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Tuesday, March 16 2010

This painting, "Nude with Stop Sign" measuring 36 x 20 inches, came from me sitting at various highway construction sites and watching a very attractive young woman hold up traffic with her sign. NO, she wasn't nude but she was wearing very tight clothing and looked very attractive. I watched other men in everything from pick up trucks to BMW's watching her. I realized at all these different highway stops many if not most men look at the very attractive sign holders and think of them as objects of beauty and sexuality.

They are almost goddesses of a sort who symbolize this soft, tender feminine beauty in the midst of all this ugly mechanical and dirty construction. They aren't fashion models, they aren't wanting anything but to make a living for themselves and perhaps children. Yet there they are being ogled by men from all stations of life as an unattainable object of lust.

So, I liked the double meaning of the sign. On one hand it is what she is to the men who watch her, this beautiful goddess of the highway. Then perhaps she is also a symbol of what women do NOT want to be seen. As nothing but a sexual object when they are out there trying to make a living and doing what they need to do to support life and doing it very well. So, the STOP sign has a double meaning. One the simple sign the goddess in her beauty holds and the other the "STOP seeing us like this" of the whole situation.

Strangely the man who bought it had a very beautiful wife who liked it as much as he did and both for the two different reasons.


Posted by: John Entrekin AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Saturday, March 13 2010

Not sure why but this seemed appropriate to post today. This painting, "Combing Hair" was done from watching a beautiful and very special woman as she would comb her hair. There seemed to be a sort of silent music surrounding her as I watched. Siting and watching I could feel the softness I knew so well and wanted to capture the motion and feeling it gave me.  The painting is 24 x 30 inches as an oil on canvas.

"Combing Hair" oil on canvas by John Entrekin
Posted by: John Entrekin AT 08:50 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Thursday, March 11 2010

I took a friend on many errands today which left me sitting in the car in various parking lots. I usually take a book and a sketch pad. Today I decided I needed to sketch even if I didn't have a single idea in my head. My head is all too often quite empty.

Since I had no idea I just start scribbling swirling lines hoping something would appear. Sort of like looking at clouds and trying to see images. Eureka, they did and as is most often true for me they were of beautiful women.

The bottom image with the four little roughs was the start, then after moving to a different location and starting again I found myself thinking of some of the "tweets" I had seen earlier today. All these came from a group of very talented women on Twitter who have created a world called, "momoparty" So as I scribbled and an image started to appear I had in my head the idea of a beautiful woman, actually a few of them, in the woods on a spring day dancing and singing. From there it sort of got easy as soon as I saw the head position appear I took  it from there. She is dancing and tossing the drape or whatever you call that in a gentle breeze with music and singing around her.

This I think should be a painting. Now, I just have to make it real as to anatomy and such so I can paint it. I guess this is how most good things start and grow.

Sketch of woman swirling drape by John Entrekin

Sketches while sitting in a parking lot by John Entrekin

Posted by: AT 06:12 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 11 2010

Sorry this is so long, you can just look at the painting and skip the tome. I promise there won't be a quiz. I do think the story helps to explain it a bit.

Some time back, a few years now, I had just experienced the breakup and loss of a true love.  During the ruminating over my past I went back over how I became a painter and when did I start working to be a painter. Although I had always been a child that drew constantly it wasn't a career. I went to a small community college more because my mother insisted than any other reason. Since I had always drawn she got me into a program of art and advertising. The art classes there were not much more or even as good as most that are in any high school now.

I graduated and went to work for the New York Library System, as an illustrator, but was really not much more than a printing press operator. I was living at home and had a large bedroom with a sort of studio/office in it. I was there one weekend night, alone in the house. I found some old paints of my mother's that were mostly dried up and an old canvas board about 16 x 20 inches. I had an easel I brought back from college so I decided I should paint something to show I was really an artist. My parents always billed me as this trained painter now with a job in the art industry. Wow, what a stretch.

I remember going through the tubes of paint and finding there were only two tubes, burnt umber and yellow ochre still soft enough to use. The only medium I had was turpentine. I set up the canvas on the easel and stood back to think of what to paint. Remember, this was the 60's. The art world was allover the place, but, it always is. At that age, I was 20; I decided in order to be an artist I must be tragic.

Well, I was, sort of. I wasn't in school any more; I was living at home and working in a boring job making very little money. I was stick in my hometown where the social life was limited to bowling or going to country music bars. Neither of which were something I could bring myself to do. I had no one in my life to really think about and knew I had to get out but didn't know how.

I guess I was tragic after all. I just started painting. What I did was this dark tree on the left with one branch. Below the branch was a big hole in the ground. Standing over this was a figure looking into this hole with complete despair. This was all done in just the deep yellow and the dark brown. All sort of abstract and no very good. No, really bad. That was my one evening as an artist and never did go back to it. It sat on that easel for a very long time and then next thing I knew I was being drafted into the military. Well, things did change.

So, here I was sitting in front of another easel, nearly 40 years later feeling the pain of the loss of a woman I adored. The only difference was I had a lifetime of experiences and I was a better painter. (I hope) I had just finished my painting, "Alone with Thoughts." (see my last post)

I put up a stretched canvas and went to work using my swirly style of painting. I wanted the same basic composition but with a bit more skill and color. What you see here is the result of one long night of painting. I thought of it as nothing more than a release and a sort of tribute to my start as a painter.

