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[I'm trying out a new language, or rather reviving an older language of mine that I developed some while ago but got nervous about its possibilities.
Anyway, this is part of a whole series of paintings about beach volleyball, in case you hadn't noticed. All the reference was googled off the net so that the concentration could be on the language and how I "had a dialogue" with the photographs. The last two are of course not about beach volleyball, but rather to do with how the language can be utilised for my own subject matter. They are, however, derived from reference material that has undergone my usual transformations. Feedback or questions are always much appreciated.
All paintings are acrylic on gessoed board.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; October 25th, 2011 at 09:04 AM.
wow. i love these dude!
Really nice. 'Scent of Red Roses' is my fav.
I'm curious as to the elements of this language as I see many things in play here. I also like the color harmony in "Climb" and "Red Cap".
Hey sweet stuff!
A bit reminiscent of Peggi Kroll-Roberts works but still quite different...
My favs are "Duo" and "Red Cap", i love the greens in the latter.
I like all the others too except for the "Eve" one, but as im not too sure why, i wasnt gonna say it in the first place, then thought you might wanna know?
Out of curiosity, was it painted upside down? Somehow i cant keep myself from trying to look at it the right way up...
Anyway, overall its great and thank you for showing!
Wow, I'm enamored of "eve" love the works thanks for sharing.
For what its worth.. red cap is hands down the best one..
I really like your mark making in that painting. The way your playing with defining shapes edges by painting back into them and leaving it in certain areas.
Really not feeling the drips. They are so important and they dont really do anything.
Exceptionally groovy, Chris. The latter ( as posted ) volleyball paintings are the strongest to my eyes. The last three are right on the money. Maybe 'Climb' breaks up just a little too much and I have to agree with Kenny about the redundant drips in 'Zig-Zag', though the colours on that piece are an absolute treat.
Be interesting to see where you take this next if you persue it further.
woah dude...those are some badass paintings...wild and free..
hmmm some of the stuff reminds me of kim frohsin.....
But I wanna see varied stuff in this style..
Waiting to see more....
m@: Thanks, good to get the feedback on favourites.
el coro: Many thanks Mr Coro!
HunterKiller: Thanks, a lot of people like this one!
AztecFireFlower: Hi Aztec, haven't seen you around for a while, but thanks for dropping by. To answer your question about the elements at play in these paintings:
What I'm trying to do is get the language relating to one fundamental approach to shape making and how it behaves in building form. I want the shapes (sometimes sharp, sometimes transparent, sometimes blurred, sometimes combinations of these three) to be 'free floating' yet be able to marshal them into more compact form when I feel the need, so that even in one painting the shapes can have either more or less interaction with each other. For instance, 'Climb' has the same bonding strenth (or lack of it) between the shapes all over, whereas 'Sidestep' has srong and weak bondings in the same painting. 'Eve' on the other hand, is pretty compacted all across it's surface.
I also do not want the shapes to register as 'facets' but rather inventive gesture answers to how I'm approaching delivering an experience of form to the onlooker. In the portraits (which I have not posted here) the compactness is even stronger, so that this language is highly adaptable.
S.M.: I have never come across Peggi Kroll-Roberts before, interesting comparison. 'Eve' was painted the way up that you see it and I was never tempted to turn it around - infact, I have not even tried looked at it any other way! However, it's always interesting to hear people's reaction to things, even things they are having difficulty in likeing so much - it is all useful grist to the mill and one can learn better how the work is getting across, what is working what might not be etc etc. Anyway, many thanks for your feedback and encouragement!
Victor B: Ah! 'Eve' is your favourite and was S.M.s least favourite! Good to know your preference and many thanks.
Kenny_Callicutt: I know what you mean about those drips Kenny, I figured they would get buried as I carried on with it but the painting just sorta 'clicked' at this point and the drips were just part of it in some wierd way. If I painted them out it would be a different painting and everything would start to change all over again. Anyway, great to get your thoughts on how some of this is and isn't working for you, it's much appreciated, thank you!
Matt Dixon: Thanks Matt. I'm definitly going to use this as my signature language throughout my work because it is so adaptable. I'm going to work heavily on getting the 'raw' marks to stand alone as finished statements whilst also allowing the compacted areas (that I was talking about to AztecFireFlower) to push into really wrought statements, as you begin to see emerging in 'Eve'. Thus, I don't see these as 'loose' or 'unfinished', but rather paintings that have had a shorter life than others.
sourgasm: 'Duo' and 'Eve' are the bigger paintings, so its kinda interesting that you picked them out. Anyway, many thanks for your encouragement and feedback!
