Sunday, October 25, 2015

Three Series Simultaneously

The Swells, Navarre Florida 2015- the swells were 4 and 5 foot tall and it felt a bit more like skiing than kayaking

This is a sneak peak at new paintings that are in the works. I am in the process of three simultaneous series and the ideas seem to be growing and expanding as quickly as I can write them down and sketch them out.

I am working on a kayak water series, I have several sketches and roughs and it seems my memory is serving me very well along with pictures and images for details. I am in awe of the power and majesty of water and these paintings need to capture that feeling of being out on the waves and on the crystal clear waters of Texoma and Lake Murray in Oklahoma.

The next series is the window series. This series, started out, stalled and seems to gathering more steam as I gather images to go by. I want to show the two very dimensions and allow the viewer to put themselves in a scene with perspective.

I am getting more interested in the shapes and how they affect depth and the viewers eye. I don't want anything in the painting that doesn't have an integral purpose for the viewer. Each tool adds to perspective and depth and allows the viewer to have more connection with each work.

The next series and it seems the most difficult is the new perspectives. The perspectives are a bit less easily described and there are fewer visual cues to capture the effects I am seeking. These paintings are from years of notes and some even go back thirty years or more. I am excited about introducing the series but it seems it is  a very slow go at the moment. Please stay tuned, would love the input.

Texoma kayaking-on a clear day you can see for miles

Seeing the Image Beneath Paint

An old photograph of my son and his first fish.

The Beginning of a new painting series is often a bit daunting. I have a list of old painting ideas, some as old as twelve years-the reason they haven't become finished paintings is probably the idea was good but the actual image just never made it through with any clarity.

I have several failed paintings from recent series that I will reignite in this series. One of those paintings is a painting of my good friend's daughter. First off, I don't do portraits normally but there is something I have always theorized-if you paint with an eye for detail and accuracy you can paint anything.

A portrait artist knows portraits, therefore certain things that they can do to cut corners or certain angles they are used to capturing accurately-being familiar with your subject gives you a bit of shorthand but if an artist sees with the eye and paints without the conscious brain filling in and assuming, often inaccurately, the artist is free to paint what they see.

I would welcome any agreement or disagreement as this is just a theory. I have worked hard on the specific painting I mentioned, I would get a bit closer, drift off completely and get back to the basic shape and form. Today I actually watched as the image developed quite mysteriously beneath the layers of thin paint.

I've learned with the portrait, to move small amounts of paint around that pick up shadow and light. The shapes and the lines are very subtle and the colors are even more subtle. I watched as this particular portrait came to light. Now the colors are still a bit cooler which gives her a bit morbid appearance but once it dries I will give it another coat of a warmer flesh tone.

Meanwhile as her portrait becomes what will be a finished product, I am in the middle of four others. I would say I got back to her not so much for a perfect painting but more to pay attention to small details. It becomes an exercise and observing and capturing an image accurately.

I am excited about a blackbird painting in an urban backdrop, several kayak paintings, a night fountain at the harbor and other various ideas in different degrees of being finished.
Would love your feedback on a painter painting anything, if not why?


Saturday, October 24, 2015

Coming Full Circle: Back to basics 1: Details and perspective

2013 Paint Rowlett, Plein Air Art Competition

My idea with painting has always been to perfect realism before interjecting my form of the surreal.
Instead I feel like the older waterfalls approached realism only to depart quite suddenly to softer, edges, more vibrant colors and a bit more feeling of expression versus realism.

I have recently come back full circle to the basics of perspective to achieve depth and perfecting not only the structure of composition but the values to achieve value and interest. This redefined priority of skill in detail versus overall feeling of light and place has brought my paintings to a new level.

I have recently entered a contest, paint Rowlett, Plein Air Art Competition, it is the second time I entered the contest. Last time I painted a Koi pond on a private property, a local cemetery and Paddle Point on Lake Ray Hubbard. It was kind of a marathon and I couldn't inject as much detail in the paintings due to time restraints.

2013 Paint Rowlett Plein Air Contest

This year I was determined to do more with less. I painted the horse stables on Miller Road and Dexham in Rowlett. It was one of the most tactical and intentional paintings I have done, I started with a fence that set up the light play and lead the eye back into the composition. The next process was a barrel which added a different color of blue not present anywhere else in the painting, this object brought the viewers eyes back to the fence and allowed the eye to follow back into the main subject which were a group of horses standing under the trees. Use of triangular patterns, changes in value and softening of light allowed great depth to take the viewers eye into the painting.

I was meticulous about the detail of the fence for f the fence failed the whole composition would not have worked. I used a very natural color pallet, not over indulging in color or richness to not distract the eye. In the end the final process was creating differences in the sizes and values of the leaves that allowed for shade and allowed a strengthened view of the perspective that takes the viewer into a time and place of late afternoon at the stables.

I worked up some sketches for the Mckenna Place on Main Street in Rowlett. I was so impressed, it's a magical place you might not even know exists, but I ran out of time, it is a very detailed image and  I felt I could not give it the time and attention it deserved, I will still paint the image, it just didn't make the contest deadline. The owners were very friendly and gave me a bit of the history of the place, I even got to meet Wizard Wayne, someone who has many different talents and an inspiring set of skills-check out his website magicfunhouseproductions.

So for this next series, I am working on allowing the viewer to see different perspectives but at the same time I want details to be able to drive the quality of the composition. I want everything I include to have a purpose and an intentional accuracy that will bring my paintings to the next level. I hope there is a noticeable change in the upcoming series.

Sketch of horse for this years Paint Rowlett Plein Air contest.

Paint Rowlett Plein Air contest 
Check out the reception and awards 
November, 7 at 2:00pm
Rowlett Annex Bldg, 3900 Main, Rowlett

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Window Series: Revisited

So why suddenly paint windows? It’s really not that much of a departure from my water and night images, it is seeing two places simultaneously although neither give up all their mystery. The viewer is forced to explore their own memories of different places without all the secrets being laid out by the artist. There is something that haunted me about the image I paint or soothed me and I leave it to the viewer to derive their own feeling from that space.

Viewing through windows is a separation of light and shadow. There are two, very different images that mesh, but never completely unite. I equate it with my water scenes, I want you to be on the surface but realize there is a whole other separate world that you can see but barely decipher. This is what haunts me perhaps that secondary intangible place just outside our reach.

I don’t want to get too philosophical but here it goes, it is my attempt to touch that peripheral feeling that haunts me. The feeling in a dark room where you can’t feel or decipher what is making you uncomfortable but its there. I believe that is what the dark depths of the water, the distance and silence of space, that absence outside the window.

I want to explain the absence and separation of the self, even when surrounded by nature and beauty, there is a lack of tangible feeling of being. It’s a frightening feeling of the self, drifting off into some weightless vague space that you can’t really touch anything or feel solid ground.

This is why I feel like windows seem to be the perfect next step in the explanation of that feeling of separateness and absence. The artist is often the viewer, who often exiles themselves from truly being any part of the scene. While being part of it is not necessary for the artist, there is loneliness and feeling of separation that can get unnerving at times. I paint both of these sides of the window, each derived from a feeling of a need for being one with nature.