Saturday, July 23, 2011

Building and Tearing Down Three Times on The Same Canvas.

"Day Hike in Pneumonia Gulch"
19 x 28
Pastel on Canson Mi-Tientes Board

There is a story behind this painting. First off, I lied when I made the following statement near the end of my post on April 20, 2011 which was about a painting in progress. I said "I will continue on my next post". I didn't do that until now. Referring to that post, you will see quite a different painting going on. You will see where I left off. So, what happened between now and then... life... traveling, death of a close friend so when things settled down and I went back to the painting, I found that I lost interest, I wasn't happy with it anymore, I didn't like where it was going so I started the mutation process into quite another painting

This is where I left off.

This is my second vision inspired by an interesting place at the edge of Heron Pond. Working on and off for the next couple of weeks, I found myself wanting to change direction again but could I do this a third time on the support I was using. I challenged myself to do this but this time letting myself go into a black hole with only my intuition to guide me. It  was  a scary place to be but I pursued none the less. The support held up which pleased me as this was on a sanded paper. Being self guided had its frustrations and pit falls, but I liked where it was going and stuck to it. So, once again I show you the third and final painting.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Another Journey

Another Journey

"Sun Washed II"
19 x 25
Pastel on BFK Reeves Paper

You know how sometimes your looking for a nice Sunday afternoon ride (not so much anymore with gas prices what they are) but you want to see some beautiful landscapes with beautiful colors and you want to feel your cares dissipating as you venture further and further on down the road. Somewhere into the trip you find yourself on a dead end road (you forgot your new generation phone and your car didn't come with navigation included). Nerts, oh well, you turn around and trace you course back to where you turned off the main road. OK now so you're back on track. Think I need to stop this analogy here, it's getting too wordy hope you get the idea. So what does this have to do painting? EVERYTHING!!! It is rare for me that any painting goes as if it paints itself. My paintings are stained with my sweat and tears and I'm sure my fingerprints are being worn off by the pastels ( I don't paint with gloves). I like the tactile feel of the medium and I express myself better without covering my hands. This painting started off with a support paper I had never used before but having seen some impressive results using pastels, I decided to try it. I started by laying it flat on a table and spraying with water here and there. Next, I applied some Black Sumi Ink using an ink brush. Then sprayed more water on it and moved the paper around enjoying the effects of the ink doing its dance. After it dried, I started painting with pastels creating pleasing shapes, patterns, colors, whatever my intuition told me to do. I did not have a focus or end result in mind. My goal at this point was to stay in the here and now and enjoy myself planting in colors and shapes putting in the first layer covering the paper. Now what? So now I'm ready for something to emerge that would tell some sort of a story. Frustration is setting in now along with negative feelings. I know it is time to find an objective, time to tell a story. I'm lost, nothing is coming to me but I paint anyway. I know I need to stop and look around for ideas. I need direction and a plan so I start looking at some favorite books from my art library for ideas and inspirations. I tried several ideas that came to me which brought me a little closer to my journey's end but still no winning ticket. I closed the books and went back to the painting  refocusing and trying new out new directions once again. As I'm painting, now I'm looking for a story to emerge with would lead me to the final stages of the painting. I looked at the painting from every angle. I had worked on this piece for several days by now and I went to bed on yet another day without completion. That was yesterday. Today I work up refreshed and ready to go once again. It's amazing how a night's sleep can do wonders. I think I process paintings in my sleep and I'm not sure how this works, but after four more somewhat frustrating  hours of work on it today.....I AM DONE!  I knew I had come to closure because that feeling of completeness and serenity came over me. I felt good about the piece and I was glad that I stuck with it through the hard times.  I' done with this piece for now (maybe down the way I may do a tweet or two on it) but I have reached closure once again and I have a smile on my face.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On With Painting

"View from Linda's Patio"
18 x 24
Pastel on Pastelbord

If you read my last post you know of the grieving process I had been going through since the death of my dear friend Linda. I found that I had to put closure to the phase I was in before I could continue to paint. I am so happy and please to announce that closure came and I am once again painting. So this painting I just finished is in memory of my dear friend Linda. Linda's house about a mile from mine sits on a hill slope. In the back of her home is a steep down slope to where a beautiful creek flows when the rains come, the slope going up on the other side combined with the far view offers a lovely landscape scene. One could sit on her patio for a good length of time absorbed in the view ( I know Linda did). There are homes and roads in the scene which I left out. I used a lot of artistic license and embellishment in the creation of this painting rearranging the far off mountains as I saw fit. Nevertheless, I believe Linda would have like this painting. I know I loved creating it.