Tag: Michelangelo

Daz and Hollye Art Tawk August 18 and 19 2018

Daz Lartist garage studio August 19 2018
Daz Lartist garage studio August 19 2018 Having a blank canvas sitting there, with no expectations can then suddenly be the start of an exciting project when you siddenly decide to add paint to it as I did with this one today!

This post is a collage of various artsy things currently on my mind in a free form fashion! There are 2 ten minute videos of Hollye and I discussing art stuff (some of which is also included in this post) – basically this is just a diary of our weekend after a really grueling week at our office jobs (that we’d quit in a second if we could afford to).

I try not to plan creative stuff out much – I let ideas and inspiration come into my mind and then give myself time and space to suddenly act upon those ideas – almost as if I am thwarting my own mind by not knowing when I’m going to be creative – this is a zen way of doing art – I do not have to think about it I just do it (because I have all my art supplies at the ready)! I told myself I was just going to clean up the studio and clean my brushes etc after a couple of months of bringing them back and forth to the Studio C mural site.

I’m finding that the idea of the ebb and flow of waves and the Alan Watts inspired explanation of needing the dark to see the light etc is really inspiring me. I know the elephants I painted today are because of Waykiwayki‘s explanation of the Vedas video – they hold down the Earth according to the ancient Hindus – that makes me happy somehow. I don’t understand, or really care to be an expert on religions – I feel that you can find the creator through any and every religion if you wanted to but I’m just going at my own pace learning a little bit here and there without stressing about it.

I never give my lover Hollye time to prepare for our Art Tawk videos – suddenly I’m recording and we just talk – often we find it is the best way to be truthful and funny!

It was work like this one below that inspired our main man Michelangelo to be a sculptor – this was chiseled out of marble towards the end of the Roman Empire between 101-200 AD (or CE as is the proper term these days to use). Look at the action, the adventure, the pathos, the nekkid bodies and excellent animals! They didn’t have printing presses so action and adventure on a grand scale in art was a frozen moment in time!Fall of Phaeton - Ancient Rome marble carving

You will want to visit this link if interested in Ancient Roman art! http://ancientrome.ru/art/artwork/ Yes it’s a Russian domain but they are people interested in fine art and history too and probably as fucking sick of war and political leaders as you are – this we have in common.

Look at this painting from Ancient Roman times – look familiar? 🙂 This is the reminder for them of what they were fighting for. Having the luxury to daydream while bathing while your loyal doggie waits for you is pretty much the height of civilization!

Ancient Roman painting - woman washing with her doggy

Lenos-sarcophagus with representation of the Dionysiac procession

The one above looks like an allegorical figure I might have sculpted (if I was an Ancient Roman artist who worked in stone)! Notice that her eyes are closed and it looks like a pine cone on the staff. We know the pine cone is still used on important objects by the pope (they have a giant pine cone sculpture as well).

It is understood that the symbol of the pine cone has been and still is used to represent the pineal gland aka the third eye. The pineal gland has rods and cones like your regular eyes but since it is inside your head it reacts to light from the DMT your body produces and voila you see things with the third eye when you dream, perhaps when you hallucinate and definitely when you smoke DMT (I haven’t done that but I trust Terence McKenna when he describes it )! The pineal gland is a big mystery to humans and has been for a long time! Having a mystery to solve engages the brain in healthy activity.

Obviously I find crazy deep things to think about as my cup of tea! It’s just my nature to do so ; I watch mindless entertainment too but I balance it with deep thinking!

A few years ago I got word that a mural I had started some years before was about to be painted over by some visiting artists for some brief publicity and fun but destroying art wasn’t what any of us are into and so we turned it into a collaborative day of fun instead – everyone won! Teens to middle aged people ended up working on this that day.

Speakeasy Art Center Pekin Illinois Mural collaboration January 2014
Speakeasy Art Center Pekin Illinois Mural collaboration January 2014

The local newspaper ran a story on the project and a reporter called me but she kept insisting that I tell her how old I was, as if it was a requirement – so I hung up on her. She obviously was unaware that I grew up listening to the Beatles and do not suffer fools well as was the Beatle way!

George Harrison is cool!
One of the many funny, witty bits in the movie A Hard Days Night. One of my favorite movies and possibly my favorite music album!

The point of that experience is that I don’t have time to waste on stuff I don’t want to do but my ego tells me to do. Just defining what I like and what I do not prefer is what it is all about regardless of who likes me or not.

