Paintings by Neil Conrad

Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan.  I got the urge to try to go after a likeness.

it started here but then I really wanted to change the eyes.



was so noisy at MoMA today.  a lot of kids yelling.  grown kids.  really loud.  was going on for 2 hours.  the worst tho was a couple with their infant in a stroller who was muling away just to enjoy the sound of his own voice.  we sat in front of a sublime Rothko and the father wheeled the kid up to the painting and asked, 'yea or nay?'  and the kid made some more noise, and the father beamed and went on to the next and went thru the same thing.  he was just so amused with himself. maybe if the father had any idea what the paintings were worth he wouldn't be so tickled with the kid's dismissals...



what's the fold? what am I holding back?  not sure which is harder at this point, working on the paintings or writing some halfway interesting copy?  last night I dreamt I was in a restaurant and there was a very light game of floor hockey about to take place.  about on the level of table top napkin field goals, but sticks were passed out... the one I got was broken in half and I had to go to he waitress station and find me a new one and some kind of a puck to slap around.  about 46" x 50".



got that pink shirt altered.  I had a chance to wear it and I opted for black.  got a nice breeze thru window.  like to think about my feet being massaged.  yeah.  a nice foot massage.  walked all over town earlier.  just looking.  maybe bought some essentials.  had some ice cream.  this painting (50" x 46") started out pretty simple.



worked for a sculptor once upon a time.  you know, he had a pit bull that loved to play fetch.  I took care of the dog one weekend when the sculptor went away.  nothing horrible happened.  he got rid of the dog when his little son came to visit.  of course the son was such a genius.  never heard what prompted the decision to get rid of the dog.  this painting used to be ovid but I was never that thrilled with the painting (46" x 46").



after reaching the frustration point on a new one I decided to attack a much too subtile painting (50 x 46")  from early april.  I suppose this is a collection of borrowed items.

US Striker, Landon is the hero of the day.  this large painting (after six or so revisions) has got a little homage to picasso at the bottom I see now.




this is kind of an old monoprint (2007).  reminds me of a story that Coyle told about running into trouble during an underwater salvage operation.  some extraterrestrial helped him out and left a candy bar in his diving helmet.



'the object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.' Alberto Giacometti.  (50" x 46")


Donna Elvira

50" x 46"

after DQ I thought I was nearly invincible but super human powers didn't include reading the label on the bottle of medium.  was struggling with the wrong stuff, might as well have been Kryptonite.  once I came to recognize the problem with the medium, I managed to pull this out of the fire.


don quixote

50" x 46"

yesterday I had to get going again after a break of 8 days or more.  part of that was going to visit friends in MA but coming back working wasn't immediate.   confusion mostly.  honestly, none of the faces were deliberate, I only noticed them once I got it up on the screen.  detail below is from the revision that got me going.  I like photos of it but in mid april  I wrecked a unique happening on the way to this.  guilt and remorse most likely what hung me up.  for that reason....




this thing went thru some distinct stages... at first it was Arcadian and fanciful, then it turned into a Bacchanal and finally this somewhat sinister...  it's about 46" sq.


this is what it looked like before.


and this is what it looked like before that...



le sacre du printemps


this dream I had the other night, was riding on a falling piece of concrete with a number or other unfortunate souls bracing for the impact but the thing actually landed like an aircraft and no one was harmed..  if you look closely in the lower LH you will see the back of Igor's head

about 5' x 2'


en sourdine

I had some kind of a dream about the spine last night.  the front of the vertebrae were expanding and I saw a lot of muted color.  and then I woke up and had a seasonal vision;  A wallpaper pattern of buds and branches triumph over winter.  this one's taken me longer than all the other panels put together I believe.  temptation is to make it into one of the others but it just doesn't quite go that way.



the palate expanded past my sense of good judgement and then some.  can't bring myself to paint any of it out.  I will be punished for this.

both paintings about 50" x 21"



