A few weeks ago I had some time off and spent it making art, as usual. I made three small paintings over the period of three very productive days and I also recorded "the making of" process.
Few weeks ago, on a lazy Sunday morning, still curled up in my bed I wrote in my journal: "As I wake up I peel away my night skin made of enigmatic dreams, unfulfilled desires and longings..."
Almost every morning I fill pages of my notebook with whatever comes to mind, stream of consciousnesses style so no surprise much of my writing sounds nonsensical and I don't ever analyze or rarely even go back to it but this sentence stuck with me and in days to come I couldn't stop thinking about my "night skin" and meaning of it.
As I was going through my archives I stumbled upon an old painting called Nocturnal bloom, a dark blue and purple texture I was always very fond of. Even though it's from 2015 I can still recall exactly how it was made: I woke up feeling super restless and still in my PJs I started working on it without having a clear idea of what I was doing, in an almost trance like state. I don't usually finish my paintings in one day but I just couldn't stop working on this one. At one point I spilled a bottle of purple ink all over myself but that didn't prevent me from continuing to work on the painting. I made it in about 6 hours time which is super fast for me but somehow it worked, it made sense to me in all of its abstract, dark glory.
Looking at this old painting now and with its "nocturnal" title in mind I thought to myself I must have made it while still having my "night skin" on since I could feel an echo of "enigmatic dreams and unfulfilled longings" coming through it.
It made me realize that I made most of my best or favorite work from the same point of view, or better said while being in the same mode of operating, from the same, particular space: dark (but not in a sense of negative or destructive), enigmatic, mysterious, untamed, filled with desire and nocturnal in nature. In other words I make my best work while having my "night skin" on.
While pondering that I took some long exposure self portraits and other photos as well.
One of the most recent paintings I did that remind me of Nocturnal bloom is Metaphors of love and it's the last painting I also recorded myself making. I really want to shoot more work-in-progress videos but can't bring myself to do it, it's very hard for me to both paint and record the process, multitasking just ruins my flow unless I somehow manage to convince myself that recording is just as part of creative process as painting itself. In that case I approach painting as an act of performance captured on camera but since I'm not fond of performing I don't succeed in puling it off very often.
Currently I've been slowly but surely working on expanding The house of indefinable pleasures series and this little piece called Beloved is the latest addition to it. After years of predominately creating images in portrait orientation I decided to rotate my images which might not seem like an important thing to do but even such small change made me more inspired. I've been also doodling a lot just for practice and fun, drawing eyes or little stars.
Speaking of stars, I was very happy when I finally painted "a star of my own". Few months ago while finishing my mega project I was also struggling with finishing the series Enter the underworld. The series begins with an image of an eclipse and I knew the final image should somehow relate to it but I just had no idea what would it be. Eclipse was made on 21.03 2015. (during an actual eclipse) and it took me almost 3 years working on the series to come up with A star of your own painting that made me finally feel like the whole series is done.
I also felt I needed to make another painting that somehow relates to another image from 2015, White flame so when I made A vein of gold I knew the series was complete and it brought me a sense of relif and joy :)
I've been still making paintings inspired by music on the blog I actually update regularly (unlike this one oooops) and you can go there if you like to see those images or just scroll down to see some of my personal favorites inspired by song recommendations.
Without any additional explanations, I'd just like to share some of the art I've made this month, some paintings, some doodles, some pages from my sketchbook, some ideas and thoughts... a bit of everything :)
Recently I've updated my portfolio with new series of paintings called The House of Indefinable Pleasures. I've started working on this series back in January and the title is a reference to Goethe's Theory of Colors:
People experience a delight in color, generally. The eye requires it as much as it requires light. We have only to remember the refreshing sensation we experience, if on a cloudy day the sun illumines a single portion of a scene before us and displays its colors. That healing powers were ascribed to colored gems, may have arisen from the experience of this indefinable pleasure.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Theory of Colors
However, this series was originally inspired by Prince (wait what?! what do Goethe and Prince have in common?!). At the beginning of 2017. as I was listening to Prince I I couldn't help but think how his music was so incredibly positive, uplifting, sensual and sexy. Even if we put aside erotic lyrics his music by itself still sounds sooooo sexy and it made me wonder if it would be possible for me to make "sexy" abstract art, or is an idea of erotic abstract art an oxymoron? I mean, is it possible to express something very sensual and sexy by just using color and abstract patterns? At the same time I was reading some of Wilhelm Reich's work and also started to wonder if I could "paint an orgasm" or somehow express an energy of orgasm through abstract painting. Parallel to all that I got back into reading a lot about color theory, cultural significance of color and I even developed an interest in material history of color (seriously, even if you're not a color nerd like me, material history of blue is super interesting, I mean, how can blue be one of our primary colors when it's so rare to find blue pigments in nature etc etc) and in the process of that I re-read Goethe's Theory of Colors. It made me think of pure (and yes, somehow indefinable) pleasure we get from observing colors and the whole story of expressing pleasure through colorful abstract art came together. Slowly the foundations of The House of Indefinable Pleasures were built and I plan to continue to work on the series.
