Sunday, January 23, 2011


I did a post earlier about a group of people who made a Chuck Close image out of paper pulp. This time the post is actually about Chuck Close. No, he isn't a children's book author or illustrator but I was certainly enamored of him at an early age. My dad painted on weekends and would do a lot of portraits. He also had a lot of art books on hand that I liked to pour through. I went through various stages in my art development. I was obsessed with different artists at different times. For a while it was Christ Van Allsburg. I swore I'd publish children's books and be just like him and win the Caldecott. Later on, in high school, I abandoned that theory and just wanted to paint photorealism. So I looked at a lot of Chuck Close paintings. In the late 80s, Chuck Close changed his style. This was a forced change. A spinal artery collapse caused him to be paralyzed. His new method of painting was strap the paint brushes to his wrists with tape Below is his self portrait using his new "style" and method.

He paints abstract colored circles inside a grid. Up close it looks like nothing but far away a realistic image emerges. Below is a trailer for a documentary about him--


And this video is his wheelchair. It's not an ordinary chair!

I'm inspired by this story because I have my own limitations. I've been sick on and off for a few years now and it definitely gets in the way of being creative. But I'm always inspired by seeing the length other artists will go to, to continue creating! THEY WON'T BE STOPPED! I think when you are born with that "thing" inside you--that thing... that voice that tells you to keep making things... you will just find a way.

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