Me: I wanted to invite you guys here today because I would like to see how you think. Understanding that will take me a long way to understanding how to approach my art better and will also keep me from having to see a shrink later this week.
The Creator: I’m game.
Captain Artist: What a waste of time.
The Manipulator: Well, I think it’s a swell idea. With some insight into your own mind you can finally determine the easiest, most face saving way to create…as a hobby…without trying to force your art onto others who obviously aren’t interested in it.
Me: Ok. Thanks for that.
THE MANIPULATOR: My pleasure.
Me: Let’s start with some basic questions. Our readers…
THE MANIPULATOR: The three of them, including yourself and your wife.
Me: Actually, my wife doesn’t read this.
THE MANIPULATOR: Just another sign.
THE CREATOR: This interview isn’t about you. Wait for him to ask us a few questions and we can get everyone’s point of view.
THE MANIPULATOR: Quite right. Let’s get on with it.
Me: Great. So, our readers have seen my creative process. If you haven’t, check it out HERE. I don’t think we need to get into that now. What I would like to do is ask questions that other artists may be asking, as well as having something for enjoyers of art who have no interest in the technical side.
THE CREATOR: That sounds like a great idea!
Me: Thanks. First question – what sort of brushes do you prefer to use?
THE CREATOR: Oh, I love Rosemary & Co badger hair brushes. The brushes are handmade and are of the greatest quality I’ve ever used. They feel great in my hands, the bristles are long and just stiff enough to allow me to manipulate the paint while still maintaining a little distance from the canvas. Nothing adds tension to a painting like being right up on it. Agony. These are a little more expensive…maybe a lot more expensive. But they are worth have a few in your collection. Check them out at https://www.rosemaryandco.com And we don’t get any money for the recommendation!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: For me, it’s the Silver Line brushes. They hold a lot of paint, the bristles are just firm enough to offer a little bite for the canvas. And they are incredibly sturdy. We’ve got some that we’ve had for years and they still work wonderfully. Almost all of our brushes are Silver Line.
THE CREATOR: The ones with the green handles!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: No one cares about the handles.
THE CREATOR: Check them out at http://www.silverbrush.com/art/art_products/art_prod_intro.html
Me: You can thank my Mother-In-Law for some of those. Next question: We’re working on a Tarot series. What drew you to that particular subject?
THE CREATOR: The tarot has such a rich history. And if you look at images of a particular tarot card you will see that they have so many different images, however, those images all have the same feeling. At least, with the good ones. A tarot card has a particular meaning, but it doesn’t have to have the same image. This means that we can come up with a new way of saying something that still gives a similar message.
Me: Isn’t that the opposite of how we usually work?
THE CREATOR: it is! Usually we create a painting and the entire point is that people come up with their own stories and meaning behind it. We’re story tellers, but we also want to fill the world with many stories, not tell the viewer how to think. Usually. But, with this project we are trying to create an exact feeling. It’s fascinating!
Me: Captain, would you agree?
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Hey, the best part of this project is that you have a set number of paintings and you have a set time you want to do it in. This is a project that takes discipline and perseverance. There are 22 cards in the major arcana, and now that it’s started people are going to want to see a finished project. If you’re a quitter, everyone will know it.
THE MANIPULATOR: Assuming anyone is actually paying attention.
THE CREATOR: <rolls his eyes>
Me: We use a lot of models for our work. Do you just ask everyone you see or is there a process to it?
THE CREATOR: Oh god, no! We need particular people. Sometimes there’s a painting that demands something specific. Like “Beneath a Red Halo” needed a red-head. Or “Curtain of Night” needed someone fair haired. “Defending Her Honour” needed someone that the viewer would believe was strong, powerful.
On the other hand, sometimes there is just something about a person that demands being immortalized.
THE MANIPULATOR: Immortalized?
THE CREATOR: Yes! Sometimes some has eyes that are just striking, or a regal air about them. Maybe they have muscle tone that begs to be sculpted out of paint, or maybe they have a look that I can’t get out of my mind. So, I go back and talk to them and ask them to pose.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Mostly it’s the first one. You need a dark-skinned man for a predominately pale background, I go through my list and find a dark skinned man. You need someone with breasts to lie backward on a table you…
THE CREATOR: It’s not that base!
THE MANIPULATOR: Sure it is. Don’t you think your models know you just want to look at their breasts?
Me: What?? That’s not true!
THE MANIPULATOR: Well, even if it isn’t true I’m sure they think that.
Me: Really?!?! That’s terrible! I admit, many of my paintings have women in them, but that’s because women are more interesting to look at, and not just from men’s perspectives. Also, they tend to have more range. Power, love, lust, hate, trust…I can convey these emotions with female models much easier than I can with men.
THE MANIPULATOR: Also, women have breasts. We all know how you like that.
Me: But I’m not even a breast-man!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Don’t listen to him. He wouldn’t know what to do with a breast if it came up and slapped him in the face.
THE MANIPULATOR: And you do?
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Hell yeah. I know exactly what to do with it. I’d paint it!
THE CREATOR: Yeah!
Me: Yeah! Tastefully!
THE MANIPULATOR: Whatever.
Me: Speaking of models, who are the best models to work with?
THE CREATOR: Not by name, right? I mean, that would be sort of crude to just…
CAPTAIN ARTIST: One of our best models, by far, is Bestest. She’s open, takes direction well, and is incredibly versatile. Blondie-No-More is easy and fun to work with. She also takes direction well. That’s important. I need you in and out and you need to do what I say fast. Heels is great with…
THE CREATOR: Hey! Uncool!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: What? He asked…
THE CREATOR: Don’t call people out. What will the people you DON’T name think?
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Maybe they’ll take a hint and get their shit together.
THE CREATOR: Besides, it’s not just about “doing what I say.” Sometimes I need a model who can do somethings on their own. Maybe the pose I have doesn’t work as well as I think. I great model will have ideas of their own, and not be afraid to say “this is more comfortable” or “that seems forced.” They need some creativity of their own, and a willingness to try things.
THE MANIPULATOR: Like Not-Jew.
THE CREATOR: Stop that!
Me: I don’t want specific names. Just a descriptions.
THE CREATOR: Thank you. Anyway...patience, creativity, and pleasure. You have to enjoy it or the whole session is off.
THE MANIPULATOR: Like NerdDream. She can really…
THE CREATOR: Stop that!
THE MANIPULATOR: I’m giving a compliment. Not like I’m saying anything bad. Like how Dude is lazy and I can never get in touch with him when he’s promised to do something.
THE CREATOR: Oh god, we’re going to get sued.
THE MANIPULATOR: He’s too dumb to sue anybody.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Just like DimeBag. Dumb dumb dumb.
Me: Ok! New question!
CAPTAIN ARTIST: Remember the time StripperMom came to the studio wearing that hideous dress when we specifically told her to wear black slacks?
THE MANIPULATOR: Classic.
THE CREATOR: <sobbing>
Me: Ok, last question. If we didn’t make as much money as we do painting, what would you do instead?
THE CREATOR: <sniffs> Um. I think I would continue to paint. It isn’t about the money. It’s about creating something and sharing it with the world.
CAPTAIN ARTIST: I would keep painting. If people don’t like it, screw ‘em! It isn’t about the money; it’s about doing something that you’re good at and continuing to master it. You have to master something, right? Otherwise, you’re a waste of space.
THE MANIPULATOR: Like DimeBag
THE CREATOR: Damn it! <runs out sobbing>
Me: How about you, Manipulator?
THE MANIPULATOR: Hmmm. I think I’d be a motivational speaker.