Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I did this piece as a comission a while back. It was something like 20x30 inches, oil on canvas. The client's mother had worked in this building back in the day and he had a vintage photo of the building with the old Ford Model-T parked out front. The place had since been painted a different color, but was otherwise still there. I went and shot photos of the place and used a combination of my shots and his photo to do this painting.

At the time, I was working in a small spare bedroom in my Glendale apartment. My progress in my work had slowed to a pathetic crawl. The heat would get so bad in that apartment that I would spend my days lying in my underwear on the couch with a fan blowing, attempting to keep cool. It never worked. Thank God for air-conditioning in my new place. Being comfortable while I work is far more important than I had ever realized... I guess I'm kind of a baby. To paint, I need to be cool and not too warm, well fed, well rested, free of interuptions, a clear head, and to top it all off I need to feel inspired. Usually I can work myself into inspiration, but inspiration must be coaxed. If all these prerequisites aren't in place, I won't get anything done. If I worked at an office or worked doing manual labor, I wouldn't need to be inspired. I could just show up and grunt through it. But painting is a spiritual act. When there's no inspiration, the painting won't be any good. But working through the difficult times is imparative, it's the only way to come out on the other side. I really feel like I'm currently doing some of the best work I've ever done. It's taken years to build momentum. I feel continually anxious to see my own future paintings.


John Sanchez said...

I know what you mean about inspirtation. I've recently moved my studio from my home (which is a great studio in itself)to a space that is completely dedicated to working. My home was a constant distraction, my mail, computer, laundry, bike etc.. were constantly calling my attention and it was arduous to complete a painting,unless I really cleaned up. I've been at the new space for less than a week and have already stretched, and gessoed 6 canvas and started two paintings! Its awesome and believe me I've had studios that stunk-literally I had a large bathroom for a studio once. It's our stubborness that keeps us going I guess, but would we really want it any other way?

tonypetersart said...

Congrats on your new space, John. I look forward to seeing your new stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing...

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