Spreadsheet painting (in progress)

…has been surprisingly productive, especially considering all of the stuff that’s been going on! Before I left for SF I started this painting.

I needed to draw a grid of dots, so I marked things off with tape.

Then the real work began. I had previously printed out pages of random numbers generated in Excel, and punched the numbers out using a hole punch. (Great hand exercise…) I painted concentric circles of color corresponding to each number, and then placed the punched out number in the middle.

I did this at random (placement-wise) at first, so I could work out my technique and not leave any obvious patches of doing-a-weird-job.

After a several-week hiatus (during which I spent two weeks in San Francisco, then went to Venice and Geneva, then got married…geez), I started up on this again a couple of days ago. This time I’m doing the circles in blocks. It’s much more efficient and I’m more comfortable with the technique now. Eventually the whole painting (including the white bar) will be filled in with these.

Doing these is actually REALLY physically intensive. I have to paint with the canvas on the floor, bending over it, and meticulously make sure that the circles are at least fairly circular and smooth, while being careful not to touch the already-painted circles that are drying. Each number needs three circles of paint, and there are several hundred numbers; and each circle needs maybe an hour of drying time before the next one is painted over it. I’m using latex paint because I love working with it, and because the liquidity lends itself to making circles. It’s a ton of work, but I actually really enjoy working on it. I find the process very meditative.

I think my next few batches will be rows instead of blocks – this will make it easier to brace my hand against the canvas while painting, which I think will speed things up a bit. More to come!


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