Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New drawings

After a several week absence I returned to my drawing sessions. I try to keep sharp when I am away from the model for a while by drawing from magazines and ad flyers. I may be the only one who finds a use for all this junk mail....

This drawing was a nice unusual angle where I feel I caught the essence.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

More grids

Here is a new grid painting I've been working on all week. Takes a while to paint 775 one inch cubes. The idea here came to me in a dream and I remembered it enough to jot it down. It's a takeoff on my prior square grid but here the colorful part is restricted to the bottom corner. I preserve the desolation of neutral greys but the artist's hand is evident in the brush strokes in each cube of the grid. The bottom corner has small expressionistic bright paintings to offset the neutral area. Again, it's a combination and moving forward from abstract expressionism through minimalism and op art. The grey vibrates as you study it and becomes alive. I think I'm on a good track here although don't know how far to take this without repeating myself.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Back from Arizona

Had a nice trip to the sun and did two small Arizona landscapes. Bought a book and a map to identify the mountains but still too many of them and at wrong angle to be sure of names of most I have painted. Also, my daughter took some of the photos and I don't know exact areas she travelled to. Still working on a style I like on these but will get there.
These are both 8x10 as I only brought my small paint box.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Grid Painting

I'll be traveling for a few days so won't be able to update until next week again. Just finished a beautiful painting using my grid ideas. Have been reading a book about Brice Marden and finished a biography of Willem de Kooning, which was excellent by the way, one of the best art biographies I've read, and my mind absorbed it all as the new painting combines my grid work with abstract expressionism.
I started with a taped off checkerboard surface, then painted my abstract swirl style over the surface. When I was satisfied with the result, I removed the taped squares and then painted them in with an almost op art pattern of grays that draws the eye in. Each of the colorful squares is an individual small abstract work that I touched up for a finishing touch. The painting is 24x24 inches on a hard board surface. I believe it is one of the strongest paintings and most beautiful I have ever done although a small photo doesn't do it justice. It balances the two dimensional plane that is a painting but also has one looking into it or through it at the dancing small paintings. Not sure if this is a beginning right now or a culmination but I like the result.

Friday, April 11, 2008

New Drawings

Had a good drawing session with a great model. Here are a couple of the drawings. Also working on a SW landscape with a thick paint style however a little larger than those I've been working on lately. Trying to combine styles and use brushes as needed as well as incorporate the palette knife thickness of texture. The small works didn't have much detail so it's a challenge transferring the techniques to a little larger scale. Getting a great texture but not satisfied with the colors or details yet but it will come together. Will post when I am at a better stage.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Funky oil sketch

This is an 8 x 10 oil from a sketch I made while visiting the local town of La Conner. This is a little flower growing and tourist town along a river with tulip fields in season, about now actually, and great shops and food. I went for an art show being held there and liked the sloped street and buildings plus the signs. It made for a nice abstract landscape composition.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

New grid work

Here is another grid painting where I've reworked an old painting. As you can see, I have a lot of old unsatisfactory paintings around that I now have time to rework. Experimentation is really important in art, the reason for the work I didn't like that I had in the first place. Doing the same old style or motif bores me and I need to keep refreshing and recharging my batteries by challenging myself with new ideas. No idea if any of these new works will ever sell but the journey is as important as the result.

Friday, April 4, 2008

New work

Have started an exciting new series of paintings based on a grid pattern. I have been reading about art of the 70's and 80's and many artists used a grid to work their ideas around. Since I'm pretty much a colorist, I am working on three works with varied colored grids, each space an inch square, on medium size canvasses. This work is 16x20 inches hence 320 squares. It was an older work with yellow already covering much of the canvas so I stayed within that color theme. I drew the grid lines with a light blue oil pastel and like the contrast with the bright yellows. The goal is balance and movement to maintain visual interest. I have another work with mainly reds and a third with grays and tans and whites. This is the fun of having time to experiment. I just go where my interests lead me. I have always felt that a good artist could make strong art from anything. Since I enjoy painting most, I paint in many styles to stay fresh and involved. This work reminds me of Paul Klee's work from the early 1900's.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

More Hawaii

Went to a Seattle Mariner's baseball game last night and it was low 40's with a cold breeze so felt cooler. They even closed the roof to keep a little of the body heat in the park. And the home team lost so a cool atmosphere all the way around. So, this got me thinking again about Hawaii and its lovely temperatures and this small, 8 x 10, painting is the result. Oh, to have beach weather again. This is the view from the beach in Kihei, Maui.