STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 4: In the Belly (Not All Accidents Are Happy Ones)

Work in Progress: In the Belly 

 

I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. In my first post, I showed the first crude underpainting. In the second post, I started making additional drawing decisions. In the third post, I started bringing out suggestions of the original vision-the whale not just as an animal, but as a gilded cage of chaos.

The painting is coming along well (see above). But working as an intuitive artist, obstacles arise which could not be foreseen. I am presented an image in my mind; they come to me in a flash, complete. It becomes my task to translate that vision into a form that can be shared, filtered through my individual artistic personality. I paint my works directly onto the canvas, without preparatory drawings, all the better to take advantage of sudden discoveries and inspirations.

However, in art as in life, there are problems that come along with the opportunities.

Pablo Picasso, that human kaleidoscope, explained something like the dilemma I recently faced in my painting, when he talked about a visit he made to his Cubist colleague, Georges Braque.

 

“I remember one evening I arrived at Braque’s studio. He was working on a large oval still life with a package of tobacco, a pipe, and all the usual paraphernalia of Cubism. I looked at it, drew back and said, ‘My poor friend, this is dreadful. I see a squirrel in your canvas.’ Braque said, ‘That’s not possible.’ I said, ‘Yes, I know, it’s paranoiac vision, but it so happens that I see a squirrel. That canvas is made to be a painting, not an optical illusion. Since people need to see something in it, you want them to see a package of tobacco, a pipe, and the other things you’re putting in. But for God’s sake, get rid of that squirrel.’

Braque stepped back a few feet and looked carefully and sure enough, he too saw the squirrel, because that kind of paranoiac vision is extremely communicable. Day after day Braque fought that squirrel. He changed the structure, the light, the composition, but the squirrel always came back, because once it was in our minds it was almost impossible to get it out. However different the forms became, the squirrel somehow always managed to return. Finally, after eight or ten days, Braque was able to turn the trick and the canvas again became a package of tobacco, a pipe, a deck of cards, and above all a Cubist painting.”

 

He Was Only 5’3″

Braque and Picasso Get Squirrelly 

So, in the process of trying to evoke a painting experience, something unbidden had worked its way onto Braque’s canvas. Or maybe Picasso was just messing with him. I wouldn’t put it past him.

But recently I had a similar misstep while working on In the Belly.

My wife, artist Michele Bledsoe, and I were working in the studio. She noticed I suddenly started raving and muttering at my painting; lost as I was in the moment, I didn’t even realize I was talking out loud.

What was the problem? While I was trying to render where my whale’s fin attached to his body, I was horrified to see an equally horrified emoji had appeared on my canvas (outlined in red, below).

Is There An Emoji For The Scream of a Lost Soul? 

This could not stand. Mumbling about “wiping that look off your face,” I attacked the problem area with more marks and shading.

When I stepped back, I saw that I had succeeded…succeeded in giving the unwanted face eyebrows and a hat.

Facing the Problem

Needless to say, I had to cover over this whole area, and start again. It happens with the methods I use. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

“I vanish while my paintings get applied to the canvas. I have the continuous experience of stepping back from the work to see it, and it’s like I’m stepping out of a trance. I’m constantly surprised by what I see has appeared on the painting, because I have no memory of doing it. Turning myself over to this receptive state allows something beyond my own capacities to take over. My best achievements are works done through me, rather than by me.”

The point of this post is, although I have the upmost respect for The Muse, sometimes she’s got a strange sense of humor. I’ve learned to laugh, enjoy the message, and move on.

 

Previous articles:

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 2: In the Belly

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 3: In the Belly

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

HUNTER BIDEN IS TRYING TO CASH IN ON THE REDEMPTIVE POWER OF ART

Hunter Biden Discovers Another Meaning for the Word “Blow” 

“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

-Hunter Thompson

If the quote above were more recent, the maniacal journalist Hunter Thompson could have been describing another Hunter: Hunter Biden, the hapless offspring of the infamous political hack and dolt, Joe Biden.

