Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Bard/Overhang Cont.

This is what I have done this weekend. Probably will not work on the Painting again until Monday, so I am posting my progress thus far.

bard tombs 34

Three of the four members of Overhang came by last night to look at the progress in person. It is interesting and a challenge to convey where the painting is going and what it will look like when finished in the midst of painting. I think this is so because the painting sort of calls itself forth in the painting. So, I both know and don't know the end towards which I am moving. The idea of the painting more aids in the knowing what and how to paint but the idea doesn't exactly dictate the final outcome. For instance the idea I had of the painting had the figure with eyes open, but as I have been painting I have discovered that the figures eyes are closed. It is interesting to realize also that at certain points different things have achieved a certain definiteness while other aspects of the painting retain a certain fluidity right up and until I put the date and signature upon the painting. There was a bit of discussion surrounding the figure and the blue arcs in the corner, both of which at this stage of the painting are fixed points for the painting, they will develop but they are not going to change significantly. I had to explain this as discussion of what if anything to do differently with the figure, went in the direction of wanting significant change to the stance of the figure.

Joel apparently had felt that the red landscape in the sketch really captured the feel of the music more than what I had produced thus far in the painting, though I think he was more comfortable with it as he watched me paint. Oh yes I was painting as they were looking over my shoulder and discussing what they might want to change, or what they liked or disliked about the piece at this moment. Nate the bassist at first saw in the landscape something more akin to butchered flesh than read mountains. It was interesting to see how they could not see where the painting might go, when I have such a clear sense of what is ahead. Collaborating on something that is usually so solitary is instructive, but I am also finding it to be inspiring.

Here is the sketch again:

sketch, overhang album square2
The painting in its current state:
bard tombs 34
And here is more or less what Overhang found when they arrived and what reminded Nate of arteries and butchered flesh:
Bard amongst the tombs light detail

I think I can see some of Joel's concern. The sketch conveys the idea more or less which is not the painting itself. Joel is concerned and has always been from our first meeting that my work is too Gothic and dark for what he wants to represent the Album. Yet I have always heard in the music of this album a very dark and gritty sound. I do see in the sketch lighter elements than what are emerging in the painting itself, there is more struggle in the painting, perhaps less resolution. The sketch is simple optimistic, the painting is more ambivalent, not without optimism but less confidently so. I think it will remain a struggle between dark and light. Which interestingly is what Grant wants to the painting to show.
It at times is amazing to me that Grant and Joel are collaborators and members of the same band, and the two original members of Overhang. They see their music so very differently.