New Painting in the Gallery

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New Painting in the Gallery

Post by Mauveduh » Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:03 pm

The paint is still wet on this new creation by John Newell. All I can say is Magnifico! Take a look.

Long Walk

Image

I am inspired to write about this one as soon as I watch "The Apprentice".
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Post by Mauveduh » Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:04 pm

This is a painting you can feel. The impasto oil medium speaks like no other as the richly layered pigment boldly marks its space on the canvas. The relief-textured terrain pushes the eye laboriously as it traverses each fiery brush stroke of the voluminous mounds of the horizon. Sketchy veins of opposing hues are threaded delicately throughout to allude to recessive shadow, while maintaining a 2-diminsional delineation of space. Tension is heightened with the use of the 3-diminsional quality in texture.

The juxtaposition of this same technique rendered with analogous Van Gogh yellows gives a softer feel to the landscape. Diminutive figures have embarked on their seemingly endless journey. There is no end in sight, yet they have no choice but to continue on their way to their destination. The unknown promise awaits.

This may be a journey of the artist through the ruins of ill health as he fights ferociously, and at the same time, walks softly while traveling the path of the healing process. Both unyielding strength and restful passiveness are necessary to heal. These are the colors of decay; but they are also the colors of life. The bold, expressionist approach in applying the paint and the saturation of hue demonstrate the determination and strength wielded as weapons in this journey. We see both the blood of our mortality and the intangible energy of pure life-force of the sun.
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Post by naynay » Fri Mar 19, 2004 1:28 am

I'm sorry but I don't know who John Newell is. However, your review was the most beautiful and touching review I have ever read. You had me in tears as I walked the journey. Wow, I had know idea you were such a skilled and precise art critic. I hope John reads your review.
The painting is lovely, and I am no critique, but quite beautiful.

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Post by Mauveduh » Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:23 am

naynay,

I think you know who he is. It is Jondy who has posted here before. He did the other paintings in the public gallery also.

Didn't mean to make you weep. You are too funny.
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Post by naynay » Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:42 am

okay...I know who jondy is. You know you start relating to people by their posting names. I remember his other paintings also, but I don't recall John Newell as the artist. I remember Jondy...oh well, one in the same.

my kids call me naynay, if they want to be smart-a--es. Other people do as well...geez...what is my real name now? I forgot.

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Post by Mauveduh » Mon Mar 22, 2004 9:23 pm

Budge on a Board

Another creative endeavor by John Newell has been added to the gallery. Be sure to check it out.

This piece features the quiet introspection of someone lost in thought as they are immersed in the task at hand. It evokes a meditative process as the hours pass and the thoughts travel to many destinations. It is not a time to experiement or try new things or push our limits, but rather bask in the warmth of the familar and realize the enjoyment that each ordinary and cherished moment brings.
"Remember the song Bird on a Wire? Well, this is Budge on a Board. He is my mother-in-law's next door neighbour in Trinidad. I looked out the window one day, and there he was, painting his windows. The next time I looked, hours later, there he still was. It didn't look like any progress had been made. But the composition was so good, I had to shoot it. At the time, we hadn't met. After shooting the image I went to show him after he'd packed up his stuff. He turned out to be one of those guys that you feel you could have been friends with all your life." -John Newell
The quiet reflection is seen in the soft range of color and deliberate composition that contains us within this realm. Though we feel the comfort of tradition in subject matter, the composition divides the canvas geometrically to provide the contemporary feel of modern depiction. These are the moments when we feel gently productive and safe and content with who we are.
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New painting in the works

Post by jondy » Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:32 am

I just read your critique of the Long Walk. It's perfect and describes it to a T including the behind the scenes emotion and physiology. I'm working on one now that started out as a vision that materialized while dozing just before I got up a couple of weeks ago. It started as a board floor in an abandoned house. I used to see lots of images like that because as the developers bought up all the farm land around Toronto, the farm houses would be abandoned by their former owners. All that would be left was the staircases, the wallpaper on the walls and the tongue and groove floor boards. The windows were always broken before I saw them and the walls full of holes due to biker gang occupation no doubt. Anyway, the houses were always surrounded by the most magnificent apple orchards. One variety of apple was a like a golden MacIntosh. All of my friends who were on those jaunts still remember how good those apples were.