Younger Biden and his dad are players in the combination criminal enterprise and psy-op gambit that is our current New Aristocracy of the Well Connected. As such, they are supposed to be above any consequences for their various idiocies and misdeeds. But Hunter Biden has been such a visibly public mess he has earned some critical scrutiny. From dating his recently deceased brother’s widow, to being booted from the Navy for cocaine use while daddy was Vice-President; from acting as bagman for traitorous international bribery schemes, to impregnating Arkansas strippers; Hunter exposes blatant corruption right in the inner circle of those who would rule over us as our superiors.

I do not expect the obviously senile Joe Biden will be President, or even the Democrat nominee. He’s a place holder, keeping the position open for She Who Must Not Be Named Yet Because No Way She Has the Stamina to Campaign. Rhymes with “Pillory Swinton.” But the stink of scandal must be lifted from around the pretend front runner. Buried under the media’s histrionic Wuhan Virus narrative was the recent news Hunter has settled with his stripper baby mama for an undisclosed sum, which also left his dubious finances undisclosed. But how else can the handlers flip the script for the dim son who keeps getting caught?

They’ve come up with a novel scheme. Suddenly, via the New York Times, we find the out the ne’er-do-well coke fueled lecher and money launderer…is actually a sensitive artist.

Hey, it’s worked for some other political boogeymen, from George W. Bush, to Winston Churchill. Showing an engagement with art softened the cultural perspective on these divisive characters. So the spin is being spun for the Hunter Biden redemption story arc. He already scooped up a trophy wife after a week long relationship-see, womanizing bad boy no more! But trying to shoehorn Hunter into the role of formerly-troubled creative is going to take a lot more work.

The Gray Lady gushes in the nauseatingly titled There’s a New Artist in Town. The Name Is Biden:

 “As an undiscovered artist, he is better situated than most: living in a rented, 2,000-square-foot house in the Hollywood Hills off Mulholland Drive, with a Porsche Panamera in the driveway, plenty of natural light and a pool house he has transformed into an art studio.”

What is his art? It seems to be mainly blowing ink around into abstractions that might suggest nature imagery. This is a project I literally did in elementary school art classes, but without any press coverage involved. Calling yourself an abstract artist removes any expectation there needs to be talent or skill displayed in the finished products.

 

Hunter Biden’s “Art” 

Honestly, Hunter Biden comes from such an institutionally fraudulent machine, I question if he even made these weak efforts himself. Are we supposed to believe he was honing his artistic skills between drug fueled orgies and collecting kickbacks? Are these works just props, the studio just a set, made to give the appearance of a changed man? I wouldn’t put it past them.

Or is the art world just an extension of the same cons he’s used to? Graft, influence peddling, tax evasion, insider deals, market manipulation-yep, that’s the contemporary art market all right. And then there’s this: one of Hunter’s “art-world connections:”

Biden’s Art World Hookup: The Name Says It All

 

As reported in Artnet News:

“For a period in 2018, Biden could be seen stopping by art openings and parties on the Lower East Side, and attended a runway show for the hip downtown fashion brand Lou Dallas. Sources said that many of his art-world connections came through his relationship with Zoe Kestan, the lingerie entrepreneur who is better known by her Instagram handle @weed_slut_420.”

So we are supposed to accept that Hunter Biden has left his sordid past behind and embraced the rarefied existence of an artist. We should overlook that under elitist mismanagement, the alienating and irrelevant visual arts institutions are just another venue for corruption, financial games, and the abuse of power. This stuff is so clumsy and obvious these days. Either the establishment just doesn’t care enough to do convincing hoaxes any more, or they are too dumb to pull them off effectively. It could be both!

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

 

“Hierarchy is a natural phenomenon. It exists for all forms of life. Humanity is unique in that we form our power structures based on thought instead of the more typical biological imperative of brute force. We’ve used our minds to make ourselves the acting masters of the world. We’ve created systems that sustain vast populations.

“However, our comfortable dominance introduces a potentially dangerous flaw. Our hard won heritage of civilization has created an environment where the apex positions in society no longer have to be earned. Status is bestowed for any number of arbitrary reasons: family ancestry, inherited money, sociopathic determination, political expediency, effective networking, or boutique servicing. This means those who wind up at the top might not really belong there at all. In America, there’s no better example of this absurdity than our current crop of politically educated bicoastal elitists.

