And something that’s curious is how different these two are from another black and white image I did 10 pieces ago. Have a look at #8.
The earlier piece is less contrasty, textured, and in close. There are two reasons for the differences. One is just the brush and brush settings I used. Recently I was watching some videos about the painter, Daniel Richter, who I didn’t know of, but is like a scarier version of Peter Doig. Just an aside, it’s rather surprising that I haven’t encountered some living painters that I’d like until recently. And, surely, none of them have seen my work. Painters just don’t get the media attention/recognition that conceptual or political artists get. Anyway, he was talking about changing up his style simply by changing media, or palette, or tools. This, I find, is very true. And how much easier that is to do digitally than with analogue mediums.
The other reason for the changes is just that my head is in a different place. Sometimes even when I try to work in the same style for two or three pieces, I end up going off in another direction. For me, this is desirable. A signature style is never the end goal, but rather continual exploration.
Recently I not only think it’s bizarre that someone like Jackson Pollock could work for so long with such a limited range of visual options (no subject matter, no composition, no chiaroscuro, no blending of colors, and just dripped arcs), but even some of my favorite painters, like Francis Bacon. However, if one is going to be corralled in a signature style, much better to be a broad one like Bacon’s than a critically narrow one like Pollock’s (which is not to say I’m not a fan).
With these pieces I keep tinkering with the formula, or recipe, and the process. As I said, this is a huge advantage in working digitally because I don’t, for example, have to go out and buy a new set of paints or brushes. Of course, working with traditional mediums has its own advantages, but not for my lifestyle, living as an expat in S.E. Asia. No place to work, store pieces, and I’d have to ship them. Igadz!
I’m planning one or two or three more B&W pieces, but, I realize some of the weaknesses of this particular recipe, and am going to experiment with something a little different.