Celebration of Flight


Since man first dreamed, he dreamt of this moment. One hundred years ago, the Wright brothers first flew. They captured the event on a glass plate. A century later I downloaded the photograph, cropped, and magnified the image of Wilbur Wright at the moment of triumph. The resulting image was run through some filters in Photoshop and then returned to a glass plate using only wooden toothpicks and Testor's model car paint. It is finger painting with little wooden sticks. There is an historical symmetry in the project that is very satisfying.

December First This is the image used as a template for the painting which was begun on the first of December, 2003. I have added nothing to the image except some work on the sky. The demon faces that appear were in the original photograph . It only required a century of technological advancement to bring them out. The blood droplets cascading down his shoulder spontaneously appeared. Consider that eleven years later these wood, wire, and fabric contraptions were fitted with machine guns and bombs.

Sometime in Late January Two months into the project and I am very nearly finished. When the black background is applied, it will give the painting the look of an Elvis on Velvet. .The desire to see immediate results invariably creates haste and sometimes regret.The burst of reckless enthusiasm at the start of the painting encouraged me to begin on the main figure and work quickly and clumsily. This gave the figure a rougher, cruder appearence. I have tried to make the image more fluid by using the scalpel to round edges and applying tiny amounts of paint carefully with toothpicks.The chance to work without the restraint of a more representational image allows a free and experimental hand. This has been a lot of fun.

February Fifth
Today my wife asked me what this painting was about. I toldl her that it is about a lot of things. It is about a computer interpreting a hundred year old glass plate photograph and then returning it to glass using wooden toothpicks. It is about that moment of which all mankind has dreamt of for all time being realized. It is about that dream being corrupted within a very few years in order to more efficiently kill people on a huge scale. I didn't put the blood in the image, the computer found it in the original photograph. I like the primative face that whispers through the public face in the main figure. This is a good painting and I am proud to have been a part in bringing it to fruition. It should be finished in the next week or so.

February Ninteenth
It is finished.


Wilbur's Variations

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