Thursday, February 9, 2012

Evolution of a theme


Until recently, a stack of ten 4'x5' oil paintings stood in my studio unseen to anyone. I painted these paintings during my senior year at Skidmore College where I was an art major. I studied at SACI in Florence, Italy for my junior year and took a lot of inspiration from the Fauves...a group of post impressionist artists known for their bold brush strokes and use of color. My ten paintings were all either of sailboats or tree-scapes. I loved the negative space created by the vertical lines of the boat lines and of the trees. I also loved the bits of vibrating colors that emerged from the many under paintings.

Well, getting to the point of this post...this week I decided to brighten up the empty walls of the dark hallways in the basement of ArtSpace Maynard (where I rent my studio) so I hung up several of these senior year paintings. It gave me a new chance to look at them.

Before long I began thinking of sailboats. Recently I have taken up sailing myself again now that my kids are learning. I also noticed that many of the seascape photos that I have taken in recent years contain sailboats in the scene (though I rarely include them in the paintings that are inspired by these photos).

Today I started sketching boats...and thus the theme of a new series of work seems to be emerging. I like this idea because it can build on the water/sky theme that I have been working on for a few years now while adding in a new element that is near and dear to my heart - sailboats (both for their beauty and for the experience of sailing).

Here are some pics from this process...







Friday, January 27, 2012

The pondering...



Pondering of the day: So often, in my painting I paint something that appeals to me...for one of many reasons....the color combination, the energy of a brush stroke, the movement of the scene, the mood, etc. Yesterday I started a large diptych. I have been working on a lot of water/sky scenes with the dominant colors being blues and cool colors. Well, I was craving red so I decided in order to satisfy my need for painting in hot colors I would opt to paint an under painting for one of these water/sky paintings in red. As luck would have it, I really like the under painting....in particular the detail where the energy between the two colors is buzzing. Now I am stuck in that place of liking something and not wanting to obliterate it in the process of moving the painting forward. The combination of slate/turquoise blue and the hot red just appeals to my senses. I am wondering...do other artists have this constant struggle with moving forward with work? I guess it is better to have something on a canvas that appeals to me versus the days where I leave my studio unhappy with the work of the day. I guess this is where I should let what I like about this work rest awhile and see where it takes me next week...stay tuned. The part that I like is in the close up detail...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!


When I return to the studio after the holidays, I always feel like it is a new beginning and often that feeling leads to some frustration as I figure out which direction to head in the new year.
My "to do" list to get the ball rolling:
1. clean my studio and clear the decks.
2. sand some old unsuccessful paintings to prepare for new paint (the above image is one of those happy accidents). It was a landscape on top of a "dot" painting. As a result of the dot texture coming through, I never liked the landscape. Sanding it today revealed these dots of the undercoats popping into the landscape. It sort of became a confetti filled landscape which I thought was appropriate for celebrating 2012...or it could be the bugs and plant bits that fill the air on a spring day.
3. my next project is to make several mono prints and drawings
4. order new cradled gesso boards and some paints
5. go through my idea books and photos
6. do some writing