Archive | November, 2012

Locations

3- Paths, Atitlan, oil on mixed media on panel 11 X 34″

This is one of a couple of  works, on a HomeDepot wood laminate I later mounted,  that I composed in Photoshop, then painted in acrylics, then corrected in paint markers, then overpainted it in oils- these steps made necessary to finally get the colors and atmosphere aligned. So the surface may be overworked, but the intention of expressing something about arbitrary choice remains. Image sources: central image is a realigned 2004 digital shot of lake Atitlan, near Panajachel,  left is loosely based on a scan of a 110 negative I shot in western Japan in 1978, right is heading to the beach in Loveladies, New Jersey.

3- Paths, woods, oil on mixed media on panel 11 X 34″

This is the second of a couple of  works, on a wood laminate I later mounted,  that I composed in Photoshop, then painted in acrylics, then corrected in paint markers, then over-painted it in oils- these steps made necessary to finally get the colors and atmosphere aligned. So the surface may be overworked, but the intention of expressing something about arbitrary choice remains. This one I managed to align by using trees and backlighting across all three parts.

Papallacta, oil on canvas, 36 X 48″

At Termas de Papallacta, Ecuador. Over the years I have collected a few hundred images of passages. This is a common theme in landscapes because of the suggestion of graduating from one thing into another. For instance, every funeral home has a picture of a garden gate. At Termas, there are little cabins you stay in connected by regular roads and also, on the back sides by trails through the bamboo, which is an invasive weed. I like the way bamboo hogs all the light so that when you are inside of it you are in a nearly blacked-out space. Within seconds, your eyes adjust. It reminds me of building snow caves as a kid. Termas is only a few kilometers from the equator but is also at a high altitude, and so you have an extremely diverse plant life in spite of agressive species.

Igi-Mi-Tama (Kurasawa)  18X34” oil on panel

Shinto beliefs infuse some of Kurasawa’s early works, especially one where itinerant samurai slaughter a family whose ghosts wander a remote mountain precinct causing night travelers to dissapear. In that film, he sometimes shows an entrance to a abandoned temple, which has been removed from its wooded habitat here. In that system, ghosts cannot be defeated, they must be purified and allowed to move on. During the occupation, under severe restrictions by the film board, this is as close as Kurasawa came to criticizing the authorities. I continue to tap into the vein of Kurasawa’s early films because they speak to me in ways that are not clear but become somewhat reachable after I paint them. Possibly, decades free them from the restricted stories of their time and allow them to become more universal for people outside that time and culture.

Zulu Gate, oil on canvas, 50 ” X 48″ oil on canvas

 

Erin’s Cowpond, oil on canvas, 18 X 24″

a just for fun landscape, is an image attractive to me, maybe because the rotting bridge makes me think I am someplace that no longer exists in this way and is probably now dredged and developed.  Impassable, inaccessible, Palin’s bridge to nowhere…

 

Read full story · Comments are closed Thom Dougherty, Painting, painter, art, fine art, gallery, television, pop art, color, broadcast TV, design, signage, Verde Valley School, Sedona, landscapes, portraiture, oils, acrylics, oil painting, Baltimore, halation, blur, glazing, rennaissance, Kehinde Wiley, Ed Pashke, Gerhard Richter

Situations

Meanwhile, oil on modeled gesso on canvas,  36 X 50″

Staring at the surface of the ocean is not unlike staring at the surface of a TV screen— light bends and loops and arranges itself into patterns that quickly disengage and reform. In “Meanwhile, I painted a water surface onto wavy, modeled ground so that both actual surface and image were moving in different ways, hoping the mix would perhaps gestalt. This image is actually a frame for an inner image (one of the pregnant paintings). The center image shows a fragment from the destruction of Tokyo in an early Godzilla classic. I have no idea what the billboard says but I like the mix of warm fire colors surrounded by cool water colors.

