Meg & Jack White … painting mid-process …

IMG_2648 Studio Floor

I get to the studio this week and I’m reminded of the madness I left behind.  A chaotic flurry of activity preceded me, my last visit replays at flip-book speed in the photo stream thats been implanted in my skull. I think it happened as I was seeing my month flash before my eyes backing up my phone to iphoto… but thats another story.

Frosty Acres Wood stove

Its cold as a bastid outside and the wood stove doors are slamming and creaking as they are all pushed to their fullest potential, chocked barrel-full with logs, crackling with serious furnaced heat.  It took the good part of my day to get my studio warm.  And the first thing I had to do was clean up the mess I left behind.  Then I threw that old headboard panel I’ve been storing and shuffling from one place to the next for years, onto the easel.  I had come across this cool image of Meg and Jack White online and I thought it would make a cool painting.  I ran through the Met and the Neue Galerie last weekend with my mom and I see again what I’ve been missing by not keeping regular visits to museums with paintings and drawings in them.  Just an afternoon at these two hallowed museums and I found myself moving the brush in a different way, I felt my desire to paint in that classical expressionist manner of Schiele and van Gogh, with lustier, more unfinished, heartfelt brushstrokes.  So here are a few shots of the piece as it begins.  My goal is to leave part of it unfinished to show process and essence with an economy of labor in the painting department.  To make succinct statements in the form of bold simple marks. I think this is the goal of all my favorite painters.  To be simple, clear, and bold. I always hope I can stick to my guns on things like this.  It is far too easy to overlook that precious moment when an area of a painting is complete and even easier to busily paint away these raw records of something vital with the desire to “complete” or “finish” something off. Artists have to always remain vigilant enough to pull the brakes and take a breath in that moment of clarity and possibility when something is done “enough”.  Anyways heres what I have so far on this piece.

Meg and Jack White by Zito IMG_2677

Theres still work to be done but I really want to keep a lot of it un-refined and fresh.  My habit is to over-paint and I’m working really hard I tell ya to break this cycle of violence!   Its worth a go anyways.  And theres a handful of commissions waiting as well as trying to finish that Queen lying on the studio floor amidst the rubble.  So I need to hunker down and get stuff done!

Meg and Jack White portrait by Zito

Meg and Jack White portrait by Zito

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