Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dress Your Marines in White

-By Gregory Manchess


Sometimes, paintings just come off the board....at least, it feels that way. Dress Your Marines in White is a short story art directed by Irene Gallo for Tor.com. She had an idea and sketched it out on a napkin or something and sent it to me.


The large letters refer to the individual soldiers’ blood type. We had ideas to work with camo designs, etc., but the story didn’t call for that. I shot some reference of me and made a sketch.



I got the ok from Irene, projected the sketch to the canvas, splashed some acrylic around to seal the pencil, and dove in.


It might’ve felt like it came out of nowhere, but when this happens, I know immediately that the many, many years of training kick in, driving the paint by what neuroscientists call ‘automaticity’, allowing my brain to have room to shift, change, edit, regroup, and embrace accidents on the fly, without having to remember how to mix, what to mix, where to place it, and so on. I'm engaged with the concept, the idea, and not so much about how to get there.

There was no point at which this painting did not feel right. That’s what I look for every time I paint. It’s what we all strive for.

26 comments:

  1. The immediacy of these new pieces is mind-blowing. Love the new work Greg, keep it coming!

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  2. Alright, Manchess! What's the deal? An artist traditionally hits their peak in their 30s or 40s and here you go, creating fresh and exciting paintings one after the other...and we're the same freaking age! CUT IT OUT! You're giving me a complex...

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  3. I call that the 1 in 20--that's about what my success rate is for paintings like what you said. Also, I've always heard painters don't really hit their stride till 40s and 50s--I can agree with that.

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  4. Great energy in this one, Greg! Good seeing you at SPECTRUM.

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  5. I think we can all agree that Greg is a warlock.

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  6. I plan on joining the ranks of those non-traditional peak-ers. Much like Gary Gianni, I've started late and it looks like I'm in for a wild ride past 40.

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  7. Guess all those years of studying my every move paid off. Greg, this one really hits the mark. Gorgeous piece.

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  8. Now this is freakin painting! I love the freshness of it!

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  9. I don't know if Greg is a warlock, but his use of edges, both found and lost is magical.

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  10. Really exceptional Greg! Your latest paintings are so energetic and unrestricted, but yet in a very controlled sort of way. It's as if you've taken a nuclear meltdown and harnessed it with a brush on canvas....telling it where to behave, and where to go crazy.

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  11. "... allowing my brain to have room to shift, change, edit, regroup, and embrace accidents on the fly, without having to remember how to mix, what to mix, where to place it, and so on..."

    I'm 180 degrees opposite. Have to think about everything and hope when I finally lay down the paint it works... currently struggling with a rock on an asteriod... I think I'm going to repaint the rock... and maybe the asteriod...it's not making sense with the idea of the painting anymore. But I'm undeterred and am moving forward... can't stop because stopping doesn't solve the problem of getting my visions from gray matter to paper.

    Thanks for another great blog and painting discussion. [I'll be seeing you at Norm Rockwells, and I'm using acrylics if thats ok.]

    Ergo break over, back to the day job, Cheers,

    Mike Perusse

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  12. No offense, but... you got some toned arms for an old fart, Greg.

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    Replies
    1. Proof that painting is hard work!

      Great painting!

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    2. Is it Possible Greg's gone digital and improved his photoshop cut and paste skills? Those Arms look similar to Bruce Lee's.

      Staying anonymous on purpose. ;)

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    3. I was thinking the same thing. It's either Photoshop or his ninja training. I am going to stop flexing in the mirror now until I work out a little bit more.

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  13. Greg's toned arms come from his secret ninja training on a snowy mountainside in Tibet. I know this because I spoke with Liam Neeson.

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  14. In the Massive Black dvd he did say he did ninjutsu...

    http://www.amazon.com/Ninja-Volume-Warrior-Ways-Enlightenment/dp/0897500776/ref=la_B000AP84G2_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1338415212&sr=1-3

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  15. Thanks again Greg for a great article. I really enjoyed your lecture at Spectrum about how the brain works to make us able to adapt to changes if we will take the time for deep practice. I remember I was getting to that point in school because I was doing many paintings a month. I haven't been working at that level for about a year and now I have to think alot more when I break out the paints. I told my coworkers about your lecture, is there anywhere to get a copy or video of it? They were very interested.

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  16. Easily one of my favorite paintings as of late, and it was a treat to see it in person last week. Those lost edges..so. damn. nice.

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  17. You guys are killin' me with kind comments....THANKS!!! (I've been traveling and just getting back to the blog.....sorry for the delay.)

    Guess I'll have to pose more for my paintings. : ) I wish I felt ripped, but I just saw a Cirque du Soleil show and the amount of good anatomy models there was astounding. Oh, to be twenty-something again....

    I heard someone say a coupla years back that I was a dinosaur in the business, sorta washed up. But not many dinosaurs have the current cover of CA Magazine. I guess you could say that I'm feeling my inner T-Rex. : )

    Honestly, I've broken through another veil in my training. My current approach has been coming for a long time, but it took awhile to build the confidence, you could say. At this stage, I am thrilled to be breaking new territory with my paint. I'm just glad you all understand it.

    It's become another lesson of sorts and one that I think you all can benefit from: don't stop. Keep pushing. Keep learning. Keep risking.

    Yes, I am ninja. I trained Liam Neeson on Mt. Hieia (sp?) in Japan. He's not all that good. Too tall. Ninja is small, powerful.

    Oh shut up....I'm kidding. Liam was a fine student. : )

    Uglymuffin: you can get a download from the Art Department, or you can find it for free at so many sites that pirate honest, good material like this video, because they're just that sick and demented. A sad bunch, those guys are. They haven't the skills or integrity needed to create ANYTHING for themselves. Sigh.

    Again, you guys are the BEST. So glad to have you all as readers. I LOVE to hear from you! I'll get back to a "10 Things..." post soon-ish....

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    1. Thank you! I'll look it up tonight.

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  19. Late, late comment here - but GREG, THOSE ARMS!!! you're in WAY better shape than I (at 33). Gotta start doing some pull ups. ;)
    Brilliant, gorgeous, clever, INCREDIBLE painting.

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