Ethnic Geometry, oil on canvas,  42 X 50″

Ethnic geo takes two architectural structures that are both recognizable even to people who have never been in one, (plains pole lodge and a Sudanese mosque, I believe) and rescales them for comparison and puts them both in rectangles of equal proportions to arrive at a composition that is formal in shape and in color. A modernist composition, possibly loaded, but I like it anyway because while the color is very active, the composition is static and relaxing.

MUSICAL CHAIRS,  Oil on modeled gesso on linen with galvanized steel and organ reeds,  25 X 31″

Walking across 125th street early on a Sunday morning, I found this busted up organ on the sidewalk. Good thing I carry a screwdriver. I reduced it to the essential parts that actually make the notes. One of the images that I had been working with fit the idea of being musical. I had painted a shot of a chair from outside the elevators in “The Shining” onto a deeply corrugated and waving surface modeled with gesso; and the waving chair already resonated like a soundscape. It was then simple to design a galvanized frame to include the working parts of the old organ. The frame can be played by blowing on it or by plucking it.

Morning News, oil on canvas, 28 X38″

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Former Tenants, Oil on canvas, 42 X 56″
Read full story · Comments are closed Thom Dougherty, Painting, painter, art, fine art, gallery, television, pop art, color, broadcast TV, design, signage, Verde Valley School, Sedona, landscapes, portraiture, oils, acrylics, oil painting, Baltimore, halation, blur, glazing, rennaissance, Kehinde Wiley, Ed Pashke, Gerhard Richter

Groups

halation and blumeing in pre-digital television

Golf Crowd

In “Golf Crowd” I have blown up a snippet of a still I took from a Sunday televised golf match, at the point where the camera pans over the crowd. These shots are likely to let us know the popularity ofthe game, as well as the temperature outside. For me, these low-resolution shots are great for showing halation and video artifacts like blume-ing in a way that makes them seem logical.

Japanese Stadium

There is just enough information in “Japanese Stadium” (oil on canvas) to see where the stairs are and at what angle the seating curves. You could take a piece of chalk and draw two diagonal lines from top left to bottom right to indicate the stairs, which are full of standing people, and the stadium seating curves gently from lower left to center right. In post-war Japan, people wore white hats in the sun and if they did not have a white hat, they wore a white cloth on their heads, which makes for a coded looking pattern.

Osaka Baseball

They cover their heads with towels when it is too sunny.

Reason to Believe

Waiting and Watching

Progression – second panel

 

 

 

Read full story · Comments are closed Thom Dougherty, Painting, painter, art, fine art, gallery, television, pop art, color, broadcast TV, design, signage, Verde Valley School, Sedona, landscapes, portraiture, oils, acrylics, oil painting, Baltimore, halation, blur, glazing, rennaissance, Kehinde Wiley, Ed Pashke, Gerhard Richter

Characters

Astronaut, 48 X 96″ oil on sealed rag paper mounted on plywood

In Palenque, there is an excavated door covered in glyphs, which is the basis of the silkscreen printed for the background of this painting. Partly because I am in Sedona and there is a contingent of folks here who think that currently extinct empires such as the Mayans were once in touch with people from the stars, I painted a tongue-in-cheek picture of Elvis, posing as John Glenn, as he appeared to the public in his hand made space suit, on top of a repeated image of the Palenque glyphs. Then, I pushed the glyphs back in space (and time) with a layer of cloudy smoky blues and pinks; finally I needed to pop the astronaut forward with stronger, more primary colors, using the colors typical of a circus show poster.

