Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sumac


This is my newest painting. It is 42"x 34" acrylic on raw canvas.
It is nearly the view outside of my studio, but with the Sumac added over the top. There is a beautiful stand of them at the edge of this field by the side of the road. Sumac are at their best in the winter. The red pods dance together. I think that many people see them, but do not see them, thinking that they are just roadside shrub. This group is on a curve that I pass as I leave my studio so they are up close and you can see right through them to the field beyond.
My purpose for this blog is to explain and become more articulate about my paintings, but some quote about "Writing about Art is like Dancing about Architecture" comes to mind. Still, I will go into it!

I like the depth that is created by a landscape. The curve that is created by the ground moving toward you at the bottom. The sky moving toward you at the top.
Now put an object right across the front! Press the eye into following the pattern, but tease with the desire to look through it!
I have often wondered why I use the colors and values that I do. When I have studied landscape painting I can see that neutrals are the way to go to achieve levels of naturalism. I guess naturalism is not what I am shooting for.
I am looking for something much more contemporary and trying to get it out through what I see around me.
As I post my work to this blog, I know that I will appear to be jumping around, a landscape, a portrait, a still life and more.
A consistent thread will emerge.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winter Light


Today is cold , but sunny in the upstate NY house. Already the light is fading. I like the winter landscapes better than autumn. Winter trees show their gesture enhanced by long shadows.
The deer have decimated my shrubs. There was an ice storm over a week ago and then more snow and it is impossible for the deer to break through the ice to get anything to eat so they are desperate. I should have been more vigilant about netting and fencing
Still, I love the activity, the layers of tracks.
The turkeys were at the feeders again today. Usually a Tom and three hens, but today there were 8 and sometimes as many as 40. I spent some time watching the feeders today hoping to see the Cooper's hawk come in to take a song bird. I have seen that once. It comes in fast and is gone in less then 20 seconds.
I will include these thoughts and observations as a way of explaining how I think and what excites me.
Painting can be several things. It can be an illustration. It can be an illustration of your life. mixing the actual with the imagined.
A painting can also be it's own entity. An act of creation that draws from an experience, but exists independently, even from the artist that created it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fire

Sometime ago I started looking at fire as a subject. I notice that everyone looks at fire. It is fascinating. I am contemplating why?
What is it about fire that is worth looking at, sometimes for hours! Ok! So the obvious is that it moves and if you are close enough there is heat. It is brightly colored and that always can attract us, but fire is interesting even on TV, in B&W! I can remember Christmas in the 60's and watching it. Now you can get a HD video of it. I watched it at the Doctors office!
What I see about fire today is that it moves in an organic way with no hard angles.
(Is it organic? Scientifically, it is a process of oxidation).
Fire is also it's own light source. Most everything we see is the subject of light cast upon it.
The painting I have included is an attempt to look at the movement. I have excluded the source, no burning log, of burning house.
George La Tour painted his figures illuminated by a flame to show fire as the light source. I have tried to see if I could paint it as self-illuminating.

Quote Credit

"Condensing Fact from the Vapor of Nuance" is a quote from Neal Stephenson's Sci Fi novel "Snow Crash"
It is a quote that struck me because so many things in life do not reveal themselves 100%.
If you are a scientist you strive for the highest percentage, but artists often must do with far less. Sometimes it is with only a vapor, or a shape in your peripheral, or a two note squeak from the brakes of a bus that herald a larger story.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Beginning...again

Welcome! Only a very small group of people know that I am writing this right now and this is the first post. I hope to quickly develop a nice look for the page, but today I am starting this the way it is.
I am going to write all about my painting and my thoughts and feeling about painting, art and life, though I will try to talk about life, as it pertains to my work.

The title of the blog is as much about my views on life, as a specific view I am taking in my paintings. I expect it will evolve.