Monday, February 11, 2013

Improv

East Meets West, 10" x 8", 140 ' Daler-Rowney Langton Prestige NOT paper
Improv.  Hey Man, that's where it's at.

Yeah.

I've had many interests - music, art and writing among them.  But an aspect common to all that I have admired is improv.

Bluegrass and jazz, even classical, for example.  They have this in common.  They start with a theme, then the touch of the individual musicians are brought to bear.  The theme is squeezed and stretched and twisted and turned.

I painted this watercolor in just that way.  I perched in front of a building that, by the way, looks nothing like this, and outlined a few of its parts.  Then I began to improvise.  I drew lines that just felt right [yeah] in that they were visually pleasing to me geometrically.  And then I started to paint.  Aside from the awnings that really were pink (I think), everything else was improv.

So this painting is semi-abstract.

Take it away Allen, your stroll is different than mine, but oh so beautifully described..

[Note:  This is not read by Allen Ginsberg.  It is read by a gentleman named Tom O'Bedlam, who goes by the handle "spoken verse" on You Tube.  You can find other readings by this fellow, who probably comes from the North Midlands of England, here.]

37 comments:

  1. I had to stop by when I saw this in my reader. Your painting is how I would imagine Miami warm vibrant and full of lushness and movement. It's fantastic.

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    1. Thank you! That is quite a compliment. What's funny is I was thinking more Miami meets New Mexico, or something..

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  2. All straight lines and hard angles, yet there is nothing hard or sharp about this.
    You made it feel soft and comforting with the colours.
    Like the sun is melting all the hard lines together and the texture of the walls is softer and inviting.
    Really neat, I love art pieces that make me stop and really look.

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    1. Thank you for the nice words - I am getting all puffed up. Love your description of the piece. :)

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  3. I LOVE it Dan... I can hear you... taking it away (as they say in Jazz jams).

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    1. A capital L-O-V-E?! Why thanks! I hope to do more like this.

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  4. very intriguing!...and infused with Florida sunlight. I like it!

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    1. I take the Florida sunlight wherever I go. Just call me sunny. Thanks!

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  6. Great painting, Dan. You may have improvised the shapes, but you still managed to capture the light beautifully. Thanks for sharing the Ginsberg poem. The read by SpokenVerse brought it to life wonderfully. (PS, sorry to post and delete, but I abhor when I improvise spelling.)

    -Don

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    1. Yeah, at first I was going to look for something read by him or another beat poet, but when I came across this - it is so well done, and I like the way he added the photos and words to follow. Thanks about your comment about the light! "Great painting" is quite a compliment, given your experience, and I appreciate it.

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  7. I like the colours, the transparency , the overall loose aspect of it and the way you let our eye wander around !!

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    1. Thank you Martine! If only I could be that loose all of the time! :)

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  8. On beam... on track ... you're really there on this one! Love the musical metaphor ... love the reality of the dream as it takes on lines and angles, but somehow keeps the dream quality!

    Why does Ginsberg always sound like he comes from the North Midlands of England? Until he says, 'tomato' ....
    "You say tomato and we say tom-art-toe,
    You say potato and we say.... [it the same as you do!]"

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    1. Thanks John! I'm glad you found a dream quality. This isn't read by Ginsberg - see the note I added above - he is probably from the North Midlands of England. In print we all say potato and tomato the same way!

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  9. Improv is where it's at for you. There's nothing wrong with your sense of line,space and color. Brilliant painting Dan, one of your best. And Ginsberg? Does sound like he comes from Simlett's part of the world, till he says potato. Then we know he's our own to be held in awe. He could read me poetry all day long.

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    1. Brilliant?! Thank you! That is not Ginsberg reading. I've added a note to the post - in fact he does read other poems on You Tube and I've included the link.

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  10. Looks very like sunny rooftops and terraces, nice abstract feel.

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  11. Lovely to look at, wonderful colors, bright and warm. What's not to like about being in FL?

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    1. I love Florida, what can I say? Thanks!

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  12. I really like the collage effect. You see straight lines and can paint them. (As someone who never met a straight line without the aid of a ruler- it's impressive.)

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    1. And who said I didn't use a straight edge? I did. Not a ruler - the side of a plastic watercolor palette. (Confessions, good for my soul). I like the way you have compared it to a collage - neat analogy. Thanks.

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  13. Hey man, this looks like a drive-in theater to me, and that's where it WAS (I was a teen in the late 50s). Love the painting.

    I have the book, Allen Ginsberg Photographs. Inside the book, he wrote "for Hallie Farber on her 49th birthday," and he drew a large flower with a skull below, then his signature. The book was a gift. Now I wonder about that skull.

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    1. I was intrigued, so I googled an explanation for the autograph and found this in an online Orlando Sentinel article about Ginsberg:

      "Juggassar, a 21-year-old junior at Brooklyn College, handed Ginsberg a thick paperback edition after classes the other day and then stood clear as the maestro's fountain pen swooped toward an empty page.From a swirl of lines, a Buddha-like image suddenly appeared. In a corner, Ginsberg circled the word ''eclipse,'' to note the celestial event that had occurred earlier in the week, and elsewhere drew a skull with flowers blooming from the mouth - a tribute, he said, to the triumph of life over death."

      I kinda intended for the white square to be a part of the building. I see the drive-in theater, but don't really like to look at it that way. But glad you love the painting.

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  14. Lovely painting so bright, so colourful, so Florida! Love it!

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    1. Thank you!! The funny thing is I was not only thinking Florida but also New Mexico (or something), which is why I called it East Meets West. Glad you like it!

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  15. I like how everything is so nice and straight and structured and yet....very artistic! :)

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    1. Thank you! It's great to break out of those lines!

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  16. As I recall both Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee were highly influenced by music in their approach to painting. The geometric progressions and improvisations were right up their proverbial alley (did they envision a Miami alley?)

    So, you're in great company. I enjoyed the light, airy feel, almost as if it could float away. But, the geometry brings it back to, hmmm, not quite earth, but Dan's place, or canvas :)

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    1. I read Kandinsky's book in which he definitely compared art to music. I love the way in the digital art everything - word, music, and art, are just 0's and 1's. To me it is just further proof that everything and everyone is part of one great something, Eh?

      I did feel I was in Dan's place with this one. Thanks!

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  17. Your improv painting is fantastic Dan. You might like the work of a British watercolour it's named Shirley Trevena.
    Happy Painting.

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    1. I was thinking there has to be a way to do this with the figure too - I was thinking of Diebenkorn and a new artist I discovered named Sangram Majumdar. Neither work in watercolor. So I will be looking more at Shirley Trevena, thanks!

      And I'm glad you think this is fantastic, too. Thank you!

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