A week or so later I had my grandsons over for the night. They were, at the time, 5 and 9 years old. They always liked to see what I had been painting and always had an opinion. My youngest, Evan, sometimes asked why I painted so many naked women. He thought it was disrespectful. Yes, he was only 5! It did make me think. My older, Michael, was the deep thinker both then and now. He is a very sensitive young man. He stood and stared at my new painting and asked me what the name of it was. They always liked to name the paintings. I told him I didn't have a name yet. He took a few more moments and then said, "I think you should name it Strayed Path." Why, I asked. He replied it looked as if the person in the painting had lost his way and didn't know where to go.

From the mouth's of babes. It did make me think and I was amazed he could see that much in there. I don't know if that is a tribute to my painting skills or just darn lucky with a very observant young man. I think the latter is more likely.

I did recover and moved on with my life. The painting is still around and when I look at it now, I don't think so much of my depression at that time or the woman that caused it. I don't even think much of the reason or the origin. I really only think of my grandson now 16 and somehow he is connected to me now and is a part of who I was way back when I was 20 sitting in my room alone and wondering what to do with my life than. I know he will suffer much of the same in time, as we all do.  Still ponder that but I like to think I have learned a great deal of life.

I still paint women and my youngest grandson, now 13, still can't understand why. I have a feeling that is the one thing that will change.

Posted by: John Entrekin AT 10:22 am   |  Permalink   |  1 Comment  |  Email
Wednesday, March 10 2010

This painting, "Alone with Thoughts" is an oil on canvas measuring, 19 x 38 inches. It was done a while back when things, relationships, were at an ebb in my life. Not a lot of reason to give details. I do think it is one of my paintings where I have said more accurately what I was feeling at the time. Today just seemed a good day to post this one.


"Alone with Thoughts" oil on canvas, by John Entrekin

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Posted by: John Entrekin AT 08:56 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, March 09 2010

This is another of my pen & ink drawings. The original is about 12 x 9 inches but I have been making prints as 10 x 8 inches. I'm thinking about using this basic composition and making it into a large painting as an oil on canvas. I did this using as much "dots" as the traditional cross hatching. I think the dots gives it or at least the figure a little softer and more delicate feel. 

Comments are always welcomed, please use the comment link at the bottom of the post.

"Woman by Pond" pen & ink by John Entrekin

Posted by: John Entrekin AT 09:50 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Monday, March 08 2010

This painting, "Beaver Pond" is a pen & ink done on board, 14 x 19 inches. It was done as a commission for a trapper's organization. (No, I'm not one of them.) They purchased the right to print it but I kept the original. When I did it I realized I didn't know anywhere enough about beaver ponds so had to study them to draw it. Sort of interesting by the time I was done.

I made prints for myself of the original in small sizes and then I have from time to time hand colored a few using watercolors. (see second image)

"Beaver Pond" pen & ink by John Entrekin

"Beaver Pond" hand colored print by John Entrekin

Posted by: John Entrekin AT 08:31 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, March 06 2010

This painting is called "Mushrooms."  Helps to know what those round things are. It is 16 x 20 inches done in watercolor on rag board. This isn't the traditional watercolor. When this was done I was doing other paintings in traditional egg tempera on board. I read from egg tempera artist, Robert Vickery, how it was possible to use egg yoke mixed with the standard watercolor paints to get some of the feel of tempera.

Well, I did learn it was possible to mix them but the result was NOTHING like traditional egg tempera. However, it was a good feel and look. It gives the watercolor a stronger and more painterly feel. It dries fast and has a sort of slick feel but gives it just enough texture to create a "different" sort of look.

I ended up doing several paintings in this style.

"Mushrooms" watercolor by John Entrekin

Posted by: John Entrekin AT 09:43 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Friday, March 05 2010
Sketch of Nude, by John Entrekin This is a sketch started and while working on it decided to use it as the inspiration, for what is called a square poem. (I was challenged by a lady to see if I could write one.)

That means, the first line contains words used as the first word of each line and the last word of each line makes up the last line. There is also a verse type rhyme. Made me nuts but fun.

Longing for my Muse

This longing felt I can't resist
Longing for those luscious hips.
Felt so soft and oh so missed
I need moist flesh, for these dry lips,
Can't bear the wait, but know I must
Resist hips missed, lips must rust.

Posted by: John Entrekin AT 09:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, March 03 2010

"Nude on Beach" is an oil painting as an adaptation of a mildly famous painting, but I admit I only saw a little image of it in a book and now I can't find it so forget the artist. (sorry artist) It is 36 x 26 inches done on canvas. The original had her holding a shell and the background was somewhat different as were the drapes under her.

At the time I was seeing a lady very much into the mystic so she convinced me putting the blue orb in her hand would be a good idea. When it was done I realized she looked more as if she were practicing for the "Olympic Woman's All Nude Shot Put Team." However, it was still fun to paint and I think it turned out fairly well. I guess it did because almost the day after I signed it a couple came to my studio and bought it even before it was completely dry. Didn't ask but maybe they were part of that same Olympics. It did find a good home and that is what counts. Well, that and the trip to the bank.

"Nude on Beach" oil painting by John Entrekin

Posted by: John Entrekin AT 08:19 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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