“It’s why the establishment types put so much emphasis on credentials, instead of real world achievements. It’s why so many of them spend vast amounts of money on useless college degrees. The collection of resume-polishers is endowed with vast prestige. “Failing up” is a common establishment phenomenon; botch your current role, and get moved to the next rung up the ladder. The inner party takes care of its own.

“While many professions require rigorous training, that’s not true of many forms of our current establishment’s closed system of accreditation. What establishment-approved credentials often do is certify membership in the club. Those who have successfully navigated the filtering system proved they can play the reindeer games of the elitists. They will hold the correct opinions, support the same views, and signal the same virtues as the rest of the special tribe.

“Sadly, our elites have shown themselves to be far from truly advanced. Their actions expose them as defective characters, propped up in positions far beyond their capacities. Of course these pretenders embraced the fog of Postmodernism as a means to cover up their fundamental incompetence.”

 

Getting a serious write up in in the Times for juvenile art stylings is quite a credential polisher. But no amount of unearned accolades can create a legitimate artistic experience.

 

Say Cheese: Hunter Biden

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 3: In the Belly

In the Belly: 

Colors Developing 

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I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. In my first post, I showed the first crude underpainting. In the second post, I started making additional drawing decisions.

I ended up rejecting some of the drawing elements shown last time. The figure was all wrong. I covered it over with a skein of gold.

And that’s when things started to go strange.

Because I never intended this to be a realistic depiction of a whale. The vision I had showed me Jonah not inside a sea mammal, but in a gilded cage of chaos. I rendered the figure again in a more dynamic pose-from the fetal position, to a more reaching out posture, limbs akimbo. This change is philosophically meaningful. It’s exciting to figure it out as I work. The painting tells me about myself, and my own mental, emotional and spiritual states.

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

“Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation. We are showing particular things about ourselves that can also be universally recognized. Our art symbolically represents flawed, searching humanity participating in birth, existence, growth, and death. It is mysterious and moving, comic and tragic, clumsy and elegant. Remodernism is a celebration of the beauty and weirdness of the life God has granted us.”

 

This painting is taking a hallucinatory turn. Watch this space for future updates!

Take a Trip 

 

Previous articles:

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 2: In the Belly

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 2: In the Belly

In the Belly

Evolving Imagery

I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. In my previous post, I showed the first crude underpainting for a piece that I will be working on for the next several months.

These images show the progression.

Even though my paintings originate in inspirational visions, where I am shown what the imagery needs to be, it’s up to me to make that image appear through painterly technique. It’s hard to translate the subtlety of thought into tangible forms. But that is the fun and challenge of being an intuitive painter.

I don’t make preparatory drawings to figure out compositions. I paint the picture directly out onto the canvas. My process involves lots of editings and revisions along the way.

Having Jonah in there is vital to this work. This is how I put him in initially.  The painting has changed greatly from these early stages.

 

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

Making a painting becomes more than just a matter of how to represent something. It symbolizes the artist’s engagement with life. We want so much to make an image that says, “This is who I am, and this is what I saw.”

When we do it right, everyone who sees it will find that image inside themselves as well. It becomes a moment we share, and which can be visited over and over, with new understandings always unfolding. This is the power of art.

Ultimately a painter doesn’t replicate the real world, but creates a world in the painting that exists nowhere else. There are no limits for a painter; every decision in the work can be freely made to best suit the desired result.

Watch this space for further updates!

 

Previous article:

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

The Ace of Spades HQ Mid-Morning Art Thread is Fighting the Culture War

 

Art is for Morons at AoSHQ 

Art

Long before a certain drunken would-be tyrant segregated huge segments of Americans into a basket of Deplorables, some brave souls had already self-identified as a Moron Horde.

This endearment refers to the proud followers of the mighty  Ace of Spades HQ blog.  It’s a site I visit multiple times daily, eager for the latest sardonic commentary on the news of the day. The humor there is biting, the wit caustic, the tone irreverent. Ace is a nice counterbalance for all the serious yet prim hot takes offered throughout so many other sites of the conservative blogosphere. Because despite it’s studiously immature style, the analysis on Ace is sharp and illuminating. Its consistent disrespect towards pretentious elites is a fine old American tradition, and is especially needed these days, as we enter a new phase of the existential struggle for the future of this nation.