 

Tarzan, Ungawa  42X62″, framed with double-exposures from TV-    53X73″

Natalie, 28 X 42″ oil on canvas

Now it is easy with a DVR to record TV and look at it frame by frame, at leisure, but a few years back it was necessary to keep a tripod in front of the television and snap pictures as the film played. No rewind possible unless using a VCR and then the image was different than what you could see on a broadcast image. Since I was studying the look of broadcast images, I kept a tripod in front of the TV and spent a lot of time later looking through the negatives on a light table to choose the best frame. Broadcast TV looks different now with better technology and the older tech that millions watched nightly shows us something about how human vision works, in that what we actually saw and what we thought we were looking at were two different things. Our optic nerves are capable of on-the-fly translations. This painting is painted with darker and lighter horizontal lines and wavy vertical lines in imitation of the kind of interference that was common in broadcast images in general and in urban areas in particular. The subject, of course, is from “Splendor in the Grass” with a scene of Natalie Wood walking out into a lake at night, in the kind of close-up we are to read as internal emotion, and, with a great actress like Natalie Wood, we are confused about what the emotion could be- several can be read into this image. Making SITG was the high point of her career. A few years later she drowned.

Rutger Hauer, oilon canvas, 30 X 40″

Hauer was the best bad guy of his generation.

Hattie McDaniel. oil on canvas, 54 X 72″

Hattie McDaniel, the first Black woman to sing on the radio in America, was in over 300 films, receiving credit for about a fourth of them. She famously said “I would rather play a maid than be one” in answer to younger, later black actors who criticized her for taking submissive roles. The Hollywood of her day was one where buxom babes ruled the day, so I painted an image of her (from Gone With the Wind), surrounded by a frame with buxom actresses sunning themselves on the beach (something I shot from TV without noting the source material). She is cold, outside at night in a bathrobe. The halation and RGB burns in the image is in the context of watching reruns on Saturday television during the later decades of the 20th century.

Japanese Marilyn, oil on canvas, 42 X 58″

On a Toshiba CRT, with the color adjustments pushed, cyan and turquoise are over-represented, which I like. I used these settings to shoot a broadcast of the 1956 movie, Bus Stop, where Marilyn Monroe plays a character closer to her own life than the rest of her more musical roles. Because it was interpreted by a Toshiba TV, I called this Japanese Marilyn.

 TV has always been a media of talking heads and when there are moments where we are intended to catch a mood or emotion, the camera often zooms in so that we get just a head shot or a partial head shot, as in this composition. Since we have grown to be video-literate, we unconsciously understand what we are to get from these shots. Three elements converge together- the subject of Marilyn for one and the zoom and color settings too, and the broadcast 256-line texture as well, if you triangulate these three you arrive at a point in the middle which is the iconization, where we gestalt the visuals into an internal image for Marilyn Monroe- the thing (not the person). Everyone paints Marilyn just as 700 years ago, everyone painted a crucifixion. This is my take around a well-tread subject.

Lassie, oil on canvas, 30 X 44″

Since I grew up with Lassie, or the collection of collies that went together to form the TV star known as Lassie, I saw her, along with Bambi, as a member of the human family. She bridged the gap between the medieval human-centric view of our living planet and the more contemporary and more inclusive view of living things as forming a whole, without hierarchy. RinTin Tin, in books, comics and in film made it possible for dogs to become stars of the silver screen but Lassie took it further and became, in the hearts of children everywhere, the idea that nature could reach down to help us when no one was looking. A painting of a collie would not be a painting of Lassie. For it to read as her, it needed to be a painting of a TV screen that was busy displaying Lassie.

Lord of the Flies, oil on panel, 36 X 48″

In a fleeting role that became fossilized, James Aubrey played Ralph in William Golding and Peter Brook’s 1963 B&W version of Lord of the Flies. Subsequent versions, while less clumsy and more complex, have never been able to achieve anything close to the same effect as the ’63 version, which reads differently for sundry viewers in different decades under contemporary circumstances, like a bowl that is able to hold both soup or porridge. The character Ralph in print and in film has been a powerful icon for me and, I believe, for others of my generation. We watch crisp, white uniforms become bloodied rags as Innocence is lost in the course of the film. I referenced this particular frame for obvious reasons. I hoped for this painting to serve as a door through which people of my generation might glimpse the point when we first realized that we had lost our hold on childhood forever.

