Art Gallery For the Day

Midnight Magic (1999)
Watercolors and Liquid Paper on paper, 20" x 30"

The title "Midnight Magic," comes from a Broderbund video pinball game for the Atari 800 back in the early 1980s. It was amazing in its day, I loved it dearly. An Atari 2600 version was created sometime around 1987, and was one of my favorite "go-to" video games that year. Atari and the Minnesota Twins, what a year!

This painting was the first full-scale watercolor painting I created, in several sessions during the summer months of 1999. I believe I moved to watercolors and paper after working with acrylics and canvas, just to experiment and stretch my wings and play around. I was working to learn my craft and having a lot of fun.

I always felt that this piece had a certain 1960s "Jetson" quality to it, in the funky shapes and colored polygons and dashing lines. The use of Liquid Paper, the Kinko's (now Fed Ex) brand of correction fluid, was a common tool in my arsenal for many years. I created my fanzine covers with this stuff back in '94 and '95. As I studied and practice fine arts and abstract paintings, I worked to incorporate those skills into these more conventional tools, such as acrylics and watercolors.

Above all, I was trying to create something new, something unique. I wasn't interested in copying what all the other University of Minnesota students were doing, and it seemed that so much of their art had a same-ish quality. The students were learning from their teachers, after all, and had yet to develop their own voices.

I think this is probably why I enjoy the great musicians like Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Bob Dylan and The Beatles. I enjoy that relentless searching for the new frontier, for the new discovery. I'm probably still that way, although time and experience has a way of forcing you into a groove. When you're 21, everything is wide open and new; when you're 41, you're already building your castle on the hill.

Ah, well. I still like this piece. Hopefully it doesn't look too messy. It's a testament to the idea that anyone can create. Even you and I.


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