Sunday, November 22, 2009

the birth, the sex, and the death of ... something?

So here's what.

I'm bored of my self portrait. It's going well but I'm bored. I'm looking for some sort of weird inspiration and start flipping through some Tiepolo and the ideas start coming. I've had this weird pressure from the outside low brow types to keep painting these graphic characters and at the same time this pressure from the figurative side and academic side to go more serious. I started sketching some stuff out, initially I was thinking of myself as The Creator, which I am for these little characters, and then of them reproducing inside the painting without my intervention. Then I thought of it as being the death of my cartoons ... then of maybe a birth of a new fusion of styles. In class I've been bombarded lately with images of the reclining nude ... endless talk of Titian's Venus of Urbino. So much shit swirling in my brain. essentially my head is a toilet in mid-flush.

I'm still figuring out what roles all of these elements and old parts of my life are going to play in my future work. Regardless of if this thread carries on, I learned the hell out of some new stuff on Saturday painting this for 8 hours. I CAN fit these made up characters into a real space. I CAN figure out how the light is supposed to fall. I CAN (more or less) maintain the character of these characters and the general line quality as I continue to give them volume. These were all concerns I've had in the past ... putting flat cartoons into real space ... so the solution is to learn to paint well enough that they don't have to be flat.

I think after critique the next step is to throw a ton of paint on there, obscure all the likeness and see what the fuck happens. But for now I'll have to go with the basement level motto "It's done when it's due". All I am certain of is that when Jean Pierre Roy told us "paint a self portrait with some sort of context" this is not what he was expecting.

birth_sex_death_self stage 2

birth_sex_death_self stage 2 close

birth_sex_death_self stage 3

notice the guy giving me chinky eyes?
At least it's not boring anymore.


  1. J! I LOVE this. I think it's a fantastic bridge between your past life and this new-ish one. What's funny is, I like the beginning sketched-in-characters one better than the finished painting. I love them as ghosts. But I'm rambling and I really meant to ask you where you stayed in Paris and if you have any sites or areas of the city you'd recommend to someone traveling there for the first time (read: me in March.) Cheers!


  2. honeyspy. long time no see! Yeah, I like the sketched in ghosts too. This is one of those i'll probably not get a chance to bring to a complete finish so it might stay in limbo. maybe I'll get some time to work more over the break. The quickly sketched characters always have a certain energy.

    In Paris I got an apartment through I'd highly recommend them - stayed in Le Marais. I have to pack to go back to Seattle right now, but ask me later about the Paris thing and I'd be happy to give you some info.


  3. Mireille - anything's possible. shoot me an email if you're interested. I have a bit more work I'm going to do on it (worked for a couple hours today).


  4. yeeeeees sir. theyve got you doing some great shit, or they have you doing some shit and youre making it great

    keep in touch

  5. Hallo Jason, very much interested. I loved your Takeshi Kitano portrait, I'm following you since then. Can you be reached by email?

  6. Oh wow, I haven't heard from you since livejournal haha... you still have the same humor that I love most. Hope everything is well.

    -Stephanie Ha