Thursday, January 3, 2008

Center of the Storm

This is the painting from my second youtube video, "Center of the Storm". Like the first, this was shot in one day, approximately 4-5 hours. The video is 2 minutes long.

I plan to do at least one more of these this year, perhaps more. It's a lot of fun to do, very improvisational. There is a bit of a time crunch, seeing as how our entire home is turned upside down while filming, so we want to finish. So I just don't have time to get an artist's block, I have to move ahead. What is cut out of the video: me standing in front of the painting scratching my head. Also, many scenes with a hair dryer aimed at the paint. Some swearing.

I paint my paintings flat on a wall. Every time Noel and I have moved into a new home, he's built me a new painting wall. Because I pin my vinyl to the wall to paint on it, I can really destroy a wall, stat. So we put drywall over the existing wall, and remove it when we move. I don't even own an easel anymore, I never used the one I had except to display paintings.

I am mentioning this because today is the day I've filled in the little holes and repainted my wall. So exciting I know, but I just couldn't paint new work on the old bumpy wall. I tried, but all the old energy from last year was too much. It's beautiful now, my painting wall. Ready for me to mark it with measurements, outlines, notes, and finally, paint. I always love how it looks after being worked on for a while, all the colorful edges.

Years ago I worked in a college bookstore near Loyola University on the North side of Chicago. I was an art student at the time, and collected all kinds of objects and just plain crap. I fell in love with the white file cards near the colored marker display. People would test out the markers on those cards, and they would turn into little beautiful abstract paintings. I collected them up and saved them for years. I got rid of them in some New Year's purge years ago, I'm sure. But I know they influenced me when I became an abstract artist. My very first abstract painting was made like this. I hung a sheet of vinyl, and while I was working on other paintings, I used the colors I was already working with on this piece. Very randomly, playfully, no pre thought out ideas. I just wanted to see what would happen. I'll show that painting tomorrow.

"Center of the Storm" 2007 30"x40" acrylic on vinyl available at


Debi said...

"Some swearing." ha

These videos are really intriguing. And they leave me with as many questions as answers. I saw a FORK and had to laugh. I remember your post where you wrote about the first time you used a fork.

I was really struck this time that when you sign your name so early in the painting you are doing so because of the whole reverse thing. I know YOU know that, it just really sunk in with me this time.

And watching this time I also thought how the back -- the part you see and work with -- must look very different from the finished work. Like the backside of embroidery, I bet.

Maybe sometime you'd post both sides? Just for fun.

I, too, use up the last paints (I do small little acrylics now and then) in an experimental way. It's liberating. And, look, it led you to embark on a whole new style!

That old, bumpy energy from last year....that is a great line. A great attitude.

Kris Cahill said...

Debi, I love your comments! Because of you, I am consciously making sure I write the status of each painting I show on my blog. I will even go back and correct the old posts.

Yes, I still use plastic forks, love them. I may have to photograph my collection and post it. As for showing the backside, I could photograph it in stages. By the time a piece is finished, I paint the whole back solid white or ochre. I think I'll do that though, just for fun, shoot a few backs of paintings.

Thank you!

John (Copyright JMM 2007-2008) said...

The video is really intriguing - I assume you go to the "other side" often or by now you know the effects - what a color does behind another, if anything.

Wonder impact of the translucence of pigment....what brand do you use?

So different than anytime I have painted where you see what you get at the moment of the paint stoke. This is much more conceptual or experimental. Very interesting.

I also love plastric forks (toothpicks) for painting sometimes. An impressive video demo. Thanks.

Kris Cahill said...

Hi John,
Yes, I look at the other side frequently. I have a big mirror in my studio and hold the piece up to it to check as I am working. It's important to check because once acrylic dries on vinyl there is nothing short of a blow torch that will get it off again.

I use many brands, and have an affinity for Golden, but also for Nova Color, a local paint company. I can go right to their store here in LA and pick it up, and their prices are fantastic. You can order them online. The pigments are great, I love their alizarin! The paint is less thick than many, which works for me.

Really, I am glazing in reverse. The best way to get certain colors is to layer them anyway, I just do it backwards.

Thank you!