Living on the Earth

by Alden Cole on December 13, 2013 · 0 comments


aka Balcony Lover, aka Eyes on the Skies #1. aka Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou? oil on canvas, 27″ x 41″     $2214

1993. Twenty years ago I was putting the finishing touches to a commissioned painting that I had taken on a couple years before. Through the twists and turns of fate, fortune, time and the river, the ups and downs of life, KFP, the person who had commissioned the painting for a pre-agreed price of $500, and had given me $150 advance, had experienced drastic financial changes in her life, and was unable to pay the balance. She apologized for her circumstances, asking if I was okay with having to keep it myself. Actually, despite being bummed about not having an additional $350 in my pocket, I was thrilled because by the time I finished the painting, I was sure it was worth a lot more than $500, the original price. So as a result I got to keep one of the first pieces which I had the hutzpah to consider a Masterpiece, whose price has increased with the years, as I see its uniqueness, and know I’ll never create its like again. Which is why this particular painting (as well as a few others) is priced at $2 per square inch, unlike most of my other paintings which are priced at $1 per square “.

Today’s art was one of the very few paintings developed from preliminary idea sketches on paper, then a more defined preliminary oil sketch (below). Once the client commissioning the painting approved the idea I took photographs of the commissioning client as cosmic voyager, and set to work. Using the oil technique of glazing thin layers of color, then allowing long periods of drying before glazing new color, stretched the creation out over two years plus. I was working 5 days a week, 40-50 hours on average a week, for an advertising agency as a production artist, meaning I sat at a drawing board, and later a computer, making art director’s designs for print-advertising a reality; creating either idea comps for a major pitch to a client, or creating the finished mechanical(s) ready to go to a printer or publication. I had only weekends and evenings to focus on my own art, which is partially responsible for the somewhat meagre output of paintings during that period. Laziness, or the life of a grasshopper, was the other part responsible for my less-than-stellar career as a painter. Nevertheless, I’ve persisted, and the pace has picked up with age and experience. As a good friend reminded me recently. “Art is autobiographical; the memory of our survival of emotional tumult.” There’s great truth there if there’s any depth to the art, n’est pas?


{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: