Sunday, February 24, 2008

This is a piece I began from a photograph and one of which I am particularly proud. For me, it has some scale issues but it has a way of holding my attention and asking me to keep my eyes moving across its entire surface. I know somewhere along the line someone suggested to me that a good picture was one that among other things didn't draw the attention of the viewer to one place.

Although I don't like being hostage to a photo in my work, sometimes they do come in handy for reference. I can say in this piece that I referred to the photo when I began the watercolor "under painting". I tried to represent the basic shape of the hull and place some of the surrounding "supports" in relation to the vessel by making reference to the photo but, to the extent the subject holds symbolism, I like to think that the work accomplished thereafter was the "art".

The vessel looks to be pointed toward light but any move it makes will require some coordination. Maybe we all look for direction.

The piece measures 47" x 44" and was executed with watercolor, charcoal and pastel. It was completed on 120# cold press acid free paper.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sketching and painting

My current remunerative employment provides not much visually but does offer a sufficient amount of free time that occasionally I can grab a pen and my sketchbook. Usually I'll rough something out and then, when away from the Men's Department, add some color with pencil or sometimes watercolor. Above is an example.

As I try to develop a consistent approach to my work...which for me is a challenge because I enjoy experimenting with materials and styles of representation... I often think that I should work exclusively with a combination of watercolor and pastel. In several pieces I have used watercolor to create a basic image and then done an overlay of pastel in an effort to "focus" the image. Two examples are posted here: a figure and a "landscape" by the sea. The water scene was done mostly from my memory of a place in Rockport, Massachusetts I like to visit and the figure was done at my studio frm life.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Gloucester Harbor

The Gloucester Marine Railway isn't too far from the spot where I stood to begin this pastel painting. I was on a pier adjacent to a place called The Madfish Grille, tucked away from the sidewalks and galleries on Rocky Neck, on a Sunday afternoon. It was kind of an overcast day as I recall with an occasional peek of sunshine. I was approached by a man and had enough of a conversation with him that I learned he was visiting from San Francisco, worked for a marine technology-related magazine and he thought I must have had lots of experience doing what I was doing! Not that it was a first time thing but working outside was somewhat new to me and "experienced" was not a term I'd have used to describe how I felt about about what I was doing!
This piece has been sold and was exhibited in a Member's show at the New Art Forum in Kingston, Massachusetts several years ago.