And while I'm on this subject, maybe it is time to archive the whole southern black-shady-white figure series on a whole separate blog.
Friday, July 3, 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015
Wednesday, April 1, 2015
I had been planning this painting for sometime now. Mr. Maxwell used to live in this old house of ours way back in the 1930's & 40's or so maybe even before that.
I knew it had to be large on canvas, in oil. Mr.Maxwell would sit on the edge of the front porch he would chain smoke with a cigarette in each hand.
The Haint Blue ceiling on our porch is painted that way to keep the spirits from coming in. They think it's water and they don't cross over water. Mr. Maxwell's hands were yellow from years of smoking and his knees were indented, permanently, from his elbows.
This painting was done some on a ladder, it was not easy to do, the turpentine fumes about made me crazy. When we moved here there was a cinder block goldfish pond right in the front yard, right where Mr.Maxwell would sit. I had to take the thing down, it was a mosquito magnet. Taking it down took 3 days, it was a nightmare of dead goldfish and black widow infested cinder block. This is when I started smoking little Black & Mild cigars. I think Mr. Maxwell had something to do with this, a curse maybe, they did relax me at this time of great stress, but I got hooked, it has been hard to quit.
But today April Fools Day, I shall be a fool no more. I am quitting the things, I hope. I don't know what Mr. Maxwell did, maybe I will find out someday. I imagine he worked the cotton fields that used to be across the road. He would sit, stare and smoke, waiting for the work day to break again. It is a great pleasure to sit out on this porch, thinking and puffing, like it was meant to be. I have had a few good paintings come out of this unhealthy exercise. Maybe it is a part of work, at least here, the ooze of the past creeping into me, helping me make what I make and reflecting where I made it. I have blown a smoky breath or two on some of these paintings I have to say.
There are a few paintings from this old house past waiting to be painted. Mr. Maxwell I'm sure will come around again as well, his spirit is very much here.
Friday, March 20, 2015
These large canvas works in oil are quite the challenge. One mistake, and all is lost.
But then again, so are the small studies on the back of cereal, mac & cheese and pizza boxes.
A little cheaper than oil & canvas however.
Sunday, March 15, 2015
One room in the front is sealed like a tomb, filled with turpentine and gesso fumes, canvas & big, potentially disastrous paintings or hopefully the other way around.
Then there is the newly organized back room, with the newly screened in porch, done by yours truly. Breathing happens here along with a sketch book, stretchers to be built and paintings to be stacked, if they aren't sold or painted over first. It's not perfect, but it works for now until a big, one roomed studio is built out back or I move to a warehouse in the heart of the city where the alligator roams....or something like that.
Of course the damn dogs in the back room are never going to stop barking, outside or in my mind. The redneck trucks rumbling down the street in the front will never be muffled. The dissatisfaction of space will never stop. Decent studio space and as the Grinch said "all the noise, noise ,noise" or no studio space but peace and quiet. What will it be Steven Chandler? You have no other choice in this life. Try not to go mad.
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
I'm not sure where to put these paintings when I'm done, they are huge. The luxury of living in such an old home is there are very tall ceilings. So I will hang them high for now.
Maybe I can sell these or at least have a show someday if anyone finds me out her in rural net space.
Or like all my large canvas paintings from the 1990's, they'll eventually get rolled-up and shoved under the house so the mice can shit on them.
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Just trying to make it through February, nearly impossible in a 30 degree studio. At this point the wood for the stove is too wet to burn and the space heater runs the bill up way too high.
So huddled on the couch under a blanket, a pencil and a stack of manilla folders until the pipes freeze again or the plastic needs mending.
Then under the house I go a pocketed full of staple gun and duct tape, followed by stick patrol around the yard for fire kindling.
Treasure warmth and the simple gesture of walking to your wall and pushing the thermostat needle.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Once again, not much need to type words here since there's a video. I'm not sure I address the work very much in the video.
I always seem to get sidetracked by jumbled thoughts squeezed into five, ten minutes of talk.
I suppose this first in the new series of oils, canvas, largeness,even more so down the line, will eventually explain itself maybe.
Unfortunately this painting will be three thousand miles away from me for the foreseeable future.
The funds gained from it long gone spent, barely, at the grocery store, lights, water, gas, car insurance or the ever increasing internet extortion bill.
I am grateful, thankful however. Someone recognized this new painting, appreciated it, wanted it and it has not a drop of Georgia Red Mud on it, not a breath of "folk". Thank You Very Much!
Friday, January 16, 2015
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Redneck Dog, mostly oil on canvas. This came about after hearing a brief conversation between two people in the neighborhood as to why his dog barks at certain people. Lets just say the conversation was not very politically correct. Where did the rabbit people come from though, a canine translation perhaps? What do you think a dog is seeing, thinking, when barking aimlessly through the air?
Man Eating Hand, oil on canvas. Something was going through my head one day about survival, mans willingness to survive. I remember a few years after getting my B.F.A. digging in dumpsters behind an Albertsons in California, trying to find the expired bags of bread they would occasionally throw out. I had two jobs, cleaning toilets and working in a photolab. My wife had a job too. We still couldn't eat sometimes. That was California for us, expensive and people didn't want to pay you shit.
Ebola Queen, oil on raw stretched canvas. The African rituals of eating their dead loved ones struck a cord with me. What a perfect epicurean way to spread the disease while worshiping some faith or almighty leader. I guess Christians got something right converting the blood and body of Christ to wine and crackers, thank goodness for that.
These are some of my recent oil on canvas paintings. I've also been custom making the stretchers out of oak, very nice stretchers, time consuming to make however. I plan on keeping with this though. It is a refreshing break from the now ten year plus Georgia Red Mud series.
Friday, December 12, 2014
The world seems to have gone nuts all the sudden. Robert Frost wrote Nothing Gold Can Stay. I say Nothing Gold Is Gold Anymore.
I'm not trying to be accusatory here, this is just an observation piece, a sign of the times, bewilderment. Everything we are supposed to trust is out the window.
Who is telling the truth? Issues about race have turned green folks, plain and simple.
I'm sure this is not one of my more palatable works, I most likely will take it down and paint a happy little kitty or a horsey or some other idea that matches someones living room setting.
It is a slice of my day though, sitting here in the studio, listening to the CNN Dramadome. It is sad, scary, a canvas for sure though.
Friday, December 5, 2014
After nearly two years, two living situations, at least two nervous breakdowns, I finally finished this one.
This one was sort of a part two of a earlier work of Joe's with just plain rattlesnakes. That one has been gone for a few years now. This one all the more deadly with the rare, elusive Northeast Georgia Rattlesnake Cobra.
The Joe's play for their lives while the serpents dance around their necks. The first to stop playing will be bit.
One thing I've learned is it's hard to stop a work like this and pick it up later. It needs to be done in the moment. I was unfortunate to have started it right before our house flooded. Then we moved to a 125 year old fixer-upper in the country and the Cobra Joe's were just stared at, unfinished for a long cold spell.
I don't think I can top this one and quite honestly am a bit burned-out on the whole Bluesman/Musical theme. This one was my Waterloo-sprayed with the garden hose and taken in the shower several,several times. Not being done in the moment, getting back in was torture. I got back in for a moment and that was enough. Done. Sealed forever.
Until the next one bites me.