Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gazing West

Gazing West acrylic on 6" x 6" board
I admire the daily painters.  They pop out acceptable works of art on a daily basis - seemingly with no trouble.  They are efficient and competent. I'm thinking of painters like Carol Marine in Oregon.  She is a wonderful painter and I love her work.

I notice that many of the daily painters, especially at Carol Marine's Daily Paintworks website, do tiny paintings. 6" x 6" seemed to be a favorite size, so there was a time when I tried to do the same. But I could never pull anything off in a day.  I am too particular.

Take this piece, for example.  This was a bit of an experiment - abstract in acrylic on such a small scale. Unbidden there arose a theme.  It seemed like the west to me, because of the colors, and I saw figures and, yes, a dog.  None were intentionally painted.

I did that fairly quickly, and liked the result.

Then I took a photo.  Somehow in the photo there was more depth and it was warmer in tone.  I liked the photo better.  The painting looked insipid.

So I decided to give the board a glaze of a transparent rose tint in one fell swoop and .. I hated it! Panic.  Ruined! I thought.  I was wearing rose-colored glasses!  I was in a bordello!

I had erased all of the variance in color that had made it interesting.

So then I started bringing those colors back, through some repainting and lifting.  I worked on it over a span of days until finally I abandoned it, thoroughly disgusted.

I believe it was relegated to a drawer.  Then eventually a shelf.  I would walk by it and evaluate. And, you know?  This wasn't the first painting, that I liked.  It was not what I saw in the photo that I liked even better.  But I like it.  I like the result.

I am going to paint larger.  I think if, no matter the size, a painting takes forever, than I may as well paint in a size that the market considers to be valuable. But I know the truth.  There is value in a small painting too, even it takes forever to make.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Welcome 2015!

18, 32 41  ink and watercolor, 6" x 4"
I'm posting this tiny artwork that I made last night because it makes me feel happy, and happiness is something that has been lacking for much of the past year.  I've made other art and I've even scanned some, but I have not been able to bring myself to post of late.  I am unsure why.

Maybe this year I will correct that.  Perhaps I will post more in 2015.  Or maybe I will start a new blog instead - a fresh start for a new person - because I am changed.  Or I feel changed.  I am a darker self, less light than I used to be.  Or maybe I won't blog at all.

I really don't know.

And that is what the coming of 2015 feels like to me.  The direction of the year is uncertain, and that is unsettling, yes, but full of possibility too.  And I like the possibilities.

Best wishes for a happy and fulfilling 2015 - may all that you experience make you flourish and grow in color and in depth - like a painting in a master's hands.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Best Laid Plans

Best Laid Plans, acrylic on canvas, 14" x 18"
With the posting of this painting, my first impulse is to say, like William Kentridge ,  "My job is to make art - not sense."

But that wouldn't be quite true.  I almost always find meaning in my abstracts.  All I pay attention to as I paint them is the marks and colors and textures and shapes - yet meaning appears.  They make sense to me.

Go figure.

I'd say more, but I've decided not to.

What do you see?

And if you can't quite beam to wherever I'm at, never fear, I have some representational paintings in the works right now.







Monday, September 8, 2014

. .


I am working right now on three separate paintings, maybe four, depending upon how you count. Two are representational and very detailed.  So I needed a break.

A comic - just the thing!  A quick diversion.  And I'll try it in ink and watercolor this time, I thought, since the last was in black and white.

Dots!  How long could it take?

Well ignoring the quick story board which was dashed out in a flash, there was the measuring and drawing of the boxes; and then the writing and drawing itself  (I used mathematical calculations - yes math - to get the approximate proportions right because I liked my little storyboard so much). The drawing involved measuring to get the circles to be in about the same place for each frame and then eyeballing the sky to get the stars in approximately the same place in each frame.  Then there was inking and applying the masking fluid for the stars.  Then the watercolor, wet-on-wet on the top half, and drybrush over a wash in the lower half.  Finally, a touch of really awkward Photoshop-ing here and there for where that marvelously flowing watercolor went out of the lines.

Whew!  I figure about six hours.  Six!

Yup.  Call me speedy.

So, go Pamo!  (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see Pamo's twice-weekly strip here.  She's a pro.)  Me, I'm returning to painting to get a break!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Weepers

Weepers 8" x 10" watercolor on paper
Weepers howl and sway
No leaves anymore - no leaves
Upturned soil, hard rains

Sunday, August 3, 2014

More scribblism


The Accident 5"x 7" ink and watercolor



Microscribblic 7" x 5" ink and watercolor

What can I say about these except that I am indulging all of my artistic impulses.  I've got to feed the muse!

The first one remained unfinished for a long time.  I began the "eruption" part and stopped before it became too regular and did not know what to do next.  Then, wouldn't you know, I had a dream.  In the dream I drew or made a ruler-straight segment with irregular notches in it.   Extending from the segment came a pipe-like structure that curved.  I knew I would have to use it somewhere, and last night I realized that this was the place.  Then I finished it up.

The second I drew a while back, and resisted coloring it. I still resist. I like it in black and white.  I was thinking of my oldest son's laboratory - he's a chemical engineer, working on his doctorate.  (Oh, sorry, that sounded like bragging and paternal pride - how on earth did that slip in?!)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

On the Way to Somewhere

"On the Way to Somewhere"  14"x 14" acrylic on canvas
There are two family members that I always show my work to.

The first, my valued critic - who brutally tells it like it is every time, and so helps me improve my work - loved this one.  

The second, when I texted this image to her, did not respond for a good forty minutes.  When she finally did, it was with the word I was fully expecting.  "Interesting."  

She went on to say, "The man is scary looking.  Don't like this one as much as the one you gave me."  

She was referring to the other recent abstract that I posted in my June 29th post, here.  She loved that one. The funny thing is that my valued critic hated it.

So if I can imagine that each of these family critics represents 50% of the population, then I have 100% covered, don't you think?