Lana Sutton: Rocky Top

Edward G. Nilges “State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 24 Oct 2010”, acrylic on canvas, 12×17 in.

Edward G. Nilges “Detail of State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 24 Oct 2010”, acrylic on canvas

Edward G. Nilges “State of a Portrait of Lana Sutton, Holy Terror and the Dancer of Dawn, as of 24 Oct 2010”, acrylic on canvas, 12×17 in.: black and white chiaroscuro


The mountain sat upon the plain
In his eternal chair,
His observation omnifold,
His inquest everywhere.

The seasons prayed around his knees,
Like children round a sire:
Grandfather of the days is he,
Of dawn the ancestor.

Not done climbing the mountain by a long shot. Discovered that I do indeed have to get down with a small brush on even broad structures, because her blue skirt is coming together, looks less scratchy.

Daniel V. Thompson (author of The Practice of Tempera Painting) emphasizes the utility of black in traditional European painting.

Black was the cheapest colour in the mediaeval and Renaissance painter’s cabinet. It was just burn charcoal, carbon.

Now, some sort of art skewl Myth of Authenticity got started with the Impressionists: Don’t.Use.Black.

Bullcrap. Black is the color of my true love’s hair. Well, it used to be.

Where was I. Bullcrap. Black is the line, the horizon, and the Impressionists denied death.

The Spaniards, Velazquez and Goya, they knew about black. The non-negotiable colour.

My sessions in part a conversation between black and white: es wahr eine Wunderliecher Krieg, der Todt undt Leben rungen.

But I also grab a big brush, dip it in paint, wipe nearly all the paint off, dilute it until there are only a few atoms of pigment, and glaze my heart out, following white down her entire figure on the left, sienna and even my nemesis Cadmium Red down the center, and black and sienna down the left, for it is dawn, when things are lit from the east.

The drawing and the original chiaroscuro are preparations for this moment, when the light shines in the darkness, and highlights appear.

The black and white chiaroscuro above is simply the current state of the painting unsaturated using Microsoft Office Picture Manager. It shows the truth of her right forearm. It does catch the light of her mountain dance. It shall.

Continual refinement, no compromise. If gal were paying me, she’d be impatient for me to make an end. Unless it were fixed price and woman didn’t want it right away. But she ain’t. Labor of (Platonic!) love. Celebration of all the girls who ever danced, alone, with another, or with me, including one little number in a mountaintop park in San Jose years ago dressed Indian style. Ah, memories…

My cellphone camera is the pits but I cannot afford a decent camera. Sucks.

The first movement of Beethoven’s “Rasumouvsky” quartet builds into a wall of sound. Not compromising with the Prince Esterhaz, nor with the Prince-Bishop of Salzburg. Self ownership. For another.

Lana Sutton is a dancer, musician, gardener, environmentalist, chef, natural foodist, political activist, pest, gad-fly, uppity woman and Mayor Ron “Show Me the Money” “27 dollars for a printout” Littlefield’s worst nightmare in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who doesn’t mow her lawn. This painting is based on photographs by Native Son.


One Response to “Lana Sutton: Rocky Top”

  1. I love the arch of her feet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: