I sit here in J.B.'s old bed room, at an amazing wooden desk, listening to the wood pop and crack from the down stair's fireplace. Open studios was this past Saturday...the night of the "Supermoon", earthquake scares, and the day before spring. It was a rainy and windy day, but grateful for the folks that came out to see the paintings, drawings, sculptures, and video I have been working on these past 6 weeks.
I have been a complete work horse up till now. I have been traveling nomadically (mostly in India) for the past two years, so this residency was the first opportunity I have had to unpack, ground, feel settled down, and have some meditative silence/creative space. Usually when I travel I work on paper with gouache, as it's the lightest weight and easiest to travel with medium I have found. I also like to take photos, but traveling light is the key.
Since I now had a studio at my disposal I decided to explore oil paints, since this is a medium difficult to travel with. In the Fall I saw an exhibit at the Atlanta High Museum on Dali's late work. There was some thing so sensual about his surfaces...he made me want to lick the virgin Marys and sea urchin shells...in the gift shop I found Dali's 50 secrets to magical craftsmanship, where he shares his alchemical recipes, inspirations, and steps for painting. It is true that I was nursed on Dali's nipple growing up, but I am not Dali. I prefer to operate creatively from an abstract "no mind" state, where as he was more into planning and organizing. Nevertheless, I started out my oil paintings very tightly, as I tried to understand the medium (Last time I pained with oils was in college), its drying time, and layering effects very different than that of gouache.
During the day I would be in the studio, and at night I would work in the house on video editing a film project I had shot on Hawaii, and here on the Blunk property. Video editing was another skill I hadn't used since around the same time as I was last oil painting. It is interesting to consider the 13 year cycle that both skills took to remanifest. Well armed with a Final Cut Pro tutorial book, I sat down and learned the program, and spent several weeks overcomming many frustrating technical problems dealing with converting files from one format to another. At first both oil painting and video editing proved to be difficult, but I am up for the challenge and stuck to it. With time I began to understand the basic premises, and after a few weeks felt like I could take off the training wheels and cruise on my own.
I also had a vision of taking my cosmic calligraphic script and working on large photo back drop scrolls. This calligraphy is such pure expression for me that is was a nice project to fall back on when the fumes or the computer monitor were getting to me. This is typical Oliver...to be working on several projects simultaneously that have nothing to do with another. I really can't help it. I like to explore, and learn new mediums, and ways to express myself. There were also a whole other series of drawings I worked on too (but I already blogged about those here: http://oliverhalsmanrosenberg.blogspot.com/2011/03/virtual-open-studio-1-left-handright.html)
So bellow you will find an assortment of images from works in progress/studio shots/completed works/etc. as well as the final 25 minute short film I shot and edited called THE PIXEL SUTRA. It's all about rebirth, and it was strange to be working on it while in the news Tunisia, Egypt, and Lybia all were going through revolutions, and Japan was shaken by the tsunami and quakes.