Oil Painting Blog

Blog about oil paintings by Robert Dawson

After The Painted Word

After reading Tom Wolfe's novel, The Painted Word, I am now more than ever motivated against abstract and conceptual art, to the extent that these can be avoided and art can remain fun to create. But if Wolfe is right that:

  • modern art has devolved into an optically flat, anti-realistic, marginally creative commercial tool 
  • where form follows the function of making it big while pretending to remain small
  • by divorcing itself from experienced reality
  • to decorate the walls of mansions
  • to pacify plutocrats,

then screw that. Iā€™m helping revive social realism. With plenty of brushstrokes.

Painting ideas

These are ideas to consider painting, in order of preference at the time of last edit.

  1. Human experience
    1. Satirical objectivist series via prideful portraits.
    2. Trash as beautiful objects.
  2. Rural/advanced tech
    1. Portrait of cyborg farmer.
    2. Farmer made of 0's & 1's.
    3. Farm made of LEGOs.
  3. Information overload
    1. Paint by conditional statement (paint by number w/ 1 || 3).
    2. Neurons with calming pictures in the middle (e.g., ocean).
  4. Transformation series
    1. Animal/computer.
    2. Human/computer.
    3. Human/animal.
  5. Real-life superheroes and supervillains
    1. Ayn Rand as Superwoman (SuperRand).
    2. Hitler as monster. (related)

Beggarbot, complete


For now, at least.

The simplest solution for turning her into a cyborg or robot was to make one eye shine, as if beaming with light from within. I thought of this today, after I had already cleaned my brushes, when I remembered that Picasso had done the same thing to symbolize the gift of prophesy. I like that the indication is subtle. And I decided to leave the bowl in her hand as a bowl and not some electronic device or something else that a robot might hold because, in the future, robots might consume human food. So this makes the question of feeding a starving robot all the more interesting and provocative.