Capn’ Chris Renders Hands Poorly!


Years ago I had a boat, and I would ferry my friends and their kids over to Plum Island for barbecues and volleyball. The kids called me Captain Chris (Chris being the name people know me by in the unreal non-painter world). So this is kind of a self portrait dealing with an art problem I have, which is making anything I paint look like it is supposed to look, especially hands! I know this is why people like my art – I try to make a dog and it comes out looking like a half-human mutant cat and then oh well it looks kind of cool so move on. I populate a canvas with these mistakes and Jesus, it looks great, I don’t know why, I would say its the hand of God but I don’t believe his hand is doing anything other than trying to squish the life out of me as I dance around trying to dodge the stabbing index finger.

I don’t have a prebreen on this one, big mistake, since this was a pretty cool nude before I launched into it. But its probably better off there is no record of what she looked like for dignity’s sake. I found this and a bunch of other nudes in Brimfield, MA, so in the future you shall be treated to other naked breens, which will be a good series topic in itself – Breen Exposed!

I thought it would be funny to drag this ‘Life Painting’ session into my Captain series, and it works well as it always does when the underlying painting is great. The unapologetically overweight model and the painters in the background are elements which strip away any sexuality and proclaim, ‘This is a clinical study of the human form, this is ART not porno! So if this painting is arousing you, it is YOUR problem, nothing on me!’ I turned the nude and main painter into captains, the old lady into a sailor because someone has to do the work! Text says, ‘Captain Chris Found It Difficult To Render Hands!’ (although if you use the ‘to melt down’ meaning rather than the ‘represent by artistic means’, Capn’ Chris renders quite well!) Capn’ Chris’ hands are the most poorly or well rendered of the lot with grotesque freakishly long nails! No wonder he can’t paint hands – how can he even hold a brush?! Cognoscenti of breenishness will recognize a stalk eye in the flying sea serpent, a regular staple in the old days but rarely seen in recent paintings.

This painting is incredibly balanced, and after I breened most of it, I remembered my old college art history course where they would describe how your eyeballs are dragged around the canvas by the different elements and colors. So I put a spot of intense red on the paint brush to bring your eye to Capn’ Chris’ hands. To further help your eyes around the painting, I peppered little red arrows, like on a weather map showing wind direction. Unfortunately, I realized red probably wasn’t the best color to use for this eyeball nudging, as the color demands you look everywhere at once creating chaos. So as usual, the work ends up in a free for all visual food fight. The strange halibut at the bottom of the painting, being flat fish, lay on top of the canvas, defying any attempt at inclusion in the painting’s perspective.

This painting isn’t for sale yet, as I’m putting together a bunch of Captains so I can have a show somewhere. But I will let anyone on my mailing list know first when a show takes place, so they can have first crack at the paintings.