As an artist, a regular feature of Ace caught my attention. It’s called the Mid-Morning Art Thread. Usually on weekday mornings, after an effective aggregate of the daily news arranged by moderator J.J. Sefton, another moderator, CBD, posts an image of a work of art to start a new thread. (CBD stands for “Charlie Brown’s Dildo.” That’s a mental image I work very hard to resist.)

A great range of works have been displayed, from Old Masters to art of this century, and everything in between. Occasionally a contributor named Kris will add some intelligent art historical analysis of the piece. The self proclaimed Morons are free then to comment, though it is requested the first 100 comments stay on the art topic at hand. Once a new thread gets started later in the day, comments are closed for the Art thread, so time is short. Being Ace, the commentators don’t hold back.

The art works offered up inspire snap judgments, a whole range of reactions: praise, abuse, informed anecdotes, puns, limericks, lewdness, inside jokes and pop culture references all appear in rapid fire succession. It’s endlessly entertaining. But I feel there’s something important happening here, mixed in with the calls for “more bewbs” and warnings about where snipers might be concealed in the artistic scenery.

I’ve written before about how the Postmodern establishment is working hard to exterminate the experience of real art from our culture. They believe, correctly, that losing art will undermine our society, and make us easier to control. They have been hugely successful.

For example: Quick, name your favorite living American artist.

If you are like most people I’ve met from outside the art bubble, you can’t do it. You don’t have one. Elitist mismanagement has marginalized the arts in the West, and caused a crisis of relevance. We have not lost art, it has been stolen from us.

Part of this theft is to cut us off from our artistic heritage, the art of more creatively accomplished ages not degraded by the Postmodern disease. Per the latest corrupt Ivy League agenda, the soaring achievements of the past are now nothing but grist for the grievance mill, yet another field to be choked out by Wokeness.

Another part of the stealing of art has been accomplished by over-intellectualizing it. The assumptions of academia have indoctrinated us all into the “correct” ways to think about art. This pedantic approach is used as a weapon to convince people art is not for them, just because they don’t “get” the pieces of politicized crap our cultural institutions have inflicted on us as surrogates for real art.

The Mid-Morning Art Thread is a remedy to that totalitarian snobbery. It gives us a straightforward presentation of our legacy, offered up freely to the public for their insights, appreciation or rejection, no Yale stamp of approval needed.

People don’t need to “get” real art; you experience it. It’s a visceral reaction, open to everyone. Honestly it’s probably impossible to put into words just why it makes you feel the way you do, but you know it when you see it. The more you see of it, the richer your life becomes.

The elites want you to live in spiritual poverty. By consistently putting artworks in front of an audience that might not have realized how art is vital to their human development, the Ace Mid-Morning Art Thread is creating wealth beyond measure. These sarcastic Moron pundits are doing their part to carry on the glory of Western Civilization, at the same time our ruling classes are doing their worst to try to bring it down.

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

Postmodernism has been a Trojan horse for the same old power games that have kept humanity at bay for eons. Postmodernism is a betrayal of America’s ideals and accomplishments; Postmodernism has caused much damage acting treacherously from inside our own cultural institutions.

The elites had a great vision for America. They would wreck our culture and trash our heritage, and be the managers over our decline. They’ve been implementing their program for at least 100 years. However, in their long march through the institutions, they overlooked part of what makes America unique. We aren’t compelled to follow our “leaders.” We definitely aren’t going to follow them off a cliff.

Many compare the United States to earlier empires that declined and fell. The familiar pattern is happening here and now. Elitist mismanagement and ennui is encouraging social breakdowns. History demonstrates it’s only a matter of time until the barbarians overrun their dominion. The existing society will be overthrown by primitives from outside the complex system of assumptions and niceties cherished by the ruling class.

The great news is, here in the United States, we are our own barbarians. Understand the current upper echelons are predominately not representative of the American way of life. They’ve been compromised by Postmodern delusions about their own omnipotence, and it’s ruined them. They should have studied Classical literature. It clearly warns about the perils of hubris.