An artist that I really enjoy is Judy B. Cramer. She, like my love Hollye, paints from the inner child with a true love of color and form. We get to share in the joy of art with her rather than interpret her pain (like certain ‘pumpkin spice’ artists out there)!

Judy B Cramer artist
This is art I like to see in galleries. The colors are vibrant and harmonious, the composition is pleasing and the overall effect is dynamic and positive. To me this says that a human being who loves the experience of being a human painted this. click the pic to visit Judy’s site!

female nude sculpture - Ancient Roman
I really admire the skill and craftsmanship of the Ancient Romans, Greeks and the Italian renaissance and beyond. Taking stone and making it into something visually pleasing is so cool – turning it into beauty is amazing! Perhaps they painted colors over the marble but it wouldn’t be necessary – we have beauty frozen in time in stone- anyone that appreciates female beauty today can see that we are not so different than those amazing artists a couple of thousand years ago!

Oh and while male beauty is not my favorite I do appreciate it too – here’s what Michelangelo sculpted when he was a teenager!

Battle of the Centaurs by Michelangelo
Battle of the Centaurs by Michelangelo (carved when he was teen after being influenced by Ancient Roman art that was being uncovered in the early Renaissance).

Izzy loves you!

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The pumpkin spice of art

Yeah I dissed Bouguereau in a previous post and here I am saying that Jean-Léon Gérôme is awesome! It may appear that I am biased as their art is similar but that similarity is really only in the quality of how the figures are painted – and the word ‘quality’ is not used here to denote a hierarchy of perfection. I use the word quality to denote a style of brushstroke and use of light and shadow.

Our friend Jean-Leon had romance in his soul, adventure, pathos, passion! The nude was just a motif to tell the story not to sell the art! Yes there is a pretty butt right in the middle of the painting, you see it but it’s only a focal point of the narrative. The sculptor falls in love with his creation and she comes to life – it’s sad and yet glorious at the same time ; it reminds us of how complicated our human minds are.

Jean-Léon Gérôme - Pygmalion and Galetea 1890

I’m basically a simple man and things like bondage fetish stuff seems overly complicated to me. I’m plain unflavored maybe not even vanilla – as Maude Flanders said “unflavored for me please”! My kryptonite is pumpkin spice – I will totally die if I drink coffee with that dandruff of Satan in it. Knowing who you are and working with that knowledge is helpful if you want to be happy and productive. There is room for many flavors!

know thyself

Sure there are lots of people who prefer a Venti Flat White over *ack* blumpkin spice – but because I know what I like – it doesn’t bother me if you like some other flavor – everyone gets to decide what they like. Maybe one day I’ll like flavored coffee or find a guys hairy or smooth muscular ass sexy but I don’t think so. I’m just glad that Michelangelo was into dudes as his work is made better with his focused and concentrated preference. I just couldn’t stay motivated to paint a masterpiece like The Last Judgement, I’d at least have to paint giant penises on the devils or something!

The-damned-in-Michelangelos-Last-Judgment

I can’t help but judge what floats your boat – judging is just my personal opinion not a reason to prevent you from doing your thing. Go ahead and put your special leather gear on as long it is done with consenting adults just don’t require me to be into it too! I’m sure my parents might have wondered about my sexuality when I bought the Judas Priest “Priest in the East” album (they re-released it  as “unleashed in the East” but the art is the same).

judaspriest-unleashedintheeast(liveinjapan)(3)

I didn’t know Rob Halford was wearing gay leather biker fetish gear back then – it just looked cool and that album cover art is excellent (the music is obviously top notch too). That picture is a feeling of total triumph – and since it’s Judas Priest they are triumphing over an evil robot invader or some source of corruption that the human race is better off without! I can appreciate the male body as art – for that feeling of triumph and righteous victory, camaraderie etc – this works as fine art. Read into it whatever you want!

I had to unlearn prejudices that I was raised with (by society not so by my parents who were open minded) to reach a point of balance. To know the self you have to know the other and the easiest way to un-learn a prejudice towards people is to simply get to know someone of that persuasion – when your commonalities outweigh your differences you are winning!

Ignorance is the dark that you light up with love. If you refuse to light that flame then the dark is always scary and you react out of fear. But that is your choice and I can’t take that choice away from you even if I don’t prefer you to have it – it’s still a divinely given  right to have your opinion.

I just don’t want everyone to be Judas Priest fans – it’s an exclusive club for people like me – those triumphant over the robot invaders!

A fellow local Peoria Illinois artist is Jessica Ball and she is everything that is right about art – dedicated, focused and unique. She is the pumpkin spice of painting.