Once the board floor solidified in my mind, I looked around to see what else was there. A rose. A long stemmed rose, long since dried out but with a few leaves still attached and the flower still mostly intact, but sort of flattened out from having been stepped on in the evacuation process. Eventually, I realized I was seeing the rose through a window. So the shadow evolved of a window with broken glass. I puzzled with that for a long time as to what you would see in the glass - an abandoned collection of farm buildings maybe. Then I thought the composition needed some sparkle and toyed with the idea of using real glass or plexi to make the broken glass.

One of my parameters was that the painting had to be done quickly. So eventually I gave up on the idea of glass or plexi. As I taped out the shape of the window, the somberness of the image struck me and I began to think of the generations of people who had occupied the house. That diverted me to ancestral photos of my family. I checked through the collection to see if there was anything suitable and came up with four shots of my Mother and Father. One shot of my dad in the army with a friend, a shot of my mother in the army with two friends, their army wedding and a group shot of their friends. These shots were all doubles and the tones suited the painting.

This is a 3D painting. The rose stem I did with a caulking gun. The rose is very thick and the petals and leaves stand out in relief. The whole thing is done with a pallette knife in a crude style. The broken glass may or may not be in the picture. I'm still wrestling with that. I don't want to junk it up and I don't want to have two different styles clash in one painting. So the latest thing I'm toying with is to lay on a really thick layer of gel and get my next door neighbour's little girl to walk across the painting in bare feet. Then I would add a bit of colour to define her tracks. Her "wet" footprints would then metaphorically illuminate the sacrifice our armed forces make for the future. Not necessarily their own futures, but certainly the future of the way of life they believe in. That would take what is essentially a somber retrospective painting out of its morbidity and point the way subtly to a happier next generation.

This image came about because I wanted something quick, graphic and a subject that would "talk back to me" as it developed. Painting landscapes for me is a supremely boring activity unless I can add some sort of a twist to it.

The frustrating thing about this rose painting is having to wait for my neighbours to get home so I can ask to borrow the kid. The kids I used to use for this sort of thing have grown too big. Have to break in a new family.

I e-mailed the Budge on a Board comments to Budge in Trinidad last Saturday. Haven't heard his thoughts on his new found stardom yet.

Mauveduh, once again your talent for artistic insight has bubbled to the surface. I find my paintings more interesting to look at after reading your thoughts. If you aren't going to be an art critic, maybe you should get into psychology.
Last edited by jondy on Sun Apr 25, 2004 9:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mauveduh » Thu Apr 15, 2004 10:03 pm

Wow, what a journey! This is very interesting to hear about the evolution of the work. I'm always curious as to how an artist chooses subject matter and arrives at the choices in elements and depiction. It sounds like you are very deliberate in your strategy yet you have a wide range of styles and like to experiment.

I'll be waiting to read the book with the compilation of your work when the time is right but we don't want to interupt your flow when you are on a roll.

I will officially give myself the title of art critic as of now. Why not? :-)
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Career Move

Post by jondy » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:34 am

Maybe we're in a parallel universe. As I develop from obscurity as an artist, you can do the same as an art critic. You certainly have the talent. What an interesting pooling of talent and resources that would make don't you think? You are probably the best person to write the book. By the way, I've already written a book about how I evolved as an artist, the early part at least. It's called STREET RACER. It's scheduled publication date is June 1st 2004 as an e-book. Lots has to happen before that though. Like one more round of proofing to make sure the photos all get put on the correct pages.

I'm going to send another painting today that you haven't heard about yet. I still have to put the finishing touches on it. It's a complete departure once again from anything you've seen before.

The rose is going to take another day or so to finish because I have to get the little girl and her parents all together in my garage to do the footprints. But first I have to clean up the garage floor and put some support behind the canvas so it doesn't cave in when she walks across it.

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Post by Mauveduh » Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:14 pm

I'm trying on this writing "thing" and seeing how it feels. I've written many papers and now I find myself writing snippets of myself on some message boards as my personal journal. I'm still in the exploration phase in finding my voice and gaining discipline and really enjoying it. I'm contributing to an online book at webwriter's forum at profitable-pen.com and it's been great for creating that discipline.

