Hey! What’s the big idea? Gene Costanza

Flowing Through, 24x40

Ever heard that? in a movie, or as a kid on the schoolyard. Hey! What’s the big idea? Usually means a fight is going to start….a painting can be like a fight.  At least it has for me. Churchill so well juxtaposed the battle in paint and prose in his “Painting as a Pastime,” book. McGraw Hill 1950 hardcover, reprinted 1957.  I was fortunate to be informed about this early in my “career.”  

But, "What’s the big idea" keeps crossing my mind.  All the time.  Now more so that I think I can render a few things artistically with a little competence.  Now, It’s the driving force in every painting I start.  It’s the big question.  If defines all aspects of the start…the fight, and the finish.  Big Ideas are elusive, and they have all really been done.  It’s how YOU, the big YOU, pull off the Big Idea.  I tell myself, don’t get your hopes up too high, and always be pleased if you get some of it.  I know others have come to this realization and have spoken about it..though I think it came to fruition with me as the natural progression of being in the “independent study” wing of the art movement.  I did not go to any known art school.  Junior college would not qualify.  I had a first full time career, trying to not get killed or sued or divorced and yo raise two boys.

I always do my best work, early in the morning.  I always have my best thoughts when I’m driving across country which I am not doing today, so neither of which is right now.  Sometimes, during this times, I find myself adequately brilliant, but, alas that passes like a good toot, just memories in the wind…..

Finding Peace, 20x24

So a few years ago, I decided, “It’s worth a try.”  

Quite often, I try to paint things I don’t think I can.  Or I look at them and say, “That look’s really hard, think I’ll give it a try.”  I had to put years of fear of failure behind me.  Funny, letting fear get in the way of something that cannot hurt you.  A bad painting doesn't steal your car or punch your kid in the nose.  But it can bruise your noggin, inside to out. and set you back a bunch if you’re that kind of temperament.  A bad painting used to put me into a funk for weeks.  I wanted it so bad.  Eventually I had to lighten up, or grow up, eventually landing on, “It’s worth a try.”  

Dude in a Yellow Boat Pulled Right Up, 12x9

Random art thoughts:

"Enjoying life, and sharing it, at the velocity of paint drying."

"Serenity and Madness  All at once."

“ Prefering Intuition and controlled exuberance over accuracy.”  “Within reason!"

"Suggesting, not shouting but being heard loud and clear."


Bad hair day in China

Bad hair day in China

Gene Costanza Studio

Lori Putnam4 Comments