Friday, December 15, 2006

Crowned (5"x5")






10 comments:

Anonymous said...

In some senses your approach to painting reminds me of Odd Nerdrum's. It's evocotive of an aesthetic from a bygone era, however contemporary in form, and perhaps intent. I see that the elements of gravity and time intrique you. (both revealed in your paint and form). Where did you study painting? Your surface, unlike many contemporary painters, has unique identity and character. There are many commercially trained artists within this community who do not. (People buy it though, perhaps due to the popularity of Photorealism) Where do you exhibit outside of the context of this forum? What I enjoy most about your work is its conceptual nature. (the unique/atypical dynamics that is often presented). As many of us though, you struggle with the balance between presenting imagery that is commerically viable and work that is personal. And this holds true for many of the artists who exhibit at the Forum Gallery in NY. (It would be safe to say that your work is a "fine art approach" to the commercial/illustrative paintings seen at the Jenkins-Johnson Gallery in San Francisco. http://www.jenkinsjohnsongallery.com/exhibitions/06haiku/haiku_thumbs1.htm

I find for the most part, Postmodern painters tend to address sociopolitical subjects that perhaps are subversive in nature (merely to provoke responses on parallel issues). For example, I know an artist who chooses to satirize the "Shroud of Turin" through still life. I believe the contemporary painter must find a way to address the "goodness" that is present within humanity (instead of the absurd. The question though remains: How to communicate this? Both Morandi and Cezanne used the tradition of still life painting to convey a metaphysical message through light-handed metaphor. Then there's the portion of art history who painted straight narratives and allegories. How to connect and transform people's perceptions of the world remains the challenge of the contemporary artist.

elaine k bond said...

Well, with my poor and basic english (I'm french),I don't think that I'm gonna be able to discuss intellectually, philosophically or politically your work as "anonymous" did. Did he wanted to say that your good? (he he!) coz in that case, I agree with him! Your so good! so original in your way of rending still life fun, thoughtful and beautiful at the same time! I like your portraits as well, especially yours!

m collier said...

Yikes !!! to anonymous !!! I'm with Elaine I just very clearly like your paintings --- and your concepts ---

Dustin L. Boutwell said...

I paint with some friends today, I'll deffinately respond to this as soon as I can. Thanks for the great comments everyone. Dustin

Sasha Williams said...

I immediatelly thought of Odd Nerdrum when I saw your work as well! It is what draws my eye to your work immediately - not just the technical mastery of the subject, but content beyond simple depiction of an object in front of you. To me it is a step above a regular study. In terms of technique, I am not in a position to give advice, as I am myself still working on being able to render something in a satisfactory manner. Although my initial reaction was desire to see more edge definition on lit portion of an object being represented. As to content, I would encourage you to continue with your communicative approach to the viewer. There is a market for everything from Grandma Moses to Chapman - it is mostly a matter of successful marketing rather than painting itself. I look forward to visiting your blog every day.

Dustin L. Boutwell said...

