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“The Story of a Painting (and Other Weird Stuff…)” by Richard F. Yates

What you are about to read (should you have the GUTS to stick with this piece) is a series of posts from my Steemit blog about the creation of my painting, “Dance of the Subconscious,” from the original sketch to the final product! I’m also including the things I was doing AROUND creating this painting—because that’s the kind of thing I like. CONTEXT! Let me know what you think of this method of creation. What’s YOUR process? Mine is messy and halting, but I’m happy with the finished image… Ready? Here we go…

“Work in Progress – New Painting!” [20 Jan. 2020]

FINALLY got into my new studio today for a couple of hours and started working on a new painting!

No title yet, but I’m thinking it will have something to do with “dance.” The painting is acrylic on an 8×10 inch canvas over an ultra fine point Sharpie sketch. Here’s what it looked like before I started swishing paint around…

The finished project is going to feature a lot of black light paint on the main figure and the moon (and maybe the signature / mirrored initials.) Not sure when I’ll have the chance to complete this little beastie, but when it’s finished, I have about a dozen more canvases to attack!

Meanwhile, today, while I wasn’t painting I was trying to figure out how to use the new Teenage Engineering Pocket Operator 33, the “Knockout!”, that Ellie just got. The PO-33 is a tiny sampler / sequencer!

While experimenting, I ran a line out of the PO-33 into my U.E. Boom 2 speaker, and it sounded pretty good! (The weird cassette looking object in the back of the photo on the right is a notebook that my older daughter found for me! People like to buy me notebooks…possibly because I might be the ONLY person they know who still uses a paper notebook! Ha!)

Unfortunately, the machine proved a bit complicated for me, but I’m going to watch a few more YoooTooob videos and try to figure it out what I’m doing. Elise, who bought the machine, has been writing songs and wants me to put together some “beats” for her to perform over. (This is new stuff for both of us, but we like to learn new things!)

That was today’s adventures… Hopefully, I’ll have something new to share tomorrow!

“Painting Progress and Upcoming Events Schedule” [23 Jan. 2020]

I managed to sneak a bit more time into working on my new painting. It’s coming along! Still needs some work, but I’m starting to SEE the final image coming into focus (in my head, if not quite on the canvas, yet.)

Meanwhile, we’ve also got a bunch of STUFF coming up in the near future, almost all of which will end up as material for posts! Here’s our rough schedule:

— 25 Jan. – Unpublished Writers Fest @ The Clark County Historical Museum, Vancouver, WA. I’m really looking forward to this event (which is only a couple of days away at this point!) A mini-reunion of the WSUV Writing Center’s “Dream Team” has been cobbled together around this event, so besides sitting at a booth and talking about self-publishing, I’ll also get to see several old friends! (AND Mariah and I are planning on getting crepes from our favorite crepe shop while we’re in Vancouver, so DOUBLE COOL!)

— 14 Feb. – Peewee’s Big Adventure with Paul Reubens @ Newmark Theatre, Portland, OR. Reubens himself hosting a screening of Tim Burton’s iconic first film! Ellie (the younger daughter) bought tickets for Mariah, me, and herself the day she found out this was happening.

— 29 Mar. – Food Booze Music and Flea Market @ Erebus, Kelso, WA. I’m not 100 percent sure that I got my name in early enough to get a table, but I hope so! Erebus is a metal/punk bar in Kelso (which USED to be a sports bar that played mostly hip-hop music, although when I DJed there, my playlists were mostly new wave, techo, and industrial music.) I haven’t actually been IN the building since it re-opened as Erebus, but I’m HOPING I’ll get a table!!!

— 20 May – Die Antwoord @ The Portland Memorial Coliseum, Portland, OR. My brother and I bought tickets for this show almost a YEAR ago, because it was SUPPOSED to happen back in September of 2019, but the show was postponed…for EIGHT MONTHS! I haven’t ever seen Die Antwoord live, but I’m hoping the show is worth the wait!!!

