When I was in junior college, I took a painting class and I found it boring. The only project I enjoyed was the pointillism or stippling project. You know, placing dots together that looks weird up close but super from a distance. Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte is the most famous example. I wish I had a picture of that project. I think I eventually painted over it. Anyway, the point I was trying to make was that I didn't like the class so I didn't try painting again for quite a while. I dove into printmaking and the rest is Mart History.
While at the University of West Florida I decided to give painting another go. I took a class with a teacher who was all about you finding your own way. In other words, he didn't teach squat. So, I spent alot of time in the library looking at the different painters, finding the ones I really liked and trying to figure out what they did by copying. But before all that, I just tacked paper on the wall and started slinging paint around. It was quite fun and I came up with some really weird stuff. I enjoyed it so much that I neglected printmaking for a while. In fact, the only time I've ever lost time in the studio happened while I was painting. I went into the studio at 9 am and before I knew it, it was 5 pm. I had skipped lunch and suddenly realized I was hungry. It was a great feeling though...being in the zone like that.
One of the first paintings I ever did was the weird one you see above. It's scanned from a slide so it's not a very good image. Imagine the colors being more vivid and you'll be closer. At the time I was really into Gustav Klimt. I ended up zeroing in on a section of one of his unfinished paintings, turning it upside down and copying the patterns. The shapes started looking like weird heads so I created this weird little world called Planet Klimt. I called these guys The Wise Men of Klimt. I actually did several different takes on this design but I eventually moved on to other things.
I still love painting and hope to return to it someday. It's so weird to be confined to a tiny 5" by 7" space with my collages when I used to do these nearly wall sized paintings. I wonder if I'll have any trouble going big after working so small for so long? Probably, but I know how to get past that. Just sling some paint. That'll get the juices flowing again.