Saturday, March 29, 2014

Making pictures

18" x 24"/pastel and charcoal on heavy Bee paper
Clearly there was thought put into this but as I look at it the calculations disappear from my memory.  I think that's a good sign that something ethereal, transient yet strong was involved in the process of assembly.  How lucky for me!  At least that's how I look at it.  Making pictures likely has something to do with trying to hold on to time or maybe more precisely to a moment....which is time, I know but when I think of "time" it is usually in chunks so I'm trying to differentiate, be precise.  Photographs can hold the future off or hold the past too I suppose but I don't often put a camera in my hand when picture making. Maybe it is something about it's precision...even if the image is manipulated and looks distorted, out of focus, untrue to reality or abstracted in some way.  The required calculations are made on a level of consciousness that as a mark maker I don't have to be involved with. Or so I'm thinking.  Maybe photographers have totally uncalibrated results, too? 
I wonder if the exercise of comparing hand rendered art to photographic art is worthwhile?  Certainly, I think, the immediacy of a gesture with charcoal, pencil or pastel in hand and the resulting mark(s) is different than the capture/impression of seems almost that the difference is like a vacuum cleaner to a broom.  The camera sucks in all the available stuff; the broom is guided as it collects.  Interesting comment from someone who knows nothing about photography, huh?
I like trying to figure stuff out but maybe like some, try working at it with less than an adequate amount of information! 
I do know from looking at this piece that I got myself perfectly.  If the lens were pointed directly at me it couldn't have captured a better representation.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Work in progress that will actually be completed

24" x 36"/oil on canvas/Shelburne Falls

Actually, this is almost finished and I'm not going to paint over's on a canvas I painted on once so the oil is thick and lumpy in some places.  I used a palette knife for lots of the work and found that as the paint built up I could slide lighter or darker shades over and over and create depth.  So little time, so much to learn and so much fun to have.

Friday, March 7, 2014

See any beasts in the trees?

Several years ago a friend showed some of my work to a NYC portrait artist and he remarked.... "ah, a Fauvist!"  I was familiar with the term and the movement and appreciated the critique but I was maybe not so pleased with the idea of fitting into a category.  I wasn't aiming for any particular style and much as I do today felt like making pictures is an opportunity to explore and experiment. 
That was then.  Lately I've expanded on that colorful, abstracted sort of style and have begun assembling a series of pieces, almost all are landscapes, which I'd like to grow in number.  I hope that in the process I'll learn more about color and contrast and make some things which are beautiful.
The piece below is something I struggled with for quite a long time...months I think and have only recently begun to enjoy.
24" x 30"/oil on canvas

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Watercolor and gouache on foam board

Recent picture which has color and a loose composition.  I really enjoy working on this surface and find myself using things beside brushes to make marks with.

Watercolor and gouache on foam board

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New charcoal/pastel drawing

18" x 24"/charcoal and pastel on paper
This was done in December along with several others I'll share soon.