Dona Nelson: Moby Dick
3712 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
“think slow, act fast” —Buster Keaton
The model is six feet from me, but I can’t see very well. I see the general shape. I have a big piece of muslin wet all over with acrylic gel medium. I have to work fast, because it is drying in the soft summer breeze. I have been listening to Moby Dick on audio books in the evenings. The story gets mixed up with my making because I have to work very fast, and I can’t see very well. There is a whale, a creature, and Captain Ahab’s idea about the whale, a projection, similar to the relationship between the front of the painting and the back. The image on the front is physical, fixed by areas of paint, bordered by graphic white lines, but the back is more illusionistic. Rather than on the canvas, the paint is in the canvas. I think about the white whale, breaching the surface of the sea.
I am painting very fast. I can’t see the painting, but I’ve been listening to Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick, all summer long.