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Cockfighting

I've been working on a series of small cockfighting paintings. Cockfighting has intrigued, disturbed, and fascinated me since I saw the amazing 1974 film, Cockfighter, several years ago. I will post the series once I complete and photograph the series.

Before my current figurative abstract paintings I was painting single frames from movies and painted a shot from Cockfighter. My studio has been freezing lately and I wanted to work on some small canvases in the house. I decided to expand on the film frame painting and make a cockfighting series of paintings. 

The images are violent and fevered. I know they are not for everyone and are the furthest thing from being politically correct, but I am really interested in the inherent drama and striking colors.

The paintings are mostly 9"x12" and I'm looking at finding old frames for them. I plan on making the series 11 or 12 paintings. I don't know where a good place to show them would be. I'm open to suggestions.

I'll post more about the series once it is completed. Thanks.

 

Emerson MurrayComment
Thank you, but there is more.

Thank you to everyone who came by for Open Studios this year. I had a lot of fun visiting with old and new friends.

I was asked to fill in for an MIA artist for a show at The Nook in Santa Cruz. The show will be up November and December. I'll post more information on my Facebook page. I will be at The Nook for a reception on First Friday, which will be Friday, November 4th. I think the hours are 6 to 8 or something like that. I'll let you know. Please come by. Don't make me drink all the wine by myself. Thanks.

Emerson MurrayComment
Santa Cruz Open Studios 2016
  Where I Belong.

Where I Belong.

This weekend is Open Studios. I have a lot of new work of all sizes, both acrylic and oil paintings. This piece is from a series of smaller, 12"x12" pieces that I will have available this year.

Come on by and check out my work.

Saturday, October 8th and Sunday, October 9th from 10:00-5:00.
I'm at: 125 Oak Lane, Scotts Valley, CA 95066


 

Emerson MurrayComment
Show at Ristorante Casa Nostra

My show at Ristorante Casa Nostra in Ben Lomond is up. The paintings look great on their walls. The show will run until mid-August and the reception is Tuesday, July 19th, 6:00 - 9:00pm. So, clear your calendar and come on by.

Thanks.

Emerson MurrayComment
Works in progress.

Here are a few paintings I'm currently working on. They are mostly completed. I took the pics with my phone, so, the quality is not the best.

Emerson MurrayComment
It started with Derrick punching me in the face.

All of these pictures were taken with my phone. Not the best quality.

I was thinking about using some video screen grabs from my backyard wrestling days as backgrounds for my paintings. First up, a picture of Derrick (AKA The Militiaman) punching me in the face. The leg in the picture is the referee. I started the painting somewhat literal.

The painting sat in my studio for a few months. I felt like the idea was a failure. I couldn't not see the original photo.

Eventually, I turned the painting sideways and began painting new elements.

Today, I started adding a figure to the painting. I still see Derrick punching me in the face, and now, you probably do as well, but I like the direction the painting is going.

Emerson MurrayComment
A trip to the city.

I make my own oil paint. I buy the grounds and mix them with linseed oil. The grounds come from a business in San Francisco named Sinopia.

A few years ago I attended a Windsor Newton demo and the woman giving the demonstration mentioned how great Windsor Newton paint was, highest grade, blah, blah, unless you want to go to Sinopia and make your own paint, blah, Windsor, blah, Newton. I use a lot of Windsor Newton paint and really like the product, but, her statement about making your own paint really hit me.

I visited Sinopia for the first time about three years ago. The shop looked like a Frankenstein laboratory with plastic bags full of color all around. The owner's name is Alex and I was so excited to meet him and talk about pigments that I rushed home and ordered a copy of Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay for him. It was a little creepy, but whatever.

Sinopia's pigments come from all over the world and can vary dramatically from area to area. An ochre yellow from France and an ochre yellow from England look quite different. The pigments are also usually quite colorful when in ground form, which always tricks me. Most darken considerably when mixed with oil. Each one also absorbs the oil a little differently and mixing takes some experimenting.

Buying dry pigments seems to be considerably cheaper than buying commercial paint. I always love looking at the little five gram jar of $170 lapis lazuli. Sinopia's new line of milk paint is soft and beautiful. But, it is meant for furniture and walls, so, I haven't used it yet.

The shop has since closed. The website is going strong. Alex let my wife and I come up to check out his warehouse this week. It is still inspiring and wonderful to me. Alex has made the mail ordering on his website so easy, I will be doing that from now on, but I had to see the new digs.

I really like mixing my own paint, there is something base and primal about it. You need to wear a mask, mix it in a ventilated area, and it takes some practice. But the colors you can get are simply amazing.

You can visit Sinopia's site HERE.


Emerson MurrayComment
Almost Open Studios 2016

The family has been amazing, helping me get ready for Open Studios the last couple of weeks.

I will be open on Sat. and Sun. October 3rd, 4th, 17th, and 18th from 11:00 to 5:00. Come on by.

Emerson MurrayComment