Jessica Ball Art - everything that is right about art, unique expressive free form creativity.
Jessica Ball Art – everything that is right about art, unique expressive free form creativity.

 

We are all Dr. Frankenstein!

Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix
The Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix – does Sean Bean die? You’ll have to watch and see!

Hollye and I are watching The Frankenstein Chronicles on Netflix – this is to her what The man In The High Castle on Amazon Prime is to me – about the coolest thing ever! Sure I like Sean Bean and British detective series with a scandalous hint of horror, not as much as Hollye does though but that’s cool, totally cool, we are all unique perspectives of the universe!

The idea of sewing together body parts and bringing them to life was not invented by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley who not only wrote Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus but lived a life of ‘gothic’ romance and tragedy. The idea of bringing the dead to life as a creation was well underway thousands of years before the Era of Frankenstein.

We know that the Italian Renaissance was the rebirth of the classical art of the ancient Greeks. By a change in philosophy allowed by a middle class of merchants who rose to power and influence – lost understanding of the ancients Greeks was regained including the idea that mankind was a machine that God, an artist, breathed life into.

Emulating God by re-creating the beauty of the human form in art and by repairing the machine in medicine was a way to honor God in many of their eyes – it definitely was to Michelangelo. Drawings of individual body parts for study is a tool for both doctors and artists who work with the figure.

The relationship between artists and physicians during the Renaissance (roughly 1300 to 1600) was symbiotic. Artists like Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci, who were interested in exacting the human form in their art, observed physicians at work to learn the layers of muscle and bone structures that formed certain parts of the body. (from here)

Libyan Sibyl Sistine Chapel by Michelangelo
Libyan Sibyl Sistine Chapel fresco and the chalk on paper figure study by Michelangelo

I (like millions of people in the past half a millennium) still find fascination in the monumental art work in the Sistine Chapel and the process of how it happened. Going from an idea to a sketch to a finished masterpiece it is probably the most researched and documented art project ever.

We all know that our friend Michelangelo thought the male body was more fascinating that the female one and many, if not most, of his paintings of women started as sketches of his male models. I wonder if the very female face on the Delphic Sibyl was inspired by a person he knew?

Michelangelo Delphic Sibyl Sistine Chapel

We, in the modern world, do not find anything creepy about a sketch book full of unconnected body parts or an anatomy text book – they are just tools.

Using individual sketches (or parts of photographs) to make art is typical practice (remember that our friend Edgar Degas was an early adopter of this method) and with the age of Photoshop we pretty much understand that what we see in media has been manipulated to show it’s best side at the very least – if not a complete fabrication!

1950's cowgirl pin up art and photo reference by Gil Elvgren
1950’s cowgirl pin up art and photo reference by Gil Elvgren

Gil Elvgren’s paintings are perhaps the apotheosis of the Pin-Up genre and his works command the highest price amongst collectors today. Like Art Frahm he often painted silly scenes of girls accidentally revealing their underwear, but his jokes are wittier, his brush strokes more expert and his girls more gorgeous. Elvgren apparently claimed that the ideal Pin-Up model had a 15-year-old’s face on a 20-year-old’s body, which is the sort of thing you could say in the 1940s without being thought creepy. That quote may be apocryphal but he did base most of his paintings on the model Myrna Hansen, who started working for him when she was just 13 (chaperoned by her mother, it must be said). (from here)

One thing that I have found in painting is that working directly from photographs can leave the work looking generic (Degas being the major exception it seems) – I mean you can’t deny the success of modern figure painters like Boris Vallejo and Julie Bell – they took what Michelangeo started and added their creativity which is fine, it’s lovely and awesome but in my opinion they fall into the trap that William-Adolphe Bouguereau did – there’s a limit to ‘perfection’ and if you go beyond it then you lose something human about the experience of the art. It can be perfect in every way and still not be ‘good’!

William Bouguereau - Nymphs and Satyr
William Bouguereau – Nymphs and Satyr – it’s perfect in every way but it’s still lacking in something that only a human being can feel as true art! (this artist was one of the assholes who dissed the Impressionists as he couldn’t understand how their ‘sloppy’ work could be viewed as “fine art” compared to his perfection of the baroque style. I’m sorry man, we all like tits and ass, don’t get me wrong, but you aren’t putting your soul into this work – we can feel it – there is a difference – it’s nice art, better than I could ever do probably and it shows the glory of God with the beautiful figures, it carries on the fine tradition of quality that the Renaissance started – in text book terms you should be the greatest painter ever and you were back in your day to your fans but you are a jackhole and Claude Monet is waay cooler than you, and besides, they have this new invention called the camera now so people can take their own pics of boobs and don’t need your pretty porn any more – perfection is not enough sir!

