1957 Chevy Truck Gauge Cluster

40" x 60"  oil on canvas (WARNING: Many would consider the following commentary to be obnoxiously long. So, if you have a pot on the stove or are performing emergency brain surgery, you might consider not reading this.) I was not even going to show you this piece today, but my mood shifted and I thought I would go out on a limb and actually type about my painting instead of continuing my incessant diatribe about the devastating cookie shortage going on around here. The above piece represents a sort of aesthetic leap. One always hopes that how you paint a piece can override a viewer's prejudice against the subject matter. For some reason, anything having to do with automobiles immediately turns off certain people. They encounter one of my "car" pieces and it is as if the piece does not exist. Don't get me wrong, I recognize that humans have distinct artistic tastes (though the amount of people who do not like paintings of toys kind of freaks me out) but the size of the "anti-car" group is astonishingly large. However, there appears to be a mystical size barrier that, when crossed, magically changes a piece from a mere subject-specific painting into a piece of "art." This old Chevy truck dashboard cluster is so dang beautiful that I decided to push it and play with the mysticism of scale. In a sense, I chose to make an aesthetic leap. The above digital image cannot truly relay scale, but when viewed in person, this five foot wide piece seems to have crossed the scale barrier. While it did not break through to everybody, this large wall of goo did reach many viewers that I think would not have been reached if the piece had been smaller. They did not seem to care that it was a "car" painting and liked it solely as art. I suppose that if I stuck to painting just one subject I could avoid my numerous encounters with people's varying tastes. That constraint is unlikely considering that limiting myself to painting just one thing would probably drive me to put a slug in my dome. (Not going to happen.) I do not paint in a "classical" fashion and pushing my style of painting larger presents many distinct challenges—limited time horizon not being the least of them. Those challenges make my larger pieces arduous marathons that leave me wiped out and desperately seeking more cookies. (Don't act surprised, you knew I would somehow bring this commentary back around to me and my important relationship with cookies. Now, if I could only get The Spousal Unit to read these commentaries. Actually, it might be better that She usually doesn't.).
Posted March 10, 2017

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