Archive for art technique

Peter’s Crazy Teacher #6 (Gym Class)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 28, 2012 by spinoza1111


Edward G. Nilges, “Chiaroscuro Study #1 for ‘Whether Peter’s Crazy Teacher Ka Yan Teaches Us Mathematics or Physical Education, She Admonishes Us, Teaching Us the Way of All Things'”, pen, pencil, A4 Size 29 April 2012. Moral Rights asserted by the Artist.

Edward G. Nilges, “Chiaroscuro Study #2 for ‘Whether Peter’s Crazy Teacher Ka Yan Teaches Us Mathematics or Physical Education, She Admonishes Us, Teaching Us the Way of All Things'”, pen, pencil and Gimp modification for the green tone and white highlights, A4 Size 29 April 2012. Moral Rights asserted by the Artist.

Backstory: Peter’s Crazy Teacher was teaching us our Maths but was asked to teach a substitute class in Gym. So wow she shows up in her grubbies! Ai-Yah! The Principal was at his windows with binoculars and all the boys were like uuuunnngggggghhhhh! The Discipline Teacher approached her kindly at the end of the class and said that next time she has to wear full length sweat pants and a top!

We all did Jane Fonda and then we swam! Funnest gym class I have ever had! No competition for she seems to realize that competitions favor boys born in January and February, since they are the biggest!

We all love Ka Yan! Let’s make a Facebook page so she gets rehired!

Her black hair should frizz a bit for her Ancestors come from all over the world.


Peter’s Crazy Teacher #5 (Pandora)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 26, 2012 by spinoza1111


Edward G. Nilges, “Study #2 for ‘Whether Peter’s Crazy Teacher Ka Yan Teaches Us the Dance or Mathematics, She Admonishes Us, Teaching Us the Way'”, pen, pencil, A4 size 26 April 2012. Moral Rights asserted.

Edward G. Nilges, “Study #3 for ‘Whether Peter’s Crazy Teacher Ka Yan Teaches Us the Dance or Mathematics, She Admonishes Us, Teaching Us the Way'”, pen, pencil, A4 size 26 April 2012. Moral Rights asserted.

Her feet leave not the human stain
For the Dance reconciles the pain
And makes us whole again
In sunshine or in rain.

Peter’s Crazy Teacher #3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 20, 2012 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “Even When Peter’s Crazy Teacher Ka Yan Teaches Us Maths, She Admonishes Us As To the Way Of All Things”, pencil & ink on paper, A4 size, 20 April 2012. Moral rights asserted, so don’t get gay with me or you’ll regret it.

There are such subtle planes in her face and she tilts it so subtly.

Mama Kanumba #2: I am the honored one and the scorned one

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 15, 2012 by spinoza1111

Edward G. Nilges, “State of Preparatory Drawing for ‘Mama Kanumba y Cucamonga del Lobby y Corridor Takes the Children to Power Station Beach’ as of 15 March 2012”, pencil and pen with computer modifications A4 size

For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.

Thunder Perfect Mind

The hands have of course to let go for if they touch the children’s heads it looks like she’s bowling. The open hand on the left works after many pentimenti the one on the right is still a crab claw, a Scissorshand.

Peter’s Crazy Aunt (Completed): This and Better May Do, This and Worse Will Never Do

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2012 by spinoza1111

Listen to Clifton Chenier, the King of the Bayou!
Listen to Glenn Gould who will not let thee go save thou bless him!

Edward G. Nilges, “Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to the Music of Bach, and the Sweet Zy-Deco Sounds of Clifton Chenier, the King of the Bayou”, acrylic on canvas, 20 * 60 cm, January 29 2012 AMDG

Note: if the painting is truncated, click above on “Spinoza’s Blog” to see the post with other posts. I haven’t mastered how WordPress treats pix, nor how Apple handles them on a Powerbook.

I have decided to declare victory: this painting is done, and, as the Scots say, “this and better may do, this and worse will ne’er do”. The figure is colorful and this rather large (60 * 80 cm) canvas lights up the room with the way she leaps as an hart.

The numerous deficiencies cannot obscure the life in this thing nor its evocation of the bell-like tones of Poussin. Particularly noble is the twisting motion of the abdomen.

I am not bullshitting here. I like this painting and would pay big money for it if I were a collector. This artist, dammit, has thought about the play of light even if he manages to preserve every single mistake he makes, and he makes a lot, by means of translucent paint and cartoon transfer.

Besides, making art makes me feel good. Pity I didn’t put my foot down and do what I had to do years ago but there’s no point in crying over the past. Peter’s Crazy Aunt certainly doesn’t.

Zey vill laff at me at zee Zalon undt der Royal Academy but I shall show zem!

My next project is “Mama Kanumba del Cucamonga takes the Children to Power Station Beach” because I want to see the profile I drew realized in paint. I need to do more plein aire work on Lamma to get a better feel for our wonderful if abused natural environment, which is something I could only imagine when I was a kid in the Midwest, sketching maps of places, anywhere but around Lake Michigan, carved, unlike Lake Michigan, into all sorts of hidden coves and mysterious mountains.