Sept13: Thank you! Staring at beach volleyball babes all day in order to paint them is tough work, but somebody's got to do it!
Hi bhanu! You just slipped in with your post as I was replying.....
As I was saying to some of the others, this language is really adaptable - I'm using it right now on a group portrait commission of 4 children. Exactly the same marks, even those on 'Climb', and the same varied bonding between shapes, it's just that it is more 'compacted' to produce 'realism' where it is needed.
I'll definitley be pushing this in different subject directions and post 'em up in this thread so you can see what's happening.
Thanks for those stars by the way!!
Chris, love Duo and Red Cap. The last two are masterful!
Last edited by kev ferrara; March 10th, 2009 at 08:14 PM.
At least Icarus tried!
My Process: Dead Rider Graphic Novel (Dark Horse Comics) plus oil paintings, pencils and other goodies:
My "Smilechild" Music. Plus a medley of Commercial Music Cues and a Folksy Jingle!:
Wonderful work Chris. 'Climb' instantly popped for me.
These didnt grab my attention intially but Ive just been staring at them for absolutely ages. Theyre incredibly evocative of the subject- the hot sun, the echoing in the court, the rustle and hum of the crowd, Im blown away. Its really interesting to read your comments, in that the images are part of a rational exploration of your media, spatial relationships, surface language and interface. Its a very designer-y approach but results in such wonderfully loose dynamic images. 5*
Kev Ferrara: Thanks Kev! I feel like you are ridin' shotgun on this thread now!
sony: Many thanks.
Dave Kendall: Thanks Dave, good to get the feedback.
Velocity Kendall: That's really interesting - that these paintings have taken a moment to 'sink in' and that when they do they speak so authentically for you. You are bang on with your statement about it being a rational understanding of the means I'm employing. To me, understanding the tools gives you the liberty to 'play' - you know what you are doing, you trust yourself, and thus you can leap about in the trees knowing that even if you fall you can do something about it. The 'design' is how we speak as plastic artists. Without it we are almost mute. Anyways, thanks for your thoughts and terrific encouragement, it's most appreciated.
Kelly x: Hi Kelly, thank you for dropping by and being so generous with your praise, its always a pleasure to hear from you!
archipelago: That's very nice of you, thankyou.
Tim: Thankyou, being acrylics the paint is not quite as thick as you might think!
Dile: It's a funny thing about 'Climb', I can remember always feeling on the brink of the whole thing collapsing at any moment with just a couple of dumb brushstrokes in the wrong place - a state of affairs perfectly suited to what is going on in the subject! Thanks for the positive feedback.
Extollere: A lot of people seem to be getting high on 'Red Cap' - lets hope someone needs that fix at the gallery it is on its way to. Thanks for the feedback.
Serpian: Yes, that is sorta like the experience of painting these pictures; trying to feel it only as marks on a surface that seem to make some sense just as they are and without knowing what they represent and yet at the same time being fully aware that they are building a head intoxicated by rose petals. Thanks for your feedback on this Serpian.
Wow, Chris, I like it very much!
The sand in red cap looks like icecream, very haptic (word?)
The flickering colours in the last two are engaging, capturing (I have a real hard time with saying these things in english, I hope you can make some sense of it)
I agree- They're energetic, and very very interesting, these semi-transparent colours.
As I said before: I like your stronger colours.
MarkWinters: Thank you. I trained as an oil painter and it took me almost 5 years to sort out a way of dealing with acrylic paint and its characteristics that suited me. Normally I rub back into the paint and abraid it with a knackered brush in order to mesh things together better, but here I am deliberately leaving the marks unaltered in these particular pintings.
Uli: Thank you. As I mentioned to MarkWinters above, the energy is there because I have not calmed things down with my abraiding process, which is an alternating process between rubbing off the paint and applying it.
The subject seemed a good one to see what would happen if I denied myself the other half of my technique. I have learnt a huge amount about how my language works and realise much better what each part of the process plays in the ordering and building sections of what I do.
EDIT: There is one painting here that I do in fact use the abraiding process. In 'Reach' you can see it happening, particularly on the body.
Last edited by Chris Bennett; March 12th, 2009 at 04:56 PM.
Chris- they have almost film like qualities- they document the process of viewing.
The technique seems to be very well suited to the medium, the fast drying- it's not working against the natural qualities of acrylics, but rather with it's strengths.