After getting some incredible feedback from one of my professors on an analytical essay that I wrote on art, it gave me more of an inclination to write about it. So thanks for giving me more inspiration to flex those muscles and see how it feels. After reading this message, I tried it on once again and wrote another piece for my journal so I will post it in your thread.

"When we hear that pictures are worth a thousand words, it certainly rings true to me and always has. I am a person of few words in person, and have always relied on my art to communicate; though, I am a somewhat frustrated artist, myself. I want to be the artist applying that paint to the canvas, creating ideas, influencing and shaping the world through my visual imagery. Maybe I don’t have the confidence. Maybe I don’t want it bad enough. Whatever the reason, I have not dedicated my life to making this my first priority. What I do make my priority is grabbing onto opportunities whenever I can to be creative in everything I do and appreciate the art of others. I want everyone to appreciate our most precious resource, which is expression. We are nothing without it and it is the core of our being. It comes from our soul and is the universe translated into each artist’s perception. It is then translated again by the viewer from the perspective of their perception. It is the ultimate recycling process and the essence of symbolism and iconography. It is global interaction through singular transmission.

I just had an epiphany as I typed the word transmission. I never realized what that word truly meant. I thought about the transmission on my car and it was just a greasy, unknown part that could fail and would have to be replaced like a fan belt. Now I see it as the core unit of communication, linking the mechanical workings of the engine with the ethereal fuel of creation. It is the “missing link” that powers the vehicle.

I want to embrace it, promote it, open minds with it, explore and discover with it. “It” is art."
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Go with your gut feel.

Post by jondy » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:54 pm

Going with your gut feel is the only way to go. When your art isn't working, it's generally because your head is at odds with your heart. Maybe that's the reason the last three letters in heart are a r t. Many artists, especially commercial artists in my experience, don't go with their heart, they go with what looks good. Not because they want to, but because that's what the customer wants.

As far as the writing thing goes, you already have it. You have your voice. It is sure, confident and very expressive. You have insight that is gifted. That is your art. And that aspect does not need improving in my view. If you are having trouble getting into it at times, just start. You may type a paragraph or a page or a couple pages before what you really want to say leaks out. But it will come out. Sometimes is needs coaxing. Then you edit out the bilge.

Regardless of whether you are a Stephen King fan or not, you owe it to yourself to read his book "On Writing". It is one of the finest, no nonsense books about how to write ever written in my view. It doesn't matter that he's a fiction writer. What matters is his skill in making the language sit up on its hind legs and talk to you like he was writing only for you.

As far as not wanting it bad enough, maybe that isn't it. You have to achieve a certain frame of mind to paint well, and you need to be able to do it full trime to really get rolling. Not many people can do that. I'm doing it, but I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth. But I know that if I can keep going long enough, my paintings will start to sell well. I've sold three since I decided to do this last fall. It's only a matter of time before they start to move. In the meantime, I need to create inventory so that I have something to sell. The reason I'm painting such a wide variety of subjects and styles is as I mentioned before, to combat boredom, but also because if you don't experiement, you don't find out what you are capable of. It takes some doing to cast off your personal shackles in any creative endeavour and climb outside your comfort zone. That last painting of the Phoenix is one where I believe I did that. But in all my other paintings, you can see a similarity that runs right back to the pollution mural. That "similarity" is what I'm trying to at least bend. But even with the Phoenix, I find I can't lay down an image that is out of proportion or doesn't make some sort of cohesive sense. Other artists pay no attention to these things They emphasize colour or balance or shape. In your case with your art critiquing, you have a penetrating gaze that gets right to the core. Until I read what you wrote about my work, I always thought that sort of thing was a load of "horseshit", pardon my french. I still believe it is in most cases. But somehow, with my work, you have done an amazing job without even knowing the real story behind the works. And most of my work has a long, very detailed story behind each piece. In no case do I rattle off art like it was coming down a production line. I guess that's another reason why there is such a variety in my work - it truly is a reflection of what my experiences are and I'm really just getting started.