Basically, the geologic youth of the Great Lakes isn’t their fault. They are big melting ice cubes from the recent past, whereas Lamma Island is the forbidden and mysterious peak of a great Mountain that used to oversee a Plain.

I like Peter’s Crazy Aunt’s expression, it isn’t crabby like the expression on my nude which I won’t post online…it is similar to PCA but naked, same overall colors, crabby expression. That’s because I was working full time when I painted on Dance of Victory.

I went dancing last night to an annual festival put on by a fellow Chicagoan. It was hard at first to foot it featly here and there like Ariel in the Tempest because I was on a wooden plank which moved slightly, it was cool (about 17 centigrade) and my feet were seizing up.

But o the power of music to move Helen, as William Kennedy wrote of Helen, in Ironweed, when she gets enough money for a hotel room and can play the Ninth symphony.

There was quite a large crowd of people and a bunch of Lamma kids who also danced. After the dance, three strangers congratulated my “performance” which surprised me because it wasn’t intended to be such, but, I was close to the band (Black Mariah). It gave them felicity which is the whole purpose of art. That was cool.

As I left I was cold and stiff. I started to walk down the steps like an old man but a far older man needed assistance. This always happens to me. On the MTR, a little girl gave me her seat last year but as soon as I, a weary Old Lo-Shih Teacher, took it, the Three Immortals, three really old Chinese guys, got on the train.

THAT is no country for old men. The young
In one another’s arms, birds in the trees
– Those dying generations – at their song,
The salmon-falls, the mackerel-crowded seas,
Fish, flesh, or fowl, commend all summer long
Whatever is begotten, born, and dies.
Caught in that sensual music all neglect
Monuments of unageing intellect.

An aged man is but a paltry thing,
A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
For every tatter in its mortal dress,
Nor is there singing school but studying
Monuments of its own magnificence;
And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
To the holy city of Byzantium.

O sages standing in God’s holy fire
As in the gold mosaic of a wall,
Come from the holy fire, perne in a gyre,
And be the singing-masters of my soul.
Consume my heart away; sick with desire
And fastened to a dying animal
It knows not what it is; and gather me
Into the artifice of eternity.

Once out of nature I shall never take
My bodily form from any natural thing,
But such a form as Grecian goldsmiths make
Of hammered gold and gold enamelling
To keep a drowsy Emperor awake;
Or set upon a golden bough to sing
To lords and ladies of Byzantium
Of what is past, or passing, or to come.

WB Yeats

A Note on Saving Western Civilization

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 28, 2012 by spinoza1111

Newt Gingrich now says he’s trying to save Western Civilization.

I got a hair up my ass about saving Western Civilization from the Paganorum thirty-five years ago, so I ruined the poor girl’s life.

This Republican primary is what it must be like for some female to have to listen to her drunken husband’s bullshit on the phone at three o’clock in the morning, or to be forced to read my collected Works (gesammelte Schriften) on the Trans-Siberian Express, as opposed to dipping into them at Starbucks’s for the amusing or naughty bits, and the pix of hot girls.

Edward G. Nilges, “Detail of State of ‘Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to the Music of Bach, and the Sweet Zy-deco Sounds of Clifton Chenier, the King (le Roi) of the Bayou’ as of Jan 20 2012”, acrylic on canvas, 60*80 cm

Peter’s Crazy Aunt as of 22 January 2012: Before I Got My Eye Put Out

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 22, 2012 by spinoza1111


Edward G. Nilges, “State of ‘Peter’s Crazy Aunt Dances on the Strand to the Music of Bach, and to the Sweet Zy-Deco Sounds of Clifton Chenier (the KING of the Bayou)’ as of 22 January 2012”, acrylic on canvas, 60 * 80 cm

Before I got my eye put out,
I liked as well to see
As other creatures that have eyes,
And know no other way.

But were it told to me, to-day,
That I might have the sky
For mine, I tell you that my heart
Would split, for size of me.

The meadows mine, the mountains mine, —
All forests, stintless stars,
As much of noon as I could take
Between my finite eyes.

The motions of the dipping birds,
The lightning’s jointed road,
For mine to look at when I liked, —
The news would strike me dead!

So safer, guess, with just my soul
Upon the window-pane
Where other creatures put their eyes,
Incautious of the sun.

Emily Dickinson

Come on, come on, you bastards: Vorwart! This ain’t no pork chop, this is Chloris, this is Pandora, this is Artemis, this is Chang-Er, Goddess of the Moon, and I’se Jade Rabbit.

Over and over again. Painting on the floor, me dancing around like Jackson Frigging Pollock…love his work, could never accomplish something like that…but no wonder he smoked…I pound Nicorette.

If you’re glazing (dark and transparent over light) or scumbling (light and translucent over dark) you have to be an Action Painter at this phase despite the realism of the work, for there are patches of light in darkness and darkness in light. You need not be afraid of the way the Light shoots (zuschammen) into the darkness and the way the darkness climbs towards the light as in Milton:

Hail, holy Light, offspring of Heaven firstborn,
Or of the Eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblam’d? since God is light,
And never but in unapproached light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.