I really appreciate the great comments I've been receiving. It's encouraging to know, as I approach the easel, that someone could see my work today. To the best of my knowledge Duane Keiser started this whole thing and I have to thank him dearly. Since I began making daily paintings (weekdays), I have enjoyed painting for the first time since I can remember. If anyone reading this knows Duane or bumps into him, give him my best wishes and tell him he deserves all his success and more. He has truly revived my joy for painting. This relates to what anonymous said about painting for one's self (personal work) or trying to figure out what the world wants (commercially viable). I've been fortunate enough to have my work in a gallery or two, and it seems that when I'm preparing for a show, I can't help but think about what might sell. I care about the gallery and I try to make paintings that I think people might want. But the truth of the matter is, people are sensitive beings, and if your hearts not in what your producing they can tell. Everyone from the seasoned art critic, to the average guy/gal who walks into a gallery off the street will have a sense of the artist's sincerity. As human beings, we rely on this and it's impossible to mask. They won't be able to deny your talent, but if your just crankin' out pictures for the masses you have my sympathy. If you let it, the act of painting can open a door to a journey so expansive that a life times work would merely scratch the surface. It would be like trying to flood the Grand Canyon with an eyedropper. The droplet would probably evaporate before it settled. Painting, like nature, offers infinite possibilities for subtlety and design. Add to this the chance to connect with someone, even for and moment, and it becomes irresistible. If you choose to give this up, you forfeit the soul of art. The opportunities for the artist are many and varied. I believe that gracefulness is something we should encourage as a lifestyle. It's becoming scarce and I think we suffer for it. I agree with anonymous that finding and communicating "goodness" is a goal to earnestly strive for. In my opinion paintings made strictly for shock value resonate like a suicide. When the surprise fades, I'm left empty and saddened by the squandering of what could have been. It stings even more when the corpse showed promise. Yes, I am intrigued by physics. Time, gravity, space, they fascinate me. Surface is another vast chasm and I thank you for your kind remarks. I am constantly amazed by the relativity inherent in paint effects... it's a never ending discovery. I was hoping one day to master something about this medium but I'm not sure it's possible now. It's a perpetual tail chase that leaves me dizzy... but isn't it fun to be dizzy now and then. I am primarily a self taught artist, though I've read some good books. I've also met several great painters over the years, and studied a lot of great paintings. Currently I show primarily at West End Gallery in Corning NY. I'm in search of finding myself as a painter, so I can figure out which galleries I should approach. I don't wish to waste any ones time, including mine, so I haven't really pursued galleries yet. Maybe I should just get some stuff out there and see what happens. Let me know if you have suggestions. Dustin

Paul Hutchinson said...

I'm curious about the indented lines running through a lot of your work. What kind of support are you painting on? I've enjoyed looking at your work thankyou. You have a formidible tecnique to say the least!

peter yesis said...

Dustin-
Not only are you a talented artist but a wonderful writer. Your comments are very inspiring. I just recently found your work through links to other daily painters. Welcome to the club and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Dustin L. Boutwell said...

Paul-- I have found through experience that most manufactured supports/surfaces don't fulfill my needs as a painter. So I have experimented with several ways and types of preparing surfaces. The one your seeing most in my daily paintings is one I began making about four years ago. It is a fine cloth (linen or cotton) mounted on Masonite/hardboard and primed with two or three coats of oil primer. I used oil primer because lead took too long to dry and was harder to get, and toxic. (I still enjoy painting on lead grounds the most) I make them in large sheets and then cut them to the sizes I desire. Then I sand/bevel all the edges to prevent possible chipping of the Masonite. I began making these panels during a point in my life when I needed a quick surface at a specific size but time, money and space were very limited. I didn't have time in my daily routine to build an adequate surface from scratch nor did I have the money to buy one and I didn't have the space to store all the possible sizes I might need...so this method allowed me to have on hand, a panel that could be cut to any size in a matter of minutes. I still enjoy this surface. The "lines" you see are probably the tone I apply to the panel before I begin the painting. I don't find it necessary to always cover every inch of a surface. I also paint very thinly sometimes and the undertone shows right through... oil is a very transparent medium, and even heavier applications are semi-transparent. Whats under the paint is of extreme importance. If you apply the same mixture of paint over two different tones you get different results, but I'm sure you all know this. The "lines" could also be marks in the primer. There are better surfaces available all the time, I just can't afford them. I would love to have some sponsor like Duane Keiser has, who would supply me with a nice surface, but that's unlikely. I would enjoy testing new surfaces, it would be nice to be able to recommend a manufacturer to others, I get asked about surfaces all the time. Dustin

Dustin L. Boutwell said...

Peter-- Thank you. I have been fortunate to have met several excellent painters. They have all been very encouraging to me, and I owe them much. I feel it is not only important to pass this information along, I believe it's my obligation. The processes and ideas involved in painting are alive and should flow through a person, like breath. If you hold it too long it dies with you, and that would be a tragedy. Also, one must continue to breathe new fresh ideas, it's the only way to avoid the even slower death of stagnancy.

This blog is definitely helping me to get some much needed "fresh air". I thank you all. Dustin