The Artwork of Michael Divine

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Mornings these days…

September 26th, 2006

…are not what they used to be.

I lamented to Violet one evening that perhaps this meant i was growing up. But later i decied that was not it and i merely was doing something else. Like waking at six am, but usually quater to seven, after always getting to bed too late and then rushing around to make some lunch, a smoothie, take a shower, get out the door, with violet who is always a few steps behind and get to CLASS. Yes, class. SCHOOL. The very thing i dropped out of nine years ago, i give another shot. Why? To take a figure drawing class, an oil painting class and a yoga class. The figure drawing is to help give me a better sense of human proportion, and i must say, it is helpful, if even just to have a model there to draw from. The oil painting class is to help introduce me to oils. Ever since i tok a trip to NYC last spring and went ga-ga in the MOMA with my agent and all the mind boggling modern art- the Braques and the Picassos, the Boccionis and Delauneys, and and and- and most of all- Monet’s sixty foot long Water Lilies (which i will go into some depth of my experience of late), in the massive atrium, six stories high, next to that wildly clean and precise pyramid with the pencil hovering over it giant and copper, like some kind of heavenly sylus- ever since then the luminosity of the oils, the depth and colors and textures have echoed in my mind. My work is colorful and full of depth but there is always a new height to reach, or new depths to achieve; something else to express.

And then i have to wake and get out the door to eight in the morning yoga class and do standing splits and warrior three balanced on right leg, with left leg back behind me, extended and my arms out straight in front of me as i lean forward and keep my body lengthening, parallel to the floor while my other leg is perpenicular to myself and the floor and i describe a giant H. I don’t know how people do it- leave the house ever morning at the same time, early, and go o the same place, work, day in and day out…. By the time the oil painting class comes around at 12:45 i am ready to take a nap. So i drink hot chocolate or roooibos tea and go back to my study of Bougereau’s Young Girl Defending Herself From Eros, which is perhaps the nicest painting in the entirety of the Getty Musuem, which sits up there on the hillside above Los Angeles. A multimillion dollar museum an the have a handful of sweet paintings. A lot of nice ones, for certain. Monet’s Impresssionistic Sunrice an van Gogh’s Lilies are wonderful, as are some of the other Moderns, but they certaintly don’t have the nicest Degas’ or much that came after- my own personal favorite era of art- the Futurism and Surrealism, Cubism and Unclassifiablisms. There are of course other nice things. It is a museum after all and a very well appointed and beautifully designed one at that. It reminds me a little of what heaven could be like, with it’s white marble facades, clean lines and organic organization.

Three days a week i get to wake up and paint. Three nights a week i can stay up late and paint. And at least one or two of those days are spent painting thru the day. Working on new projects, business prospects, etc… In a few months there will be a new gallery of work posted to the website, new prints available as well as posters and cards and stickers. All at once, a dozen new paintings, more minimal than the last new batch of work. I am in the city, full of stuff and color, full of things and garbage and people and concrete. At this point i end up wanting to paint clean, ordered canvases, compasionately and clearly. With an open heart and mind. Always.

The Artwork of Michael Divine

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