House #5/Sirens at Night

Sometimes when I’m changing diapers I have 90s rap lyrics resurface in my head. No connection between diapers and rap- I’ve just accumulated a lot of cultural detritus in my brain. I think that one of the reasons that art can be therapeutic is it allows something real to rise out of churning, stewing brains. Before we go to bed, my wife asks me what I’m thinking about- the answer is usually some strange part of history, like how the House of Lords voted against salaries at the turn of the 20th century or about the loss in translation of Latin American fiction.

I only recently have been able to articulate concrete things I think about into art. Even so, art has always been satisfying. I think that because it’s creation necessitates clear focus, it helps break up repetitive thinking patterns.

For instance, I’ve been thinking about police activity in my area for a while. Even though I don’t know what to do to heal the community or to figure out what’s at the root of the problems, it feels good to create something concrete instead of swiping at the ephemera of my conjectures and imagination.

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I completed this painting in about an hour, and I’m pretty pleased with it. I want to do more night atmosphere paintings. I specifically plan on making a painting of General Braddock Towers called “What’s going on over there?” which will use some of the ideas I’m trying to work out above.

Below is one of the better buildings I’ve made this year, maybe the best one. The contruction dynamics of making this one were especially fun- I’ve been enjoying playing with harder lines and more illusory 3 dimensionality.

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The houses aren’t necessarily as cathartic, but it still feels good to do something well. All in all, the new paintings are coming together really well. Chances are that I’ll have enough for May 2021 inside of a year and I can move on to making stranger, better paintings.

I’d like to make a Gundam painting, except the Gundam would be made out of abandoned houses. I’d also like to reverse Trains/Dragons and make Dragon/Trains- which would be a dragon that’s painted to evoke a train. I might also start collecting used chess boards at Goodwill (wooden ones) to make a portrait of a face out of colliding, in progress chess games. Stay tuned.

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