To these upper crust pretenders, nothing is more backwards and uncivilized than their own fellow citizens, who cling to such notions as God, guns, and honor. Yet these traditional Americans are exactly the people who are best positioned to put an end to the current elitist shenanigans for good. Far from not understanding their Postmodern poses, we understand them all too well.

It will be traditional Americans who rise up to clear away the rubble of the establishment’s failures and decadence. America has an amazing record of achievement, when we put our values into action. We have the wisdom which Postmodernists thought they were too smart to need.

America isn’t dying. It’s the artificially imposed Postmodern worldview which is disintegrating. Remodern Americans will carry on, better than ever.

 

 

Edit: Welcome Instapundit readers! Please visit other articles for more commentary on the state of the arts. 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

STUDIO: A New Painting in Progress, Part 1: In the Belly

In the Belly

A New Painting for the New Year

 

I am currently at work on my latest large scale piece-large for me being in this case 30″ x 40″. The image above is my first crude underpainting for a piece that I will be working on for the next several months.

The current subject came to me in a vision, as my imagery often does.

Right now I don’t have to fulfill any commission. I don’t have create a piece for any particular theme show or call for entries. Being so free to choose out of the many painting ideas I have could be challenging. However, as an intuitive artist, I am provided guidance. I know the right idea to proceed with because it’s the one I keep thinking about. I can’t get it out of my mind. I’m going to need to paint it out.

The story of Jonah describes a man who tried to dodge his responsibilities, and wound up being swallowed by a great fish-temporarily. One of my favorite artists, Albert Pinkham Ryder, painted this subject before.

Albert Pinkham Ryder “Jonah”

 

I have visited this theme before, in a small work.

Richard Bledsoe “Leviathan My Friend” acrylic on canvas 12″ x 12″  

2020 looks like it’s going to be the year of getting stuff done. We can’t remain the bellies of the various beast that consume us. We must do the work we are called to. That is the energy I am pouring into this new piece.

It’s powerful theme, that everyone can relate to in some way. As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization: 

 

 

As I work on the paintings, I come to interpret them. Patrons will often share insights with me on my works as well, telling me meanings that I didn’t even realize, but which become clear once indicated.

Such is the seductive beauty of symbolic expression; even when manifesting universal archetypes, a symbol caresses the spectator in an intimate manner. While symbols can communicate concepts shared in common, each person experiences the thrill of recognition in a unique way, different as fingerprints.

 

I will periodically post updates on this work, and share the progress.

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

 

 

Andy Warhol’s Pop Art Christmas Cards

An Andy Warhol Angel 

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“Andy was a Catholic, the ethic ran through his bones/

He lived alone with his mother, collecting gossip and toys/

Every Sunday when he went to church/

He’d kneel in his pew and he’d say/

“It’s just work, all that matters is work.” 

-Lou Reed, from Songs for Drella

 

It’s true. Pop artist Andy Warhol, the legendary, ironically blank scenester, was also a devoutly religious man. He attended church faithfully, volunteered in soup kitchens, and made a late body of Christian themed works that have been largely overlooked by the hostilely secular art world.

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Warhol Meets Pope John Paul II, 1980 

As a person of faith, Warhol used his artistic skills to celebrate Christmas. Before Andy found fame in the gallery scene, he was a successful commercial artist. From 1956-1962 he produced box sets of Christmas cards sold by Tiffany’s. He rendered these as quirky doodles, far removed from the slick screen  prints he’s known for.

Here are just a few examples of Warhol’s holiday spirit.

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c

Christmas

Christmas

Christmas Cards 

 

As I state in my book, Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization, Warhol left a mixed legacy:

“As the prophet of the Postmodern, Warhol was another harbinger of the mess of a culture we are currently slogging through. It’s not his fault. Do you blame a reporter for the news he covers? The cultural traits Warhol portrayed didn’t start with him. He fulfilled the role of the artist giving us foresight into the culture’s momentum.”

1978: Truman Capote and Andy Warhol Celebrate the Season

Maybe a Little Too High Spirited 

But I like to think behind the facade of celebrity and detachment, there was the real human Andy, who celebrated Christ’s birth with sincere joy.

Merry Christmas!

An Andy Warhol Nativity 

 

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a paintingPlease send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!