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Chicago Artist Roger Moy and his Process

Posted by Samuel Gillis on

Process Since I use an airbrush in most of my work, the process is very slow and tedious. Most paintings begin with a small pencil sketch which I scan into my mac and isolate each object and surface. I’ve been using the computer to sketch with for about 5 years. With it, I can play with composition, shape, size, perspective, color, texture, shadow & hi-lites relatively quickly & not waste paper. Even so, my sketches usually take a couple of months. When I arrive on a satisfactory image, I do a cheap paper print to scale and transfer that to a very thin poster board to be used for masking/stencils. This image is by no means a black & white version of the finished work. It’s likely to change daily as the image tells me what it wants to be.

Most of my work is on Masonite (hardboard) but if I get hold of a free canvass, I’ll use it. Either way, I spray it with several coats of a primer/sealer. If it’s on wood, the surface gets sanded as glass-like as I can get me

Now comes the “fun.” Since I use a lot of transparency, I paint selected parts of the background first, masking off certain foreground characters. Masking & blocking is very time-consuming. It’s not unusual for me to spent 2 hours setting up 5 minutes of painting. I take photos through the entire process so I don’t lose the big picture while 90% of the painting is covered up. I also drag these photos onto the computer & make changes.

As the painting gets filled up (I got a mean case of horror vacui), the painting starts talking (sometimes screaming) at me, telling me what it needs.

When it stops the conversation, the painting may be finished. If I can look at it for a couple of weeks without changing it (this NEVER happens), I sign it & clear it with water-based poly.

I often make elaborate frames that give the painting a very tongue in cheek sense of importance.

Quote by Roger Moy: I make art strictly for the glamour, the ungodly sums of cash, the fine, fine, super fine threads it affords me, my fleet of Cadillac cars and of course to impress Jodi Foster.

About the Artist:

From 1977 to 2010, I worked in the bar business. Starting as a bartender, a brief time as a partner/owner, and ending up keeping books to give to an accountant until I drank myself out of a job. I didn’t think this was possible given my observation of the nature of the business! My thinking at the time was fairly skewed, due to a condition I had put myself in. My departure was inexplicable…to me. Oddly, losing my most consistent source of long time income turned out to be the luckiest accident of my life.

The bar business had given me some of the best times of my life. I felt “entitled”. Imagine being a 27-year-old kid, surrounded by every incredible vice available. I took advantage of all of it, not ever thinking that was anything but normal.

Through all those years, Peaches was there. A beautiful, large, oil painting of a classically treated reclining nude. She was painted in the very early 20th century by an artist named Wilhelm. The bar owner had acquired her and given her center stage in his first tavern.

Very early in the bars continuing run, a not-so-satisfied customer put four bullets in the painting, missing any part of Peaches’ anatomy, (not to mention the people present at the time).
As the years went by, the number of eyewitnesses to the event grew dramatically. The caliber of gun, the number of holes, the description of the shooter, took on a pretty humorous urban mythology.

I’ve wanted to do something with Peaches since the late seventies, but, as my life drawing skills
are pretty lousy, my newly acquired computer hobby lets me see what I want. I could transpose these ideas into actual paintings, but can’t think of one reason why! This way, I can always hit “delete”.

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