Friday, June 26, 2015
When I was in southern California last fall, I painted the "Pepsi Challenger," a Formula 1 race car designed and built by my cousin Dan Gurney and his team back in 1981 (link to YouTube video).
Dan let me set up my sketch easel in his museum, and I interviewed him about the car. The edit mixes my voiceover about the making of the painting with clips of him talking about the design of the car.
Note that the car doesn't have rear view mirrors. They were taken off for some reason, but we joked that when you're way out in first place, you don't need rear view mirrors.
I've been intrigued by this kind of edit, which juxtaposes two different ways of looking at the object being painted. My viewpoint is that of the naïve observer, trying to translate my outward impression into paint, and his is the expert who knows the object inside out.
The expert's perspective is a reminder to me not only of the importance of accuracy, but it also helps to push me beyond the limitations of the moment and the surface, where so many plein-air paintings become stuck.
For this video, we also have the third element of my great-uncle John Gurney's operatic aria playing in the soundtrack, which connects the art of painting with the unusual heritage of my family. I hope it also expresses the kinship between the arts of painting, engineering, and music.
What I tried to accomplish with "Gouache in the Wild" as a whole is to explore the magic of seeing the world firsthand through paint, and to let each painting hinge open like a doorway into new worlds.
Own the 72-minute feature "Gouache in the Wild"
• HD MP4 Download at Gumroad $14.95
• or HD MP4 Download at Sellfy (for Paypal customers) $14.95
• DVD at Purchase at Kunaki.com (Region 1 encoded NTSC video) $24.50