Tuesday, December 1, 2015

"Blind Bathers"

I began this painting with a fairly restrictive drawing but, bit by bit, I tried to find the color that could open up the forms. The first two images are details from the final version of the painting, then it's back to the black & white start. 







"Blind Bathers" detail 1







"Blind Bathers" detail 2






version 1





version 3







 version 6


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They hold onto each other & move toward the water by facing away from it. This is part of their understanding of how sight alone can misunderstand. Stillness & motion hold onto each other. The blind bathers feel their way by listening.

The icy entrance-point is perception.





"Blind Bathers" - oil on canvas, 60" X 48"











Friday, October 30, 2015

Meeting Points



Meeting points, in water, sky or paint; the places where blue turns red & runs into the sea; edge of a face that bends into shadow; shape that changes shape, fragmenting into light. You see through two trees on a quiet afternoon a distance & a meeting point that lead to one tree.





"Raised Arm"-acrylic on paper, 8" X 5"







"Arana Field & Creek"-acrylic on paper, 9 1/2" X 10 1/2"









"Arana Field & Creek 2"-acrylic on paper, 9" X 12"






"Reaching"-acrylic on paper, 12" X 9"






"Arana Tree View"-acrylic on paper, 12" X 9"




Study for "Blind Bathers"-acrylic on paper, 24" X 18"









"Arana Tree View 2"-acrylic on paper, 10 1/2" X 9 1/12"

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Certain Days



So many of these figures are sitting & seeing, their minds are working in parallel with their sight. They're doing much the same thing I'm doing as I draw or paint them. They vary in the way all self-portraits vary. A respectful distance turns out to be very close indeed.

"Figure With Datura"- mixed media on paper, 12" X 9"




We often see by means of a grid. Our vision is caught, not by the wires in the net, but by the openings.



"Dark Tree"- acrylic on paper, 10 1/2" X 9 1/2"



Gestural art make it clear that there's an emotional proportion as well as an anatomical one. There is also an emotional foreshortening.



"Gardener"- mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"




My favorite narrative paintings are mostly landscapes.


"2 Trees"- acrylic on paper, 13" X 9"




Drawing doesn't register line or mark, it shows two forms of light, the fragmentary & the interior--& also the shadows that serve them.


"Messaging"- mixed media on paper, 12" X 9"




Every form of art seems to me to be a form of listening for music.


"Garden Turn"-acrylic paper, 13" X 9"



Sometimes in a face,  myths of continuity & discontinuity meet.


Foot Rest"-acrylic on paper, 12" X 9"





The only thing that effectively changes the scale of an image is intimacy.


"Striped Skirt" -mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"



Certain days are the ones we remember. We're made of them, because we've made something out of them. Paintings are certain days.

"Water Garden 3" - oil on canvas, 60" X 48"






Sunday, August 30, 2015

In The Water Garden




I've started to feel that, in painting, there are no small changes. Broad or slight adjustments both make something completely new. You can work on an image for years, scraping the form to illegibility at the end of each session, painting it back the next day--until something happens that you recognize.

The following two figures took weeks not years, but a continuous transformation of the image was what I was looking for. It felt crucial to risk form, color, whatever was already strong, to extend & open-out the painting.



The first day on "Water Garden" gave me a basic drawing in color. The balanced motion of the figure was lost & regained over time.


"Water Garden" - version 1





I usually take photographs at the end of the day & often shift to black & white to focus on structure. In this version, the figure has changed from fluid roundness to sharp angularity. I'm testing the waters to see how far to push toward abstraction & find an alternate way to thread the figure through the space.



"Water Garden" - version 3



Most of the linear elements & color-notes of the finished painting are suggested but not integrated here. The result is that the figure feels generalized & also disconnected from the surroundings.




"Water Garden" - version 6



In the final image, heavier paint application & surface density helped to solve some problems.


"Water Garden" - oil on canvas, 36" X 36"





Near the end of "Water Garden", I started a second, smaller painting of the same pose just to see where it might go. "Water Garden 2" began with less drawing but more segmented color. Still, the dominance of mass over contour was a useful starting point.



"Water Garden 2"- version 1




There weren't many details in the next version; even so, I felt like I'd veered too close to the source material (sketches & photos from the model). If I'd continued in this way, the results might have been more of a drawing than a painting.



"Water Garden 2"- version 2




Here, though the forms were awkward & indistinct, I'd started to pull one color through another. It wasn't unified yet, but it was on its way.



"Water Garden 2"- version 3



The living compromise is the painting you end up with. If you need to, you can always deceive yourself into thinking it was fully intentional.




"Water Garden 2"- oil on canvas, 24" X 20"

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Scraping Back The Line



You can scrape back the painted line between figure & landscape. The forms may be simultaneously blurred & strengthened by pulling color through color.

When you want to leave behind composition as a problem to be solved, it helps to think of color, form & surface as elements of centrality.

Pynchon was writing about a specific era, but he could have been describing a landscape or a figure as "...this little parenthesis of light."

Ideas like these get in the way of painting & are useful in that way.




"D's Back" - mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"









"Fields & Hills" - oil on canvas, 18" X 18





"Backyard Table" - oil on canvas,  14" X 11"




"Lagoon-Figure Study" - mixed media on paper, 12" X 9"




"Painted Fields" - oil on canvas, 12" X 12"




"Hillside Road" - oil on canvas , 8" X 8"




"Arranging Her Hair" - mixed media on paper, 12" X 9"





"Woman With A Cup"- mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"






"Farming Lavender"- oil on canvas, 12" X 16"






"Head Twist" - mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"





"Garden Right" - acrylic on paper, 12" X 9"




"Footstool" - mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"




"Blue Hills" - oil on wood, 12" X 12"




"Leaning Back"- acrylic on paper, 12" X 9"



"Listening"- mixed media on paper, 12" X 9"





"Beach Walkway"-oil on canvas, 18" X 18"





"Lagoon Figure"-oil on canvas, 20" X 16"





"Left Thought"-mixed media on paper,  12" X 9"

Monday, June 29, 2015

Beach Sketchbook


Working in a sketchbook is a continuing practice for me. The majority of the drawings presented here were done in minutes, with little or no revision. All of them were done on the spot. Structuring the two mixed-media landscapes did take more time & effort; even so, the intent was the same. Whether I was drawing linear figures or shadows on hills, the aim was to shape the form from the motion.




"Beach Player"- colored pencil on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"




"Call From The Beach"- colored pencil on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"






"Point Loma"- mixed media on paper, 5 1/2" X 8 1/2"










"Point Loma"- mixed media on paper, 5 1/2" X 8 1/2"






"Family"- colored pencil on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"





"Boy With A Hat"-mixed media on paper, 8 1/2" X 5 1/2"





"Child In Blue"-colored pencil on paper, 8 1/2" X  5 1/2"