50" x 21"

what did I dream about last night?  oh,  It started as rehearsal for a Molière play, we were working our way thru the first act and I really wasn't in command of the lines and I started making them up which was making the other actors real uncomfortable and about then an audience materialized and I was alone on stage and the actor was late making the next entrance.  not sure what else.  started this and another panel this morning.  I'm remembering what it was to do the first one as I get into more of them...  just cuz you feel it, doesn't mean it's there ...



had a narrow panel of paper left from at the end of the roll and had no idea what to do with it,  50" x 21" something said to stretch it and see what happens. didn't even tape it up straight.  put some washes on it and then I really felt like going at it.  much more of a release than I was expecting  and quite enthused with the prospects of more in this vein... there's no more paper at the shop like that and now I have to go all over town to find another roll of that stuff.  washes and acrylic.


I was all about these ink extravaganzas and this is somewhat after the fact, the last one before is from september I believe.  can't even decide which way it goes or how it's going to finish.  looks like a mad doodle except that the dimensions are 36" x 46"



pink plastic buddha

went to City Ballet tonight and saw Firebird.  so great to see the Chagall drops and costumes.   the piece really came alive with the solo of Ashley Bouder as the Firebird.  such great arms and intention.

wondering if I should just cut this one up and see what happens.  this is the left half.  unlike the first one, none of the colors have come up the same.  I don't know if it looks better or worse?  opposites, right?  they did Prodigal Son in the same program and the trap is playing right into the feeling.  He's pounding his thighs with anticipation but one of the reasons he has to flee is he can't handle how he feels about his father, a very contradictory process but the more you pursue the feeling the more it flattens out but the closer you get to the impetus, the feelings are liable to manifest.  but it's not that safe really.

this sort of says Max Beckman. not that I ever tried real hard to make that happen

see, the problem is the shape of the paper.  it's just such a long way from right to left and the composition is not strong enough to make it..  I may be able to fix it but it's just so big (27 x39") that nobody's gonna want it anyway.  oh well.  these revisions are really essays anyway so big deal.  fun to see some life come into a piece that I wrote off years ago.



this really wasn't something I was going to do much with and then the other night I just got a bit lost in it.  It was a birthday card reject taped to the fridge for a while.  kind of a kitschy really, but so what.

here's the cool and warm.  I don't think I've posted this before.  I'm not really sure when I started this.  I think it was a still life at first with the less is more approach, now it's gotten to be more and more.

not just trying to see how many divergent pieces I can get into one post.  it's just the way I'm working right now.  Hard to know what to say about this business.  kind of reminds me of some of the things I painted in HS before I had any kind of an inner life.

there were some paintings about washcloths because I was seeing things about then I thought were interesting.  this color ground makes me thing of them even though I don't thing there's any that survived out of the one that I painted.  This never was about a washcloth.  saw one thing I thought of changing but now it's just too late.  this had some kind of a hole in the center.  I was pretending my heart was an adjunct, that it never was truly affected.  (what is the mechanism to disengage the heart?)



this painting just got a face lift.  I decided last night that I was just pretending that some of these paintings were finished (or presentable for that matter) and it's time for the revisionist to go into action.  the bicycle helmet as one friend pointed out, nov 29.  seems like I'm having an easier time letting the paint do whatever.

okay, there's an olive w/a pimento somewhere in this painting (can you find it?).  I've been wrestling with this rascal off and on for almost a year now.  finally did enough work on it to call it a draw.   I had a rule at one point that no painting should take more than 20 minutes.  I sold one (not my very favorite but one I liked a lot), a portrait of an aristocratic teen-age girl, a haunting generality, with a muted mustard color ground and neutral tan  shadows.  I'd mixed the tan thinking it was the most amazing color I'd ever seen until I realized where I'd seen that color before.


animal cards

DSCN1377 DSCN1375 DSCN1374 DSCN1378

just mailed these off to my sister's kids, S/D/N/J  made some drawings from photos on the internet and then picked out some to make into cards.  wasn't my intention they should come out as blue as all this?   but that's what happened.  Cat and dog pictures has been a pet peeve of mine but seeing how much fun I had w/the project I'll have the reevaluate my snobbiness.  I guess the dog was the most problematic, it was the last one and I was tired.