Sunday, April 05, 2009

finish (continued)

Not dead yet, merely snowed under with various responsibilities. Not so much that I haven't continued thinking about the issue of "finish" in art. Indeed, I started a canvas – a representational one no less, a nude even – & decided I would pursue it in the old masters' manner: underpainting (en grisaille, this time – not brave enough for the green, somehow), followed by glazing: multiple layers of thinned color. Titian claimed he would go thru 30 layers or more in painting flesh – which is a pretty lengthy proposition, considering the drying time for oils. Me, I'm using acrylics, so after underpainting over the last couple days, then blocking in shadows in blue & burnt sienna, rosy bits in diluted crimson, & highlights in white, I've spent part of today glazing in flesh tones. Six layers so far, & maybe as many to go. I dunno if they were always right about suffering, but the old masters were damned patient.


Vance Maverick said...

I suspect T had a few pictures in the pipeline in parallel -- and perhaps an assistant or twelve to help with the glazing. Not to detract from the undeniable patience of the old masters.

One of my most memorable art-going experiences was a show centered on the "Venus of Urbino". The flesh is indeed pretty stunning.

Vance Maverick said...

It's just a hop and a skip from here to the labor theory of aesthetic value (and "A"-9).

What do you make of something like DeFeo's "The Rose", which flaunts the long painful hours of its creation, but doesn't try for a finished look, i.e. shiny and smooth -- saying rather, in effect, "I put in that labor not to fetch a price but because I wanted to"?