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Painting while listening to Monk

I've been painting only in blue for months now. I might add a tiny bit of something else but blue has been the thing. So of course I've had to use many different kinds of blue. I've had to mix up my own blues when I can't find what I want in a jar. I began using acrylics. But now I use Flashe and I think the acrylics are too showy and sit on the surface of the canvas in a way that now displeases me. I don't even know what it is that the acrylics are doing to prompt this sudden rejection after decades of fealty. I've ventured into Casein a bit and dabbled in oil and illustrated things in gouache, but the casein didn't offer intensity and the oil dried too slow for a sprinter painter like myselfand gouache is what they call a 'fugitive' medium so I thought best to avoid using it for anything that might get framed or sold. I read something or other about Flashe and purity of the pigment and with the not having to think about the color of paint to buy (Just get all the blues and vats of white and black). So texture and the light become more of a thing. All of the other choices becomes more conscious. So Flashe.


Flashe has the best color I have ever seen. It almost vibrates and beside it the acrylic seems cheap. (It is actually cheaper though not significantly so.) People say it's like gouache. But you don't tend to cover large spaces with gouache. It does have the same chalkiness but I find gouache seems to lose a lot of itself once dry. I don't know if you want to do the kind of incredible detailed work with Flashe than one can do with gouache, but I haven't tried at all.


So variations. Now that I'm mostly settled in with blue and flashe and I've stockpiled a hoard of canvases I needed to come up with other ways to change up the routine. Generally I listen to the same roots rocky, alt-country kind of thing I've been listening to forever. Even the new stuff is essentially the same poignant, angry, self-criminating, tragic line of patter that I love so well. So I've changed my playlists. One day I listened only to Miles Davis while I worked. I was working on a bunch of canvases at the time so I can't gauge the effect. The next I painted one painting while listening to Charlie Parker. The next day it was Monk.

I can't articulate anything about the music itself. I don't know anything about the way the chords shift or the atonal thingy splits the atomic musical particle. But I see that confined to the same size canvas with the same materials and the same shades of blue thing going on, the work was dramatically different.


Tomorrow I do Coltrane.

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