Constant glazing and scumbling. NO GOUACHE, as Daniel V Thompson, author of The Practice of Tempera Painting said, “we are not here to paint with poster paints, dammit.”

In The Lady’s Not For Burning the Lady says why was I born why did I give my mother pain. Why did you buy the pure white gesso canvas?

My painting series as displayed on wordpress are what Henry V would call “another Fall of Man” in th’old play when the King arraigns Cambridge, Scroop and Grey:

I will weep for thee;
For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
Another fall of man.

I mean, generally speaking the earlier versions are better, and I care not, because it is Man’s Fate to Outsmart Himself. This painting has suffered less of a decline than my painting of the Holy Terror of Chattanooga, dancer, artist, activist Lana Sutton. That started out great and went to hell you ask me. I was lucky to preserve its grisaille.

And the intersecting glazes and scumbles are slowly fusing the thing. There is a single column of highlight that starts at the top of her head and goes all the way down, it’s her Soul, it’s her pillar of fire: but matching it is a single Shadow and a deep vermilion middle tone (that Vermilion I got in place of Cadmium Red, which sucks, is working out well).

Sir Joshua Reynolds would simply darken the background with tinted varnishes made of ground bones of Egyptian Mummies. Sir Joshua was an idiot and Benjamin West, the first real American painter, was way better.

Sfumato, the smokiness of tone that strangely makes form more and not less distinct. Leonardo strove for this in La Joconde but succeeded in Virgin on the Rocks.

Modern materials make his effects easy. The question is where the sfumato goes.

I’m thinking once in Italy of continuing to do the Grisaille in acrylic but the svelatura in oil. I’m up against the limitations of a petroleum byproduct. But I need to be more familiar with different oils and drying agents.

We admire a van Eyck because it has the appearance of a manufactured product: this is of a piece with the fact that, in Adorno’s reading of Odysseus and the Sirens, the old myths were a proto-science, a way of controlling reality. But the difference between what’s sitting in my flat and what you see is that in the actual art object there’s a piece of me, a secondary Soul in the Buddhist sense. A sort of Buddhist, I believe that living things have souls, and that first-order handicrafts have a secondary soul. Whereas, as I discovered to my dismay as a software engineer, technology is always such a collective venture as to be a sarcophagus, the trace of dead souls.

A new way of authenticating artworks has been found: the artist’s fingerprints as verified from a known attribution where all of most of the fingerprints are known to be his. Perhaps also fragments of sweat, blood and tears, that is, DNA.

We cleanse our world of aura, the human stain, and wonder why we’re so discontented. Mediaeval man on the other hand prized the skin and bones of saints as holy relics. Perhaps even piss and shit, we don’t know.

Keeping everything transparent & translucent has preserved the nobility of the line drawing. That’s all one can do. Richard Strauss risked his life protecting his Jewish grandchildren during the War and went on to write Four Last Songs. I can draw a line in the sand and preserve it, highlight it, glorify it. Unum necessarium.

When I stop painting and photograph the painting for upload here I usually do a Hitler Video, fuming with rage. This is because anything to do with technology fills me with anger. All programmers seem like incompetent little lower-middle class dweebs, probably because I wasted so much time programming. That little “rainbow spinner” on the Mac really, really sets me off. I gotta cool it since my landlord doesn’t like it when he hears me raging.

I knew it long ago. I might not have talent but I gots duende, the magic fire, up the ass: unlike some art students I have something to “say”, a “vision thing”. Dang, one leg is still bigger than the other (needs to be adjusted in the old style, glazing and scumbling, like Wellington at Waterloo): but every time I look at the damn thing that gal LEAPS out. It expresses for me the fact that I’ve been leaping as an hart ever since I left my kids thirty years ago, as if my ex wife cursed and blessed me at one and the same time: he will run and not stop running hee hee until he wises up. Which he won’t.

Go straight for the feeling, the jugular, the bone. Learn tricks of the trade but don’t worry about them too much. Every time we know we feel every time we feel we know: this is University of Chicago philosopher Martha Nussbaum’s point in Upheavals of Thought: a physical feeling is identical to a physical fact but an emotional feeling is based on what we believe to be true. “I have a headache” is different from “I am sad that my father has died” because if in fact your father has not died, your sadness would go away…whereas the fact of the headache is ONE fact.

Therefore in any image or text there’s a sort of grisaille backstory, the emotional trace. Shakespeare’s life story isn’t known in detail but we get a good feeling from it, because he left his wife and kids and succeeded as an entrepreneur whilst ripping Early Modern English a new asshole. Of course, jagoffs like Emmerich, being jagoffs, like to destroy this trace in that new movie Anonymous. They confuse knowledge with lack of feeling.

The ancients knew this. It wasn’t history if it didn’t either edify or instruct through pity and terror. The modern, scientific (or pseudo-scientific) distinction between emotion and cognition was to them unknown.

Therefore I think I’ve communicate a feeling. And without being “painterly” or overtly clumsy in the modern way. I love Matisse and Leroy Nieman, the guy who paints the Super Bowl, ain’t all bad, but never wanted to paint like them.

Which probably means I should. Sometimes I do. We have to turn ourselves inside out.