Simply copying where the light and shadow falls is possible but a mere transference of a captured image verbatim into to paint on a canvas isn’t enough – that’s why The Impressionists blew away the realist painters and now those former ‘top of charts’ artists are barely remembered at all except for art nerds like me.

You have to skew your viewpoint and add your personality to the art to make it more than a just a copy – you have to breathe life into it! It has to be you, be infused with your consciousness – you can’t just scientifically make great art in a lab – you cannot be outside of it!

Allegory of Abundance mural in progress by Daz Lartist
Allegory of Abundance mural in progress by Daz Lartist

Painting directly from your imagination with no references allows a freedom and flexibility that makes it more fun! Sure, you may not reach the level of anatomical accuracy that Michelangelo did but why would you want to when you can surprise yourself with something that is unique and equally interesting to look at?

I suggest to allow your mind to piece together the bits and pieces of things that are stored away then trust that your hand will put the paint where it needs to be.

Hey, I know Vincent van Gogh was the ‘good one’ and has a special place in our hearts but I’m way more into the painting theories of Paul Gauguin.

Rather than painting a naturalistic representation of observed reality, Paul Gauguin and his followers at Pont Aven aimed to create art that combined (or synthesised) the subject-matter with the artist’s feelings about the subject and the aesthetic concerns of line, colour and form. As Maurice Denis observed in 1890:

It is well to remember that a picture before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order. (from here)

We all synthesize reality from the memories and expectations that we have about what we experience – we are all basically Dr. Frankenstein trying to breathe life into a bunch of separate parts we join together in some sense of order – so let’s own it and celebrate it!

My love Hollye is writing a novel in serialized form with a Frankenstein theme on her blog and you can catch up with this really well written and readable novella by starting here! https://hollyebgreen.com/2018/07/29/novella-frankensister-chapter-1-fiction/

My friend Jeff makes the best monster art on the planet right now! Support a cool indy artist by finding his art and buying a whole bunch of it (it’s everywhere – search Ebay!)

Mani-yack Frankenstein and THEY LIVE by Jeff Carlson
Mani-yack Frankenstein and THEY LIVE by Jeff Carlson

 

 

 

 

Appreciation of the human as art!

Some people paint, others make music, some dance and some are overtly the art just by being themselves! We are all imbued by the breath of the creator and thus are all beautiful art and while, to our human senses, our beauty is solely ‘in the eye of the beholder’ one thing we can agree on is that it takes someone else to appreciate the beauty for it to exist beyond our own definition!

Appreciation is what makes art exist! 

My love Hollye wrote a great poem today about beauty (click here) and I am the lucky one who can appreciate it every day!

Appreciation of the human by Daz Lartist - oil on canvas slightly manipulated in Photoshop!
Appreciation of the human by Daz Lartist – oil on canvas slightly manipulated in Photoshop!

1950s artist and model from old movie

art is good

Michelangelo drawing of man fighting lion
Michelangelo drawing of man fighting lion

Michelangelo vs. Leonardo : great artist or genius who made some great art?

Inspire graphiti art by Daz Lartist
Inspire graphiti art by Daz Lartist

If you study art history then you’ll know that during the Italian Renaissance there were hundreds of artists that could sculpt and paint on par with Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci and Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (both still so famous that we can just use their first names).

There was a lot of marble, charcoal and fresco plaster dust in the daily life of an artist back then, not to mention the fact you had to make your own paints! Only the rich could even consider fine art as a hobby and much like today still, parents preferred that that children find a better career than ‘artist’.

Leonardo, or as Michelangelo called him ‘that lute player from Milan’, was apparently a dandy (a man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance). Leonardo was a genius for hire rather than ‘an artist’. He used his genius level art skills to make fine art but it wasn’t who he was.

They called Michelangelo Buonarroti, “Il Terrible”. He was young, twenty-six, brilliant and arrogant, so arrogant that he didn’t sign his works1; he thought that people would know the creator, by looking. Just the man to attack a large marble commonly referred to as “Il Gigante”, lying in a churchyard. Agostino di Duccio had attempted to carve a David out of the stone thirty-five years prior. “Il Gigante” intimidated every sculptor there after. – Marjorie Masel

Being an artist in the way we think of it today was quite different 600 years ago. Back then it was more like being a contractor, a professional who constructed things and who was respected for doing a competent job – but rarely with the possibility of  becoming a celebrity. It took Michelangelo’s dedication to change this perception; to translate his passion for the craft into what we now consider fine art.

