Work in progress

bw-evinrude-underdrawing

This is an underdrawing of a 2.5hp Evinrude outboard motor on two panels. It is life-sized in keeping with my recent still life paintings. This one has, so far, proved to be exponentially more difficult to do because of its size and complex form. I had to do lots of measuring with different tools (see @rauhauser on instagram). There is little or no persecutive in this. As with my other still life paintings, I want to present the subject head-on as more of a schematic than a traditional representation.

I would like the painting to maintain some of the guide marks for lengths, angles and midpoints. Many years ago I stumbled into Giacometti’s “Still Life with an Apple” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It had a very powerful impact on me at the time and it never stopped resonating. I think it is one of the masterpieces of the 20th Century.

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When I saw it for the first time I was very involved with some form of pure “realism” and I had little regard for Modern Art. Giacometti’s painting blew those notions out of my head, not all at once, but gradually the way one might fall in love. This painting has so much reality in it that I began to examine what the whole concept of “the real,” which I had hitherto taken for granted. I do not, however, want to do a pastiche, parody or copy of Giacometti’s masterpiece, but rather see if I can incorporate his sense of solidity and structure to my Evinrude.

This work measures 40″ x 30″ for both panels combined. More work can be seen on my website, amrfineart.com.

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3 thoughts on “Work in progress

  1. Thanks for posting this Andrew, I find it informative and useful to see how old hand, professional artists go about their projects. I am in awe of your patience in the drawings – much like engineering drawings. Do you do the drawings from life or from photos? Do you have a specific light setup that stays constant? (no worries if you do not have time to answer – I am just curious).

    Your response to the Giacometti painting resonates with me. I recently took some photos during my morning walk that I felt had potential based on the value patterns, but I could not image a color scheme that would evoke an emotion. Then I looked at how some masters, specifically those whose work I admire, handled similar scenes and it seemed my imagination kicked into gear.

    Good luck with your painting!

    • Thank you, Fritz, I do appreciate your comments and your interest in my painting. The technique used for this underdrawing here is something new for me. This painting is meant to be a continuation of my still life series which is based on objects presented in the most straightforward manner possible: little or no perspective and limited modeling and yet I still want to maintain a “realist” approach. I am doing this because I wanted to paint the particular objects I have chosen, but it was important to me that I not do them in an expected, “natural” manner. I always look for something different, not so much for its own sake, but rather to justify to myself making “another painting.”

      In this series I am borrowing from pop art and my self imposed “no perspective” rule was easy to apply, however, when I became obsessed with painting an outboard motor I quickly learned that size matters! There was no way to draw the motor without making it a schematic, which entailed lots of measuring with all kinds of tools, such as t-squares, various rulers, protractors, dividers and compasses.

      So, yes, I actually went out and purchased an old outboard motor (thank God, it came with a stand) and measured the whole thing! I also photographed it section by section, so that as I paint it I don’t have to keep bending down and crawling on the floor. It has been an interesting, learn-as-you-go challenge. I think that because I know how to paint well enough to achieve a broad range of effects I look for projects which engage other aspects with which I am not so confident, such as abstract design or color theory, or even schematic drawing. Many of my processes can be time consuming, tedious and dry at times, but I find them ultimately fascinating and satisfying.

      Regarding the lighting, I try to be pragmatic and create the light as needed to articulate the form without being too confusing. The light in my studio changes dramatically all day because my window faces west.

      If you have access to Instagram I have several pictures showing my a bit of process, tools and stages of various work. I’m at @rauhauser.

      • Thanks so much for the extensive reply Andrew – it is really informative. I am blown away by your dedication to your painting – going to such lengths as buying a motor.
        I can also identify with the satisfaction you get out of a sort of factual recording of a piece of machinery – and yet, some aspect of one’s personality will keep on creeping in there, I think/hope.
        I am not on Instagram, but my two sons gave me a lecture on it this afternoon, so I may get with the times soon and then I will check out your WIP images.
        Thanks again for your response.

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