Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Veteran Returns to the War

Needless to say, I'm avoiding gray paper for awhile. But this lovely, Union blue... I can't get enough of it.

A little play on a Winslow Homer classic, which seems rather appropriate, all things considered.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Oh, You Haven't Been?

If you haven't broken the code yet, the title of the painting is also the title of the blog post. I hate repeating myself and I know you are bright enough to understand the whole process. 

On to another favorite place of mine, Normandy. What, you haven't been? (Tom and Will being notable exceptions.Bobbi Jo, did you get there yet? I sort of think you have...)

Anyway, you should go. For one, the French coast is lovely. For two, it's one of the greatest battlefields in history. And for three, you can walk the same fields as true, Allied heroes and say to yourself, "Suck it, Nazis. Suck it hard." It'll make you feel a tiny bit better.

Go early, go often and enjoy the prefix meals.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

8-15-17 This Holy Hill

Yeah, my internal painting machine is working just fine.

Here's a little portrait of one those places always in my heart. I am a Pennsylvania boy, you know. It's a safe bet there will be more than portrait of Gettysburg in the coming months and years.

As an aside, the Gettysburg of my childhood was full of trees. There was a great, man-made deforestation, an attempt to return the battlefield to its 1863 appearance. Consequentially, my memories no longer mesh with the reality of the place. Perhaps I'll add a few trees in future paintings. But this one had to be spot on. I wouldn't want any fools thinking I'd invented something. Not when I want the fools to remember that avarice, ignorance and bigotry got its collective ass handed to it on that holy hill.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Reboot of the Daily Paintings...

Well... it'll be a reboot Monday through Friday. Well... I will be painting on the weekends, of course, creativity is a terminal disease, however, I will not be posting anything on the weekends because we all need a little time to ourselves.

So, the plan:

Post my web comic on Instagram and my website on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Unless I am away from my laptop and scanner, in which case, you'll just have to wait.

Post my daily paintings on Twitter and this blog on Monday through Friday. Unless I am away from my laptop and... you get the idea.

And then, do other creative things and get them out there through whatever channels are available to me.

If nothing else, there will be hundreds of more paintings to check out as the months roll along. And if I've learned anything in this five year long walk in the wilderness of Art, it's that making things is far better than talking about making things. It's better for you and it's a hell of a lot better for me.

So... nearly two years to the day when I started cranking out daily paintings (sorry for those months spent bemoaning my plight as an artist in an uncaring world)... I'm back with this little gem.

Considering the events of the past weekend and my belief that art is a great way to undermine the idiocy of enemies of freedom and progress, I give you "The White Supremacists' Think Tank". It's a lovely 8x10 inch acrylic painting on Canson paper and lacks irony, because nothing I ever do is ironic, because there's far more clarity when you call a spade a spade and move on. I'll let the pundits use irony and humor to batter evil. Meanwhile, I'll keep it simple: white supremacists have shit for brains.

And we go on... another painting tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Is it January Already? That Was Fast…

Perhaps I meant “July”… No, no I didn’t. However, life can get messy. For instance, you can get booted from your apartment because your landlord of eight years turns out to be a terrible businessman and undervalues quiet, consistent renters… then you find yourself scrambling to move in the dead of winter (actually it was 76 degrees when we moved in March, thank you, global warming!) into a house that is still full, from basement to attic, with stuff from the prior resident… then you go into the process of buying said house, which Mandy handled with aplomb… then you suddenly end up with yet another cat (You’ll meet Bowser in another post)… add to that work, funerals and existential crises… and, well, January becomes July.

Anyway, on to the reboot. My first step is to be less verbose. Mostly for me. I am still battling the time crunch, so spending hours talking about my art rather than making art feels a bit ridiculous. On the bright side, that means you’ll get more images. And really, wouldn’t you rather spend 2 seconds looking at a scan of a painting than 5 minutes reading the random nonsense from my head?

So, here’s where things are:

I’m still knocking out the web comic on MWF. To find it, go to my website or look for thehauntingoftimothydecker on Instagram.

I’m still painting with acrylics. Yes, I’ve tried everything else, again, but only the acrylics allow me to complete images in a timely fashion. I’m still working on how to use the paintings and how to incorporate the writing with the paintings. I have an idea. I just need to explore it. Which is what I’m going to do.

During my sabbatical, this particular painting kept coming to mind. I painted it two years ago and it seems to hit all the key points: no color, high detail and loose brushy-ness, small, quickly done, kind of cool and weird… and on good quality paper. Admittedly, I added the dark sky just the other day, but it worked well enough without it. So, I’m going to see what I can do with black acrylic on white paper. I have a good feeling about it now that I have high quality paint and paper.

These two paintings, one is old and retouched, the other is a new experiment on a new paper, seem to express what I’m talking about.

And I’ll keep tapping away on toned paper with black and white acrylic because that works too. I don’t know where these paintings will work best, but that hardly matters.

Off to plan some cool projects.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Sabbatical 2016...

Or something like that. I'll be back in 2017 with a whole host of strange nonsense.

See you in January.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

And Suddenly, It Was November…

How in the world did that happen? A month ago it was May. Or worse yet, April. I remember it distinctly because that was the last time Mandy had her biannual Artists’ Salon… in the living room of our small apartment. Always the helpful artist, I usually put something on the walls to give the place a little character and to start the conversations. And so I did the same thing this past Sunday, taping stuff to the wall and talking about my “current” work with the diverse audience in attendance.

My corner of the world looked a little bit like this:

Yeah, not as grand as when I taped all the daily paintings to the wall or as intricate as when I taped all the pen and ink drawings to the wall, but putting all the Prince paintings in one place, where they could be taken in with one glance, did do something unexpected: it made me realize that the web comic is my “big book” these days.

It’s one thing to see the little piece of purple paper on my desk for the 30 minutes it takes to make the little comic. Then it’s scanned and tossed in a drawer with all the other little slips of purple painting. And since the whole notion of the Prince comic is that I don’t spend every waking hour deliberating what I’m going to write or draw next, each comic comes into being the second I sit down to work on it and is forgotten until the moment I need to recall what it was to make another. Unlike every other big project I’ve worked on, all of which were designed and thought about again and again and again, the Prince comic is all about improvisation. Which means, I hadn’t really understood just how many I’d made or how they would look en masse.

Imagine my surprise, as I taped the pages to the wall, when they just kept coming. All 78 of them. I mean, yes, they’re small and silly, but they are meant to be small and silly. Half of that is because of the nature of Instagram and half of that is because it’s high time I did something that wasn’t dark and morbid… though the story is about a ghost so I guess it is a touch dark. But at 78 comics, I’m halfway to my goal of a one year story, posted three times a week. They say, whoever “they” are, if you can post 50 episodes of a web comic, you’re past the point of no return and I blew by that a long time ago. My eyes are set on running this story until next April and perhaps beyond, you know, if I can figure out how to do other things on the side.

Strange as it is to say, the web comic represents a lot of work. Much of which I hadn’t actually accounted for until I saw it all before me. But there it was, six months of work, a concise body of work, a concerted effort toward a clear goal, all created in small chunks of time and almost instantly forgotten. Who would have thought?

Needless to say, I’m on to something. I’m not sure how to take what I’m doing and apply it to other projects, but I have ideas. The trick is to keep improvising and forgetting, to keep hammering away at things, all the while, keeping in mind that my time away from the desk is equally important as my time at it. And someday, without realizing it, I’ll have another wall full of paintings I never imagined creating. And then another and another, ad infinitum.