Friday, March 5, 2010

James Christensen

Tonight, I was lucky enough to go to a lecture/presentation by James Christensen at the Bridge Academy in Provo. It was so stinken fun, better than a night at the movies. He just showed slide after slide and told you everything he loved, from his influences to his own work.

He mentioned that in school mixed media was all the rage, yet he was interested in the northern Renaissance artists, Dourer, Hieronymus Bosch, Bruegel, being into the northern Renaissance artists, you can totaly see the influence but, man I love what he does with it.

He keeps a sketchbook (and draws in church.) He uses pen, because he's left handed and tends to smudge everything in pencil. He just comes up with picture after picture of these bazaar combinations, fishes and faces and leashes and banners, messenger's, warriors, gardens and walls, draping clothing, hinges and skeletons. As he said you have to draw "more than what you see." But these scriblings alllow him to be random enough that he comes up with some stuff fun enough to paint.

I asked him about how he chooses his mediums, especially when he starts incorporating the gold leaf and the crakle etc.
He said acrylic is often the way to go in illustrating since it can dry on the way to the post office. But that it has certain limitations. That William Whitaker encouraged him to start using oil since it would allow him to use glazing and some more techniques like that. So he paints as far as is usefull in acrylic and then (much like what J Kirk Richards described,) he finished in oil using glazes, and I immagine "painting up the lights" with direct painting. The crackle comes from using a quick drying varnish over a slow drying varnish- It's Lefranc et Bourgeois. J Kirk Richards mentioned that he had gone to James Christensen's workshops, and it was nice to hear a second explanation of this technique. It also helps me feel slightly vindicated, since Brother Barret seems to hate this influence. So back to work, hopefully getting closer to the aesthetic that happens in our dreams. (Speaking with the imperial 'we'.)

No comments: