Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Late Night in the Twilight Zone Feb. 12, 2010
When I was given the opportunity to produce my first one man solo museum exhibition in 2005 at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard California, I set out to create a series of original oil paintings just for this event.
I remember painting approximately twenty paintings for this exhibition, and this is the largest image I've ever painted on location; 33"x70". I took my studio easel on location to an area in Ventura known as the twilight zone. (Hill Street). It took two four hour sittings, before I felt comfortable enough to finish the painting in the studio. During the painting I witnessed vagrants, prostitution, homeless, patrolling police, and gang members making their way to their next graffiti party.
One of the two painting secessions I was accompanied by artist Paul Cumes. He was set up on the other side of the tracks. A train was approaching from the distance, (to the right). I decided to take a break because it was a VERY slow train. So I crossed over the tracks to talk to Paul. Well, the train came, and even though it originally was a slow train, it picked up speed...
By the end of the train it was traveling approximately 45 MPH. When the train eventually passed I noticed My easel, painting, and palette, were face down on the dirt. My glass palette was broken, and paint was plastered all over the back of the canvas, and stretcher bars. Fortunately there were no holes in the canvas and I was able to save the painting.
A major part in the roll of being an artist is knowing how to fix things. Not only how to discriminate what is wrong with the painting but how to fix it so it is a complete work of art. Also, to stay open to subjective criticism.
I went through a lot to produce this painting; (including a brief falling out with my friend Paul), that surreality of the location became a part of the painting's title.
It was the twilight zone, and I witnessed the coming and going of a variety of... people, throughout the night.
I couldn't wait to get out of there...