And here's the thing that can make a piece finally come together: you have to be able to abandon it for a while. Later, you may come back to it and finish it with fresh insight and energy or paint over it with a new idea. Not all paintings are successful. The rose I was telling you about before, is painted over a well advanced painting similar to Leaf Fans are Everywhere. I had a lot of work done on that painting but discovered a perspective problem that could not be resolved. So I painted the whole thing over again. I'm not as happy with the second one, but the perspective works. I may paint over it too and it's 3/4's done and it's a large piece. But you have to be able to set them aside and let time do its thing. Writing is the same, but when you are doing it for a living you don't have that luxury often so you need practice to yank it out of yourself when necessary. And that, by the way, is why my posts are so wordy. I'm practicing for my next book.

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Post by Mauveduh » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:15 pm

I've always found that I needed distance from something that I had been immersed in to be able to finish it with conviction. Going through the process sometimes gets you married to a part of it that may not belong. Objectivity can only come from a little distance sometimes.

I couldn't believe when I just came back to read this. I have just finished writing about the The Phoenix, which I also hadn't planned, but I started writing about something else and I ended up there.

The part that surprised me was the language in your post such as "cast off your personal shackles", as you will see when you read my critique.

I sometimes think it is "horseshit" myself when I am writing about it (LOL) but I just go with it and have fun and let it emerge so it ends up being genuine because it is spontaneous and comes from the feelings that were generated from the piece.
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Post by Mauveduh » Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:18 pm

I am posting a few more paintings in the Gallery by John Newell, including the one I have commented on below. Enjoy your viewing in the Gallery.

Rob's Phoenix

"Look at the eye in this painting. This is the look of confidence and determination. The look also possesses fear. These elements are what pioneers are made of. They are not fearless but are driven by a confidence that their relentless drive will overcome any obstacle that they encounter. They are the believers in themselves and not swayed by nay sayers with a vision too narrow to see outside of their own reality.

This painting is rendered in cool hues that are contrary to the hot warmth of the sun associated with this symbolic reference of rebirth. This coolness depicts the ability to remain composed under pressure and focus on the goal at hand. The journey is not without thought, but holds the strength of surviving an unimaginable experience that almost destroyed it, and the realization that it is once again rising from the depths of this despair. During this time, the heat must be guarded, and not put out there for the absorption by the masses. The strength is needed for the initial ascent to cast off the shackles that have brought it down.

With any pioneering spirit comes the possibility of failure. If one does not fail, then they have not reached far enough. When one fails after reaching farther, then they are better for it with the lessons learned. That is when the rebirth of the Phoenix occurs. They forge ahead with their newfound knowledge, ready to tackle the world once again with the advantage of their added strength. This is the look seen in this Phoenix. It holds the cautious glance backward, recognizing the advantage of seeing the past, yet not hindered by being possessed by it. The past is just a new direction to add to the many glances while proceeding.

The path will never be the same. The future remains unknown. The scars remain, seen with the rough layers of paint applied, not with a brush: but with the knifely weapon. The cool, saturated red and green, take on a heated reflection as they peek from behind dark protective feathers that surround it. The unplanned, spontaneity of traveling unknown territory are evident in the unpredictable, sketchy quality of the image as a whole. The excitement of innocence as a child learns to speak their first word is felt in the luminous sun that awaits in the distance as a symbol of a limitless world full of opportunity. The strength is within and burns hotter than before in the small fleck of hot orange that visibly burns from the deep central core. But it will be disbursed and measured a little differently this time, and may have the outward look of cool, unpretentious, humility."
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It's all about heart.

Post by jondy » Wed Apr 21, 2004 5:22 pm

The thing is Mauveduh, the stuff you write doesn't sound like "horseshit" to me, the guy who did the paintings. But I always thought that if someone ever wrote that sort of stuff about my work, I'd think it was. So maybe my preconception was way wide of the mark.

The Pollution mural really did come from the heart. I was 19 at the time and subject matter - the environment has been a major aspect in everything I do both before and since. I guess the teacher realized what was happening right before his eyes and just let me do my thing. I've often thought about finding him so he could see what his forebearance generated but I've never had the time to go back to my old school to start tracing him. It has to happen soon I think.

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