Friday, January 8, 2010
MACHETE MAN by Tim Berry
24" x 48"
oil on canvas
I'm having a bit of trouble getting things going again after more than two weeks off. I'll explain more later. I thought it would be a great time to expose himself, artistically that is. Remember that little challenge a few months back? The Pink Curler Painting Challenge? Well it's fairly obvious, at this point, himself was a no show. However he does deserve a pass. Tension and upheaval at work, family stress, twelve hour days. The last thing he's lookin' to do when he gets home is work. Can't blame him. At all. I didn't start painting again until there was nothing else to do, but I digress.
This painting was done several years ago. We were still working together, in the same office, a cubicle away from each other and loving it. We both came down with walking pneumonia and had to spend a few weeks in bed. Poor babies. It wasn't appreciated at work but we certainly enjoyed ourselves. At the time we had easels set up and the end of the bed, on either side of the TV. We'd get up, spend some time painting and then drag ourselves back to bed, exhausted. It was heaven. Except for exhaustion and general ickyness that is.
This is the painting Tim was working on and it never fails to take my breath away. We worked at a newspaper at a time when they actually had photographers on staff that actually got on planes and flew to far away places to take photographs to accompany real stories written by real journalists. And this is one of those shots. There's a terrifying story that goes with this machete carrying man I'm sure. Tim and the photographer had discussed a series but, unfortunately, it never took flight. A shame too, I'm sure the combined efforts would have been very powerful.
We had quite the time when we first hooked up, proving our skills to each other. I went grocery shopping one day and came back to find my countenance growing from a sheet of Canson pastel paper. It was spooky. I began work on his portrait that day. There was a lot of art flying back and forth in those days. Great fun, and a healthy, respectful competition that helped us both grow artistically and emotionally I think.
Now, about getting back to work. Had a camera mishap and had to get a new one. It was a painful experience that was instantly turned to joy when I was forced to purchase a new one. Glad Santa left a little coin in the account. Now I just have to get through the manual. Arrrrgh!
A few months ago I was outside snapping a painting to post when I accidentally knocked over the tripod and bounced the camera off of concrete! Miraculously, it didn't break! I still don't understand why. Then a few days ago, I decided to record the progress of the piece I'm working on, tipped over the tripod again and saw the camera land softly on the carpet with a tiny little thud. Confident it would still work, I turned it on and was treated to an alarmingly out of focus preview. Figures. Perhaps keeping the camera atop the tripod wasn't wise.