I've been also working on art inspired by songs recommended by others on tumblr. Recently I've uploaded all the music inspired paintings into a special album on flickr under Creative Commons license so they can be freely downloaded (and you can print or use them in your art projects etc).
Some of the paintings inspired by songs made during last month or so (you can see more on my tumblr):
Hello, hello, my dear old perpetually neglected blog-space, it's been almost a month since the last time I updated you and I thought it would be nice for us to spend some time together on this warm Sunday afternoon so I can let you know what I've been up to last few weeks.
In early March weather got nicer and as I could feel springtime in the air I thought it would be a good time to pick up photography again. I started going for long walks in a park and local woods accompanied with my camera and also took pics of grass and budding branches and cute little flowers. Somehow an idea of getting back into self-portraiture emerged, I don't know where it came from, maybe it was beautiful weather , maybe I was feeling nostalgic for like 2008 flickr experience when I had so much fun taking mediocre photos and sharing them online enthusiastically. Oh, well, for some reason I though it would be fun to go into the woods lugging my equipment and take some causal selfies but it turns out I'm probably too old for that kind of action: lugging around heavy camera and chunky tripod and then sitting on wet ground next to empty plastic beer bottles and half-buried animal skulls (did I venture into illegal pet cemetery?) didn't do much for me.
However I don't give up that easily and I gave self-portraiture another chance when I crawled into an emptied out book shelf under a random hand written sign trying to look all dramatic and emotional and what not (VERY 2008 flickr style) and then I definitely realized I am too fucking old for cramming myself into a semi-functional piece of furniture for the sake of a mediocre photo. But, hey at least I'm not too old to still do silly things and to laugh at myself for doing them.
Finally I gave up on photography which allowed for more time, space and energy to do what I really wanna do and that is to paint. But, hey before I move into sharing some paintings I've finished recently here is a photo of pretty flowers! Yay for flowers!
Last September I started working on some ink sketches that I finally got to finish as a warm up for something bigger, it was a fun and easy exercise. The day I was playing around with them light at my work space was sooooo beautiful and I had to document it.
This past month I also played around with tiny collage experiments and with adding some stiches to simple paintings again, just for fun.
...and here are some actual paintings I made for my ongoing Ink Flower Garden project:
Also, I'm still "painting songs" over on my tumblr (people send me their song recommendation and then I respond to them by creating a painting inspired by the suggested song done in my abstract style) and next two paintings are inspired by tumblr musical suggestions as well (first one by Foster the People - The Truth and second one by Tame Impala - Feels Like We Only Go Backwards). I got quite a few song recommendations in my tumblr ask and will slowly respond to them all (hope so).
Since I started this post with Flavor of your pleasure painting I will end it with a short video clip of me finishing it:
...and some more art inspired by music...
If you follow my work you might know that from January 2014. I've been working on a personal art project called Ink Flower Garden with a goal of making 1000 abstract (or semi-abstract) ink paintings and drawings. In late May this year I've finally reached half of my goal by finishing 500 paintings! I've wanted to do something special and fun to mark that moment but I was simply to busy. So, now almost 2 months later I've put together a slideshow of photos taken from beginning of 2014. until May 2016. I've been taking as a documentation of my work in progress and also talked a bit about my experiences with this art project and you can see it in a video above. Below you can see a 500th painting I made, quite unimaginatively titled 500 :)
Also, you can follow the progress of the project on my tumblr which I update several times a week :)
I've started a personal art project Ink Flower Garden back in January 2014. with a goal of making 1000 abstract (or semi-abstract) ink drawings and paintings. So far I've managed to finish 400 pieces that you can see in collage above. This project is by far most favorite personal project I've ever worked on, it helped me learn a lot about creativity, technical side of making art as well about myself. I'm looking forward to finishing another 600 drawings and paintings in years to come. Also, some things I'm looking forward in near future: redesigning this space, putting together new, more relevant portfolio and writing more.