That’s all we’ve got schedule with hard dates, so far. I’m going to keep my eye out for little cons and festivals, both for events to check out AND for opportunities to vend. Ellie and I REALLY want to check out PAX Northwest this year, and Rose City Comic Con is a fur-sure deal, too, because it was a lot of fun last year. There are also several local events that I’m keeping an eye out for: Long Con (at the local library), Nano-Con (a science-fiction event), the local summer Art Walk, Squirrel Fest (which is about SQUIRRELS, but usually well attended), Cowlitz Gamers Fest (a video game show with lots of retro gaming representation), and so on…

Plenty of opportunities to get out, meet some folks, see some interesting art (in whatever form that art might take), and perhaps share my own stuff with the populace! Just gotta get out there and do it! (And don’t forget to make time for crepes every now and then!)

“‘It Used to Be a Beach’ (New Painting and Library Book Sale Finds!)” [24 Jan. 2020]

[“It Used to Be a Beach” – Acrylic on canvas. 2020.]

So while I’m working on one thing (that OTHER painting I keep showing progress photos of), I’m also often working on side stuff. While my latest colors are drying on my main canvas, I finished THIS one. It’s actually a bit darker than what the photo shows, but I don’t have the proper editing software on my phone to match the pic’s colors with the paint…so… Yeah. You get this slightly too bright image. (Sorry.)

Meanwhile, you should see what this thing looks like in a black light! (That’s a good idea. Be right back!)

[Photo taken in the bathroom sink—because the edges of the painting were still a bit wet AND because the bathroom is the only place in the house that has a power outlet and no windows. It’s kinda sunny here today! Weird… Oh, and the purple-blue glow all around the painting is the porcelain sink reacting to the blacklight. Looks cool, if you ask me. I should take MORE blacklight photos in the sink!!!]

In other news, Mariah and I hit the Longview Public Library’s quarterly book sale, yesterday.

We usually hit the sale on Saturday for “whatever you can stuff in a bag for two bucks” day, but we’re going to be out of town (at the Unpublished Writers Fest)—plus, the books are often rather picked over by day three of the sale.

Here’s what we grabbed:

Mariah likes reading about royalty (both literal and Hollywood—folks like Spencer Tracy and Liz Taylor), so she picked the Diana books, as well as the mystery novel and the Albom. I found Time Bandits (which I used to have on VHS) and Gosford Park, the latter being a clever murder mystery starring Maggie Smith and a bunch of other people…but mostly Maggie Smith.

I ALSO grabbed a Mel Brooks / Carl Reiner CD in which Brooks pretends to be a man who has been alive for over 2,000 years. VERY funny stuff. My books are a couple of sci-fi tales and that silly How to Talk to Your Cat About Gun Safety, which I hope will be funny!

The whole pile came to a measly FIVE BUCKS! Half the price of a single paperback book bought off the shelf at a supermarket or bookstore. (Of course, if any of these items had been released with a SMART CONTRACT attached, then Mel Brooks, Maggie Smith, and Douglas Adams [or a reasonable representative in his case] would have gotten a cut of this sale… But perhaps that’s a discussion for a different post.)

There you go. More painting done, hit the library with the missus, and now I’m off to make the bed and do some laundry. (No baby today, if you were wondering. Her dad had the day off!) Whatever—let’s just keep on moving!!! Later, kids!!!

“The Dance of the Subconscious” [27 Jan. 2020]

[Acrylic and ink on stretch canvas with blacklight elements. 8×10 inches. 2020.]

The Consciousness, as tri-limbed Cyclops, trapped in perpetual night, but choosing to make a Night-Club under the Psychological Stars out of the experience. The music of Emptiness. A Stage where the Self is allowed to Move and Shake without fear of judgement—or tripping.

Just like Billy Idol was looking for!

So…there you go. It took almost a week (over a week???), but I finally finished this dang painting! That makes two complete canvases done! When I get to about ten (perhaps six or seven paintings and a few books and/or prints), I’m going to try my hand at Etsy again. I really do enjoy making crypto-art and digital works, but there’s also something to be said for creating a PHYSICAL object. Fun stuff!

If you’ve created a painting recently that you’d like to share, drop a link in the comments, and I’ll try to give it a look!

—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)



Published by richardfyates

Compulsive creator of the bizarre and absurd. (Artist, writer, poet, provocateur...)

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