Thursday, January 29, 2015

Cadence in Red

Cadence in Red
pastel, charcoal and oil on sanded paper

I had one more sheet of sanded paper in my flat file and just had to start another pastel painting.  I did a small composition sketch for this to plan it out a little first.  I knew that I wanted to use some reds as I hadn't for awhile.  I was also listening to some Spanish guitar music while I was working on it.  It was playing in a restaurant the other day and I loved it.  It really inspired me.  Once again I began this with some underpainting with water based oils.  That helps me put those initial colors and values down.  It also helps me to think of this as a painting.  I enjoyed working on this one very much.  I'm looking forward to do more along this line.  I felt like I needed to take a little break from the flowers for awhile.  I will go back to them.  Sometimes it is good to step away from something for awhile and go back to it later.  I still have some large bouquet paintings in mind and I will begin those one of these day.  Right now I'm also looking forward to warmer weather and drawing desert plants and flowers.  

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Open Spaces

Open Spaces
pastel on sanded paper with oil paint and charcoal

I've spent a few days playing with sanded paper.  I've not used it much the last two years as I've used print making paper for the most part.  It took me several tries to get familiar with it again.  Today I decided that I would approach it just like a painting.  I got out my water based oil paints and began painting on it with my painting brushes.  I dried it and then used charcoal to draw on it,  I added some extra texture with pastel ground as I do not like the consistently smooth texture of sanded paper.  I like to see some texture on the surface.  This one did turn out because I was in an experimental frame of mind.  Frame of mind is the key for me.  If I try too hard I often fall flat.  If I open myself up to play and experimentation I am much more successful.  Now I want to do another on the other sheet of paper I've got stored.  I had fun with this one,  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Looking Back to Move Forward

I spent this past week going through old drawings of mine and deciding which to keep and throw away.  I am throwing more away than keeping this time.  I always enjoy looking at them as they are a record of where I've been in life.  I can also see traces of where I'm at right now in the past.  The top two drawings I probably created 30! years ago.  Oh boy!  Not much time left to make more marks on paper. I better get busy!  I see my inclination towards the abstract and my fascination and love of line. I love do love line.  There were a lot of other drawings that I knew were not from my personal center.  There were drawings I was told were "too pretty" by college instructors.  There were drawings where I remember fighting for recognition among the large group of art students.  These drawings now look pretty stupid to me and not truthful or authentic.  There were many half finished drawings because I rarely finished anything when I was young.  Some figure drawings struck me as being very good and made me realize that I do need to challenge myself to get back to drawing from a model.  Drawing from observation is still important even in abstraction.  I realize as I always have that art is about more than drawing or putting color on a surface.  It is more about living a life.  I really hope that some of my best works are ahead of me.  

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Getting Started in Abstracts

Back at the F&W Media studio

Here I am this week in Cincinnati.  I'm here filming a series of four dvds for Northlight.  I think they will be available in May/June.  I enjoy coming in and working with the staff of F&W Media.  They are a great group to work with and really help me relax and be myself.  They do such a wonderful job of making things look great.  Today was my first day filming and I was at work all day even though it will be a 60 or 90 minute video.   A lot goes into filming videos.  Its a very interesting process.  Tomorrow is day two where I will be filming Color and Composition.  The last two are abstract flowers and abstract portraits.  

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Working Things Out

Blue Bouquet (unfinished)
acrylic, charcoal and pastel on watercolor paper

I've been visualizing some large paintings of bouquets.  I'm not quite ready to get the canvases out yet.  I am planning on them being at least 48x36 inches in different color schemes.  Painting them for a new potential gallery and an upcoming exhibit in September.  Yesterday I spent the day painting over an old painting and did a really horrible painting!  Covered it up again. But, it was not a wasted effort although it felt like it at the time.  I learned what I did not want to do.  What didn't work was pretty clear.  So today I got out a sheet of watercolor paper and approached it in a different way.  Much better effort.  Sometimes those terrible efforts are just as important as the successful ones.  They help you discover, uncover, find direction, search and find what will work and what will not work.  

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Traces of a Memory

Traces of a Memory
acrylic on canvas

I decided to paint over a painting I wasn't happy with.  I had tried to work in colors suggested by a gallery I was in.  I tried and tried to  please the gallery director but was never able to do so even though I was told "We love your work."  After a year of submitting this and that I decided to leave this gallery.  Anyway I decided it is more important to follow my own inclinations and inspirations.  Life is too short.  And what is art all about anyway?  For me it is marks on canvas or paper that represent my life, emotions, thoughts and experiences.   Isn't there a song that says "if you've got to please someone please yourself."  I titled this "paint over" Traces of a Memory".  I had the color scheme in mind.  I found a contour drawing on the floor of my studio that was of the foxglove plant I had this past summer.  I took the drawing and used it for the creation of lines in this work.  Therefore it really is the traces of a memory of this past summer.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014