Saturday, March 5, 2011

Stupid Ideas: Old Man Having A Round Thought

Old Man Having A Round Thought, 12 X 16, Oil on paper, buy a print.

In case you haven't guessed by now, one of the things that has kept me jumping all these years has been the exploration of approach to artmaking.  I try everything, and I love it all.  This is such a crazy example, that I couldn't resist hanging it out there in the public square. 

I'd been diligently collecting the camera screw-ups--you know the butt ends of the film--the out of focus, the ones where the flash didn't work, the strange stuff you can't even recognize--the stuff a normal person would chuck.  In terms of abstraction many of these were quite inspirational little jewels.  The composition and the colors were intriguing on this particular slide.

The above is the painting I painted --you can tell by where I signed it in the traditional lower right.  See the old man in the hat?  Perhaps having a big round thought?  White collar sticking up like a Dickens character?  That's what I kept seeing.  So that 's what came out.  Never quite liked the painting--too silly--threw it in the drawer.   Stupid idea.   Humph.

Several years later as I cleaned out the drawer, and leaned it against the wall on its side.  One day I glanced at it and saw part of  my friend Ken Miller.  Hey--that's Ken's chin--and there's his shoulder.  That's definitely him watching me load the camera--there in his old blue shirt with the collar, half grin, beard and stash.  Damn good likeness too. 

Found the original slide.  Yup that's him all right.  Laughed my ass off. 

Ken's Chin, 12 X 16, Oil on paper, buy another print.




hw (hallie) farber said...

Two works of art from one camera screw-up! I like them both. "Seeing" these things is the fun part--and maybe the most important.

William Cook said...

I know! The old man with the hat is kind of cool; he's come up a few notches over the years--and Ken's chin? What more could I ask? I'm going to dig out that slide of him. \\///\

Jane said...

Good story, and you made two fabulous paintings from
a hint, an idea of something. Like Hallie said, seeing is the most important thing.

Anonymous said...

What I most appreciate about you Bill is your ability to "see" art everywhere. I suspect you are not able to do otherwise.
These are both fantastic images with great movement.
Your enthusiasm is contagious! Thank you!!

William Cook said...

Hi Jane--Thanks. Two in one, huh? I'll need a swivel on the back of the frame for proper viewing. Wm

Hey PAMO--Thanks ! That floor was just too inviting, all white and everything! Til the future, Wm

L.W.Roth, said...

I'm still looking for Ken's chin,but I pegged the old man and his round thought. Great idea with oopes. I think art is everywhere you look also; you just have to look. and it's such fun.

William Cook said...

Hey LW

Anticipating this problem, and failing to locate that camera screw-up, I took a snapshot of Ken yesterday at Mike Gaudreau's opening. He's probably 25 years older, but resembles his younger self. I'll add it to the post. Just for kicks I'm cropping him down to his chin, like the P.

I agree with the 'everywhere you look' comments. Looking at things from a phenomenological standpoint is the trick, I think. This goes way back to my aesthetics course. Got a D, but it was the most incredible course I ever took. That way of seeing sinks in deep.