the right choice of music when I do get to it.
Perhaps it's the overall effect of the slump. But even inspiration doesn't seem to motivate me properly. Back to the predictable point: I see things in terms of paint. I was looking at a classmates eco-water bottle (or whatever you call those reformulated metal canteens with the screw off cap with a plastic loop at the top that have become so popular lately) today. It was a muted green, kind of an "army" color. I was struck by the reflection of light off of the surface. The base color was rather flat. I could begin with a wash. Scrape away the surface to make room for highlights. Paint in darker areas while the surface was still wet. I could use some of the canister color to soften the whites. The reflections on the bottle were already broken down into distinct shapes. I could mix those colors in a heartbeat. Some ultramarine, some cadmium yellow, a bit of permanent green to get the hue up. A bit of cadmium red (or maybe alizarin) to mellow it out again. And white as necessary to pale it. And there. Done. Painting finished in the span of a few moments for none but me to observe. Of course were I to actually paint it I would need to first prime a surface (if not stretch the canvas), and wait for it to dry. And I would sketch an under-painting in raw sienna and burnt umber, to keep track of the lightest and darkest areas, and furthermore emphasize the depth of contrast when the final layers were overlaid. And then I'd wait for that to dry. And then I'd lay out my palette, and my brushes, and my rags, and set up my canvas on the easel, and I'd adjust my seat, and my benches and my easel, and... and...I'D FINISHED THE PAINTING AN HOUR AGO BEFORE I'D STARTED!
If I can picture it in my head, I can make it! It's not a matter of skill, it's a matter of persistence. Perhaps there's skill in knowing what to change or the progress made with each successive change, but that's what practice is for. In the end I am just moving pieces around until the image in front of me looks like the one in my head. Perhaps it's the skill of holding a complex image in my head? Then perhaps that's my flaw. Because if the image can be fully realized in my head what use do I have of painting it? There's no challenge, no interest, just the slow tedium of correcting and refining.
Who am I painting for? It seems like a purely selfish endeavor from the way I've described it. But it wasn't always. I wanted to present a world which my viewer had never seen. A world which they had looked at everyday, but never seen. The most simplest of objects have mysteries that the average person rarely ever minds. I wished to present the everyday in its full spectacle. But now... it seems as if I dread this construction. Is it a lack of appreciation? I don't think so. I wasn't particularly used to my work be lauded (At least not at this school). And it's not that I have become bored with my subject matter. But the effort of painting it does not seem worth it when I have attuned myself so much to the feeling of painting even before production. Has the mystery has lost its intrigue? No. Not the glass itself. But perhaps paint. The problems in glass can change with a tilt of the head. But my methods of representation have become regimented. I know too well what I am doing before I start. I can approach every problem in the same way. So while even though the exploration takes me to new places, I'm tiring of hacking my way through the jungle with a machete. The solution then, just may be to change methods or subject.
At the moment it is very tempting to just drop it all and pursue a side project (book art, paper, comics, etc). Though I dabble in these things and wish to pursue them to a greater extent. None of these have ever struck me as the same level of importance as paint. Perhaps that's just my traditionalist artist sensibilities...More on that later. If I feel like it... Bye.

Japanese

There's a neat hidden page on my other site btw. http://eden.rutgers.edu/~stoledo/kanji.php It randomly flashes a Japanese Kanji with approximate meaning/connotation and stroke number every few seconds.

...Well I think it's neat...Bye.

Insomnia

I can't sleep. So I started a blog! Typical.

While struggling to find a name that wasn't taken, I just kept typing "name".blogspot.com into the address bar to see what came up. I'd say at least 9/10 had one post or less.... from 2000 no less! I at least had the courtesy to delete my old blog(s) after a year or two of inactivity. Some of the most resent posts were from 2007. But most were at least seven years old. Some of them didn't even have any postings. There were several where the creator had just messed around with the templates for a while and then I guess got bored, like so many, realizing they really don't care enough to whine where the whole world may hear them, chances being that they will remain obscure and unsubscribed for the entirety of their blogs existence. I wonder if anything would change if I subscribed to some of them. Perhaps they might update, or even delete their precious name placeholder.

Maybe I should follow suit and start an empty blog at my namesake just so no one else can have it... It was open as of a half hour ago...

Nah, I'm not feeling that vindictive tonight.

Anyway, time to plug my other website from which this blog steals its name: http://eden.rutgers.edu/~stoledo/

My apologies for its lack of updates. At least it has more than:
http://flocko.blogspot.com/ (okay admittedly this guy has 5 posts)
...combined

I wonder if any of them will ever find this page/If I could actually get hate mail after just one post.

I wonder if I'll get to sleep now... Bye.

Edit 6/10/10 12:52: It seems I used to own http://setoledo.blogspot.com/ but it was quickly claimed by someone else.