Waxing Wayne,        oil on canvas,    42X72″

Does “waxing” mean laying down a line of rapid fire from an automatic gun mounted in a plane?
If so, a painting based on an image shot of John Wayne in a WWII movie should be called “Waxing Wayne”. This is one of the earliest examples of painting from television and the crude pixel-by-pixel coloration works like a mosaic and keeps the image generalized and not specific. The main innovation here is developing a palette of glazes that, when layered, create a brightness of color similar to a TV screen. This cannot be done with impasto painting and cannot become with many pod the pigments available to the artist, but within each hue, there are lightfast colors that will hold brightness even when layered with other hues. Even today, I still use a palette based in part on this research.

 Phone Tap, oil on canvas, 22 X 24″

A long time before internet surveillance, “G- men” (g stands for Government) would tap into phone lines and eavesdrop. This was a common theme in detective films. (Another common, though weird theme was people getting hit on the head and developing amnesia.) This is a televised (as in shot from television, based on television, looks like television) image of that popular theme.

 Susan B. Anthony, oil on canvas, 30″ X 40″

Susan B. Anthony, a Quaker activist who died more than a century ago was co-founder of the first Women’s Temperance Movement and possibly the best-known name in today’s feminist movement. Her profile was on the recent vintage of a U.S. silver dollar, which was cancelled due to the confusion between that and a quarter. Because of her importance in shaping our modern world, I sought to make a comfortable image of her. Previously, my own personal image of her, because of the high collar, stiff posture and tightly braided hair, had been a fierce and warrior-like nun. To soften her image, I painted her three times- once in yellow, once in red and once in cyan. That version was too severe as well, so I layered a permanent rose pigment over all. It makes her glow and the glow infers special powers. She’ll need it with the life-begins-at-conception sultans. (We all know life begins at the big bang.) Given her extremism and activism, it is a safe bet that she would be in jail were she alive today.

 Joey & Penny, Oil on canvas with cyanotype inlay, 34 X 46″.

Original sold, quarter-sized prints available.

 


Illusions- Bucerias, digitally composed photography and graphics.

giclee on canvas   24 X 36″
Layering 35 simplified illustrations of optical illusions, and 5 photographs of street cooking in Bucerias, and using layer modalities and transparency sliders in Photoshop, along with other compositing tools, created a digital quilt totally without meaning but kinda grounded in the cook, who was sullenly cooking intestines while his mom prepared the tortillas.

3/4 face, oil on canvas, 18 X 24″

A fragment of a fragment of a fragment.a fragment of a fragment of a fragment

 

Read full story · Comments are closed Thom Dougherty, Painting, painter, art, fine art, gallery, television, pop art, color, broadcast TV, design, signage, Verde Valley School, Sedona, landscapes, portraiture, oils, acrylics, oil painting, Baltimore, halation, blur, glazing, rennaissance, Kehinde Wiley, Ed Pashke, Gerhard Richter

More situations

Former Tenants, oil on canvas, 42 X 56″

Taking a cue from double exposures, which remind me of parallel realities, I painted a room along with partial figures moving through it without feet. While working on this, I began to think of people who have inhabited my room in previous years, and the figures took on more of the look of servants to the wealthy. Also used are artifacts that I have observed on television.

 

Cool Hand Luke, mixed media on paper, 20 X 30″

The underpainting is more violent and gutsy. Each layer refined the image, bringing it closer to the way a camera teaches us to see. I think the movie was in black & white and in this it is drawn over an orange ground. Sometimes it seems that subjects I paint have something to do with things I am going through in my personal life but those thoughts never occurs to me until well after the work is completed.

Zulu Gate

Somewhere in Vermont

Illusions- Bucerias, digitally composed photography and graphics. Prints up to  24X36″

Layering 35 simplified illustrations of optical illusions, and 5 photographs of street cooking in Bucerias, and using layer modalities and transparency sliders in Photoshop,  along with other compositing tools, created a digital quilt totally without meaning but kinda grounded in the cook, who was sullenly cooking intestines while his mom prepared the rolls.