Because we as a society  respect fine art it has allowed me to paint on walls that I didn’t own and to be appreciated for what I love to do rather than to get in trouble for it. When I have been exhausted and paint splattered from a day of mural painting I often think of Michelangelo and say “thanks man”!

Giorgio Vasari, former student of Michelangelo (and his biggest fan), was a competent Renaissance Man in the complete definition of the word. His love of and dedication to the artistic lifestyle lead him to literally be the father of art history. He immortalized himself when he wrote his Lives of the most excellent artists biographies. The artistic lifestyle is one that has been romanticised ever since the time of Michelangelo and thank you Mr. Vasari for starting that meme!

There was a time when Leonardo could have inspired his people as much as Michelangelo did in a artistic sense, but, as Vasari said (I paraphrase), Leonardo didn’t like to get dirty, and doing art on a grand scale requires one to get filthy!

Haha makes me think of the movie Paint Your Wagon and that song “the best things in life are dirty“, hell, Michelangelo washed his feet less than Sid Vicious! (yes I know all we have is Vasari’s account of how Michelangelo slept with his boots on and movie quotes from Sid and Nancy to back up that last statement!).

I think Leonardo could have done so much more, to inspire everyone than he did back in the day. Remember that while generations of people thrilled to the Sistine Chapel and the statue of David et al, Leonardo’s sketchbooks were not publicly available until relatively recently.  The Mona Lisa is a little overrated in terms of painting in my opinion.

I have a beef with Leonardo because he drew the greatest Renaissance sketch ever, The Battle of Anghiari and then never attempted anything as spectacular again!

Peter Paul Ruben's copy of Leonardo's Battle of Anghiari
Peter Paul Ruben’s copy of Leonardo’s Battle of Anghiari

Leonardo saw art mostly as a job or at best a tool, but Michelangelo did art to glorify God and to inspire people. Michelangelo showed what was possible, even by someone who considered themselves tragically flawed.

The artist doesn’t need to look presentable but the art does! This of course is something we saw happen in music when the Beatles opened the doors for the counterculture. The anecdote about John Lennon on stage in Hamburg with a toilet seat around his neck is just a funny reminder that human beings are multi-faceted. You can be a genius and an idiot at the same time and that is perfectly acceptable!

Perhaps the following quote is closer to the point I want to make.

By the time he moved from the Borinage to Brussels, in the fall of 1880, van Gogh was committed to being an artist—a commitment he would never break. –  Nellie Hermann

As you know, prior to being the artist we know him for, Vincent Willem van Gogh was a preacher. The scene where (Kirk Douglas playing Vincent) sees the children in the Borinage coal mine in the awesome 1956 movie Lust for Life is powerful. You can see that clip via this link to youtube. In the long run it was the coal miners themselves that saved their children from the barbarism of that time of course. Vincent, after deciding to just be himself instead of trying to be something that society/culture offered, gave us one of the greatest inspirational stories in the art world.

Almost a century later a group of young men around the same age that Vincent was when he decided to be a real artist, (the same age Michelangelo was half a millennia before that when he sculpted his David), were on tour, the final Black Flag tour. The excellent documentary REALITY ’86’D filmed by David Markey might not be your cup of tea but it shows that passion for the artistic lifestyle can make a lasting impression in art regardless of commercial success in it’s time. 

You can look to the results of what people dedicated to being full time original artists, like Vincent van Gogh and like Greg Ginn (founder of and guitarist for Black Flag) did as your inspiration if you want to reach your full potential (like I did). You may have to load your own equipment and may ultimately die as an unknown weirdo but if you want to be a great artist you have to be all in. You might even accomplish something as great as what Michelangelo did if you are dedicated to being a great artist!

I too decided to become a ‘great artist’ in my mid 20’s, I literally proclaimed this improbable statement and meant it! It has been quite a journey avoiding the ‘sensible’ career path and was the right choice. Ultimately if you don’t want to be a ‘great artist’ you can still make great art (like Leonardo did) but your story won’t be as romantically inspirational! As Jim Morrison said (I paraprase) did you have a good enough life to base a movie on? Vincent and Michelangelo did  and Greg is still kicking ass today!

A still from the movie REALITY '86'D showing Greg Ginn rocking out on Main ST. USA is most excellent!
A still from the punkumentary movie REALITY ’86’D of my favorite scene. Greg Ginn is rocking out on Main St. USA making art that no one has done before, knowing it is good and not caring if no one else gets it. Pure inspirational genius.