arthead sf

arthead sf blog was created to bring readers the meaning behind the art. These are not critiques or interviews with artists. Each feature is written entirely by the artist, revealing only what they feel and want readers to know about the featured piece. If you see a piece of art you'd like to know the meaning me. And subscribe to my blog below to get updates when new features are posted!


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Reuben Rude

"Don't Try"
18" x 22"
Collage and Acrylic on board

"In the city, there are these great walls, covered with tattered posters and graffiti, with spattered paint and stickers. And some kid has scrawled swear words in ball point pen while waiting for the bus. Sometimes these unintentional collaborations, these time-lapse collages, are just perfect.

I like paintings that make me feel like they are definitely about something, that they have meaning, but I can't quite figure out what it is. I like the idea that there is something going on that I don't understand, that fills me with childlike awe. In the spirit of not spoiling that feeling, I won't say what this painting is I don't really know what it's about myself. But that guy looks kind of lonely, doesn't he?

First I took a photo of Mission Street in San Francisco, and messed with it in Photoshop, making it into a silhouette. Then I printed it, and took it to a copy shop, where I copied it a few times, as well as enlarging it, so I had a fourth or fifth generation copy, in about four different pieces. Then I sprayed the copies with Krylon Crystal Clear, to make them more durable. I then cut and tore them into smaller pieces for easy pasting to a piece of birch plywood, using acrylic matte medium. After distressing the surface using sanding and spattering, I pasted some pages of a couple of different books onto the board(one book is an incomprehensible text about art, the other an out-of-date engineering manual), creating the sky. All along the way, I continued to lay washes of acrylic paint, as well as spatter, tear and sand the surface. I also painted completely over all the silhouetted background, changing it in some places, and blending it texturally with the sky/pages. I drew the figure smaller than painting size on a separate sheet of paper, loose and sketchy. I scanned the drawing into my computer, and also took a digital picture of the background I had so far. Using Photoshop, I laid the figure onto the background, and got it to the size I wanted. Then I printed out just the figure in two pieces, sprayed it with Crystal Clear, and glued it to the background. After laying a fairly heavy white wash on the figure with gesso(so i could just make out the lines), I repainted the figure, using acrylic, both paint and various mediums. I continued to work on the figure and background until they were looked done, but I still felt there was something missing. I decided it needed some butterflies, so I painted them in there. After putting down a coat of satin finish with UV protection, I called it done...phew!"

By Reuben Rude


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