TV Room

Joey & Penny

Football

Musical Chairs

 

Read full story · Comments are closed Thom Dougherty, Painting, painter, art, fine art, gallery, television, pop art, color, broadcast TV, design, signage, Verde Valley School, Sedona, landscapes, portraiture, oils, acrylics, oil painting, Baltimore, halation, blur, glazing, rennaissance, Kehinde Wiley, Ed Pashke, Gerhard Richter

more characters

Depth Gauge, oil on textured modeling gesso, 48 X 60″

A painting of a frame from Das Boot showing a retro but lively-looking gauge, is framed with a cropped face from a frame in Inoshiro Honda’s Mothra (all time fave movie). The signal for the Honda image is breaking up, and at actual size is difficult to resolve, while the central image is softened with warm color and a glass semi transparent reflection of a guy in a suit. Combinations like this are suggested unconsciously and may or may not have any further import, but if they did, it would be decayed with translations into language. They are combined and composed in a non-language area of my brain.

Lord of the Flies, oil on panel, 36 X 48″

In a fleeting role that became fossilized, James Aubrey played Ralph in William Golding and Peter Brook’s 1963 B&W version of Lord of the Flies. Subsequent versions, while less clumsy and more complex, have never been able to achieve anything close to the same effect as the ’63 version, which reads differently for sundry viewers in different decades under contemporary circumstances, like a bowl that is able to hold both soup or porridge. The character Ralph in print and in film has been a powerful icon for me and, I believe, for others of my generation. We watch crisp, white uniforms become bloodied rags as Innocence is lost in the course of the film. I referenced this particular frame for obvious reasons. I hoped for this painting to serve as a door through which people of my generation might glimpse the point when we first realized that we had lost our hold on childhood forever.

Subcommandante Marcos, oil on canvas, 18″ X 24″

During the George W. Bush presidency, the image of Ché Gueverra began appearing more and more frequently in T-shirts, tattoos and posters, magazine ads, in the background in movie sets and online postings. Alberto Korda’s photo has been around for more than a half-century, but there seem to be times when it is called upon to mean more than just an historical reference to the Cuban revolution. Along with Korda’s photos, images of Emiliano Zapata, Pancho Villa and Zapatistas also took on a new life. I remember in 1969 when the image of Mao Zedong became am modern icon. Soon afterwards Warhol used Mao, along with Marilyn and Elvis to show us our favorite commodified personalities. If we need a new one, the one that comes most readily to mind is Subcommandante Marcos, who is frequently in the press from other countries but almost never mentioned in the press in the U.S. He has published 2 books through City Lights Books of San Francisco, received college degree from U.S. institutions and successfully led uprisings in Chiapas for two decades, evading capture even while the Mexican army destroyed whole villages looking for him. Many corridos have been written about him and his friends. Surely he is a saint of our times or at least an icon equivalent of a modern Karl Marx. In researching images of him, nearly all have the pierced face covering and the pipe. I chose to not use the pipe because he is a mouthpiece for a people.I chose feminine colors because Homeland Security paints him as a terrorist, which I see as olive drab, and not fuscia. (I also wanted to connect him to the Virgen de Guadalupe.) I also made a high-contrast version of this for use on T-shirts in case anyone wants to use it.

Lincoln, oil on canvas, 30 X 40″

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?
Abraham Lincoln

Photographs of Lincoln were more pictures about the century than pictures about the leader. But the sculpture by Daniel Chester French in the Lincoln Memorial, sitting as it does, high above our heads, is exactly evocative of a unflinching leader. I first painted it in black & white overlaying coloration later.

Swimmers 1962 X/O  mixed media on paper 22″ X 30″

 

 

 

 

Read full story · Comments are closed Thom Dougherty, Painting, painter, art, fine art, gallery, television, pop art, color, broadcast TV, design, signage, Verde Valley School, Sedona, landscapes, portraiture, oils, acrylics, oil painting, Baltimore, halation, blur, glazing, rennaissance, Kehinde Wiley, Ed Pashke, Gerhard Richter