Shithouse rat

I'm a bipolar writer in the Naked City. I'm not playing with a full deck. I don't have all my dots on the dice. My cheese is sliding off my cracker. I don't have both oars in the water. I'm a bubble off plum. In other words, I'm crazier than a shithouse rat. These are my stories. Comments--short or long, nasty or nice--always welcome!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Evolution of a portrait

Johnny Winter first draft
Originally uploaded by Elvira Black.
Ah, technology. I've always been interested in how the creative process expresses itself--sometimes even without the conscious will of the creator. I'm sure many creative types know what I mean when I talk about that feeling after stumbling upon a completed work you hadn't looked at in a while, and saying to yourself: "How the hell did I do that?"

Anyway, in the spirit of Deconstructionism, Postmodernism, and all other things both holy and profane,, here's the three main stages of BG's (aka Clyde's) construction of this painting.

I've had the pleasure to witness many such metamorphoses since having met Clyde. There's times when I think his earlier "drafts" are just as compelling--if not more so--than the final finished product.

But I do think the tthree versions make for a nice series, or as Francis Bacon might have put it, Studies toward a Portraitt of Johnny Winter.

Which one do you think says it best?


At 8:04 PM, Anonymous pia said...

I like the second. But there's something compelling about the third. The first looks entirely different, much less dark

What version you like I think goes with mood and with the stage of life you're in--been thinking a lot about that lately

Interesting that our thought patterns are running along similliar paths.

Beautifully written

At 9:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work, and I think they should be collected and shown together.

At 9:30 AM, Blogger Brink Craven said...

Its so fascinating to get an "insiders" veiw of the process and evolution of his painting.

One of the greatest challenges for a visual artist is knowing when to stop working on a peice, or "not doing more than the painting needs" as my Prof likes to say. Its an issue that he often harps on to his students. In fact, what you did here is exactly what he suggests to his students-- to take pictures of the painting incrementally throughout the process, to see if and when it could have been a finished peice before it was actually completed.

When I have asked how to know when a painting is complete he says," Let it speak to you" haha. Pretty damn vague.

Of course there are no hard and fast rules to this. Sometimes a painting can have several stages of "completeness", just like you said. Each one of these examples could be a completed painting in and of itself. But the end result does not look "overworked" That shows the mark of a true talent, I think.

I really love the intial black and white one. Its got that super ghostly, dramatic and ephemeral feeling about it. Although the others do as well--but there is something espechially powerful about that one to me.

Very unique and expressive, BG! and thanks for sharing these photos, E. Love em.

At 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats cool watching the evolution of someones imagination from its conception to its ultimate birth.

Great work on the canvas and in your rpost

At 3:45 AM, Blogger !ce said...

I think that I like Version 1 because I like the use of black and white together. Plus, it makes the emotion that much darker, especially combined with the more tortured facial expression, which I think is great.

At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd have to go with version 1 because I think the eyes are captured best in that one. My husband would love these.


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