Thursday, July 12, 2007

This 10" x 12" painting (still in progress obviously) is the most recent manifestation of "The French Fry Eaters".

I first painted 'the boys' (as I call them) in 1999. That version was 30" x 36" and took three 10" x 12" oil studies and a stack of drawings just to prepare for. Somewhere deep in the bowels of the Internet there is a picture of one of the studies on a blog, posted there by the guys who bought it from a gallery in Alexandria, VA. Every now and then I go and look at it. I love that a couple of guys who could be French Fry Eaters themselves bought it. The other studies sold too as well as the final version but that is one I visit in the middle of the night: I know where to find it and I can be alone with my picture.

I always loved 'the boys' with its feeling of being young and male and ready to grab anything. I send the image around quite a bit to show off my skill and imagination in figure painting. Over the years as those skills have grown the I-could-do-it much-better-now feeling has grown as well. A few months ago I took my own dare, printed off a copy of the finished piece and decided to try again. I figured it would be a piece of cake. After all, the impossible drawing problems had all been solved. All I would have to do to have a little tour de force would be to copy the original with more unity, better blocking, a more confident brush. To make the project even simpler I decided to do a 10" x 12". I would dash off an exquisite painting; couldn't take more than a couple of days.

Ha. First of all, the thing is more intricate than a walnut: densely packed with intricate rhythms and mind-twisting drawing problems. After a few humiliating days spent painting and wiping out I went back to the drawing board - literally. Once I started drawing I realized some of the errors in the original, and then I got some better ideas so I had to rethink the poses...well, you get the idea.

Here are a few of the drawings. They are very rough working sketches - just hammering out ideas -but they have sufficient information for me to be able to work from them.

And here is the original.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

great art...