the wonder drink and the shoulders of artists



So, I just finished this for a client. They're off for the weekend, and could come back tomorrow very well hating it (it's not the usual that I do for them- full color watercolor). But I love it. For a couple reasons. I got to experiment, and it worked (always fun). And, I got to do my version of Davinci (which made for awesome research). AND I got to use a trick that I learned from another artist, Marcel Dzama who I saw because of his work on the Weakerthans CD. He was also in an exhibit at day job recently, which is where I read about the trick.

Here's the amazing thing. I heard a quote once from Sting about writing music. He said something to the effect of there being these ideas (I think it was Sting...) there's these ideas out there. And, his writing a song is done by tapping into these floating existing ideas (and then probably putting them through his personal filter of thought and language and experience), but this idea is that no single person is the ultimate source of a creative act, that it's a universal thing and that coming up with brilliant creative ideas is simply tapping into something that exists already. That you're almost a vessel in a way, explaining the sort of trance-like medatative state that a lot of artists go into when making work.

So, this piece wasn't that, but I think Sting has a brilliant idea (hence the worldwide fame and riches, I guess). I brought it up because I heard that and it was like finding out the perfect explanation for something. If it's not true, it's at least a beautiful thought. But, yeah, so I brought it up because I think artists rely on things that aren't necessarily tangible. And, some that are.

In my case this week, it was something tangible. I love the Weakerthans music, and they're responsible for my finding and reading Howard Zinn. They're so so wonderful (and have a new CD in September). Marcel Dzama did art for their last cd Reconstruction Site (brilliant). And, in the porfolio of work at the gallery last month, he said that he uses coffee to paint with.

So, I had to tone paper to look antiqued for this, and tried the coffee thing. Could coffee get any better than the tasty goodness I live for every morning? Yeah! The color it makes (this may be placebo from knowing it's made of coffee) is so warm and beautiful! I LOVED it! And then, just to make everything authentic, I used blood for ink. NO, I didn't. I mixed ink though, and used a freakin' quill for the whole drawing! (I've been real immersed in the Harry Potter world, perhaps that had something to do with it). Mostly I wanted to mimic the line variance that Davinci would have had. Incendently, use caution when cleaning those things, I stabbed my finger with the point-no beuno.

This is quite discursive today. The point is, I love when things come only from my head (or from the floaty idea universe). But, I also think it's really f-ing cool to stand on the shoulders of kick ass artists and use their techniques and secrets to make something of my own. In short, this piece was awesomely fun (even if I end up making a totally different color version for the client). And, I drank my "paint" afterward, which almost never usually happens.