Sunday, July 31, 2016

First of the new series finished


This series has been slow and painstaking as the new images have slowly formed. Many of the new images have been waiting to be painted for many years, others were from recent vacations or kayak trips.

I am experimenting with perspective. When you first explore perspective in painting the horizon always starts at the highest point you can to show as much depth as possible, the interesting thing is if you look at a road going into the distance the image is not very tall at all depending on your perspective.

The secret is to keep the horizon low and allow multiple cues to show depth and distance. I am excited about a scene of cloud filled sky that allows the viewer to feel they are engulfed in the sky.
The perspective of the scene supports the distance and changes in color and contrast further explains the distance to the viewer.

The compositions have become simpler and the colors even bolder. I am excited to see where this series goes. Here are a few I finished today.

The next part of the series I think will be more cohesive as these are stragglers from previous points in the series-like I said it's been very slow going.

Firepit-Oklahoma Beavers Bend

Florida coast near Cape San Blas

Lake Texoma kayaking

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Fear of the Canvas

I've just realized why I have been avoiding painting recently, not really avoiding it but just having a harder time settling down. Many of the works have been in progress for quite a while so getting back to them is often like picking up a strangers painting.

The amazing point is when suddenly you stop thinking about what you need to do and just start slashing at the canvas with purpose. There are unseen shapes and connections of shapes that come out of the surface of the paint and you fill in the blanks instinctively.

A stumbling block is the fear, especially when you like what you've started but there is no room for timid strokes in painting or anything else creative. Once you stop and think or attempt the safe way you might as well save painting for later.

Painting should be bold, excited and even a bit reckless. My thought is every painting is a potential mistake that will never see the light of day. This is the time you learn the most, when you are free to forcefully and confidently paint without fear of failure.

One particular technique that takes a lot of time going back and forth is the light on water, it starts out overly dramatic and slowly becomes more realistic. There are points where the light seems right, others when there seems to be a bump in the horizon and you have confidently fix the problems and continue to focus while you see the image you've been working on go from good to worse to good again.

Another aspect is painting objects, straight lines and architecture, something that often needs to be reworked and perfected. You are happy with the background and suddenly you've just destroyed it with the object that you overlapped-often the background needs to be reworked with the object as you work to perfect both.

I am excited about the process and while I continue to get bits of time to paint, I am adding to an already large painting list. Let me know what you think of the new images.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Series Officially Begins

I need to start a tradition, maybe a champagne toast when the series finally begins. I am excited that I actually saw the image of the clouds, it's a drive across the bridge in Rowlett toward Rockwall.
It's really going to be a pretty simple image, just the clouds and telephone poles with the lake as a backdrop.

I'm excited about a new color palette, not intentional, just the way it's beginning. I'm using lots of blues and some discordant yellows. My main focus on this painting is for the viewer to be enveloped by the sky, lost in the depth of the image.

I also got back to a Florida painting that has started and stopped several times and now I get it. It really is like not understanding a puzzle for a long time and suddenly all the answers are clearly written out for you to follow. Some of the answers are clearer and more detailed than others but the image gives up its secret.

In the time I lose the vision or inspiration I tend to complicate clouds, water and pretty much the scene. When you return with fresh eyes suddenly you know what needs to be done.

I always feel like I'm painting someone else's painting, someone that lost their way and now I get it.
It's a very exciting feeling as the colors and forms tend to create themselves and an image that sparked your original inspiration makes itself known again.

I can't wait to learn what this series has in store and what direction it will go. Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Painting deliberately, but sometimes things just develop

Feel free to tell me what you see in this painting. I feel like it's captured the inspiration
but it remains a work in progress.

There are so many different feelings when you paint, sometimes it's pushing paint around, sometimes it's deliberate, even mechanical and sometimes it's instinctual, tonight's  sitting was a little bit of all of them.

I started with an under painting and it was one of the more deliberate paintings I've started, unfortunately I didn't have the full picture, just an idea of clouds moving forward over the viewers head. The actual image is from real life, I have photographs for reference but I'm not completely sure where the clouds end and what the landscape looks like.

I painted the background with perspective lines, every form, every color and every space will be designed with the idea of perspective and I want the viewer to feel overwhelmed by the clouds overhead.

As I tend to do, I switched gears after finishing a monochromatic under painting I turned to the painting of a scene from beneath Shark River Inlet in Belmar New Jersey. This painting was inspired thirty plus years ago and it still stood clear.

I painted with a clear feeling of purpose but as suddenly as it began it ends and I wasn't sure if I was done with the painting or should start all over. The problem is the idea and image is strong but the recollection is so hard to bring back to mind. I will continue to study it until I know it's either done or time to start over.

Another thing about painting, sometimes you feel like you've created your best work and sometimes the same painting looks like a mistake. I got back to the grackles above the city, an image that I started at the end of the last series, again I had that feeling of instinct kick in and for thirty minutes or so I painted like I figured out the problem.

None of the paintings are finished but I feel like I'm shaking off the stagnation and getting in the process. The most exciting thing about painting instinctual is that images appear that you didn't necessarily know you were creating they just come out of the details you've worked in feverishly.

I'm excited about this series and feel it will be a huge step toward my future painting style and feel.
Stay tuned, more paintings coming very soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Painting Blind: instinctually painting from memory

I saw an extremely vague image of calvary the last time I went to church. It was an amazing image that I could barely decipher but it has stuck with me.

The colors were rich and vivid and they streamed across the canvas in varying complementary and discordant hues. Some parts appeared very clear and other pieces were just barely evident.

I have worked in the past from memory but in recent series I prefer to have some reference image. This time was almost completely from memory and even the memory was vague.

It’s a feeling that you are  painting as the image paints itself, it is an awkard feeling that forms from some divine place. If you think too much you start muddying up the colors, you must have a feeling that whatever color or detail needs to be perfected you will instinctually know it.

It’s a very different feeling from the deliberate act of painting a clearly planned vision. Instinct and faith are the only tools I have when painting blind. Next post is about painting deliberately about an upcoming group of paintings I will describe.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Return to the Artist Studio

The Celebration: 3rd in a series of 3

Last night I finally started painting again. The excitement and inspiration spilled over into the next day. It is a liberating feeling after being stifled for so long and suddenly it all makes sense.

I think the only negative is that suddenly there are more ideas, images and concepts than I can get done in the time available. This is when my lists get overwhelming.

I first started on the third in a series of swallow paintings. The work is smaller than the two previous but more detailed, with a larger population of swallows than the previous paintings.

The name of the work is the celebration, it is a scene from a local bridge in Rowlett after the spring rain. I saw a swarm of swallows that surrounded the bridge and flew under and around the structure. There was a feeling of excitement; nature in celebration, the drought was finally over.

The second painting I work on was a brand new painting called calvary The last time I went to church, I had an amazing image of calvary surrounded by stained glass. This is going to be one of my most colorful paintings and it is a bit of a departure from previous works.

I’m very excited about finally getting back to work and I can’t wait to see the new views as they become real.

First in a Series of 3

Second in a Series of 3