Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Daily Painting Practice - Completed Northwoods Paintings

Well I'm back! Just completed the Northwoods series..(is it really a series with only 2 1/2 paintings?) I think both benefited from the color studies I did on site in Wisconsin. What do you think? I am very pleased with both of them because I really went after the light and I think I got it.

click on the painting to enlarge the image
The Bridge
"haven't got a title yet"
oil on masonite panel

click on the painting to enlarge the image

The Swing
"no title yet for this one either"
oil on masonite panel

You might be wondering why I have been so absent from the blogging scene. Well the reason is, I have been on a little quest. I have been very busy soul searching. That is, searching for the soul of my work. ..(does that make sense?) The daily paintings I was turning out began to feel very empty. So I stopped. I needed to examine what was missing. During this break from the daily paintings I have been reading a lot of art books and magazines and a few biographies of artists...( my favorite so far Andrew Wyeth A Secret Life by Richard Meryman). What I admire more about Wyeth after reading the book is his devotion to striving, to trying to connect the dots. His struggle to be his own interpreter of what he feels he must paint. ( strange man but a great artist)

I have also been reaching for a better way to interpret what I feel and what I see. You know the feeling when you do paintings which don't hold your attention longer than a TV commercial? Lately, this really bothers me... This is either a sign of age or a sign I need to change my approach to my art.

This change may not make a whole lot of sense in words but I hope that my new approach will be seen in the work. Of course, I will bring you the results in the blog as I stumble down this new path... Stumbling, that 's a sign of age too!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Daily Painting Practice - North Woods Bridge Progress Painting

You may have noticed I have not been posting as much lately. That is because I am changing my focus, away from the small daily paintings to larger studio work. I will still post a small daily painting from time to time, but I will try and sell these off the blog rather than through Ebay. Ebay seems to be slowing down with the economy and since Congress is about to charge $700 billion on the national credit card, I thought I better start saving where ever I can. Selling the paintings on my blog or web site eliminates the fees.....One small step!

I will also start writing and showing more of the painting process rather than waiting until I finish one....because as you know, I am the worst finisher there is. I can delay the finishing strokes on a painting for up to a year, even then I can find a way to delay it.

To continue with the North woods of Wisconsin theme:
(Can you tell I fell in love with the landscape up there?) Here is a study I did while we were on our vacation last month. I set up and was standing in the back a our friend's boat. We parked ...or rather tied off the boat in the middle of this waterway that connected two lakes together. I did this study in about 20 minutes. As with the study in the last posting, I only wanted to use this sketch as a reminder of what attracted me to this view so when back in the studio I could recall the day. It was hard to leave it as a sketch and not to try and to make a finished looking plein air painting.

This is the block in for the studio painting. It is on a 24"x18" masonite panel.
This time instead of working from the top left hand side, I am working form the center out. I am also trying to keep the paint thin, using washes like water color.
Using the sketch, I remember how the concrete really caught the warm light of that late summer day...also the intense blue of the water in the foreground. I am hoping the warm underpainting will help add the depth to the shadows. I may glaze the color over the shadow area to keep it really thin.
click on the image to enlarge the painting

Detail - North Woods Bridge
Work in Progress

The title is a work in progress too. All titles must go through my Committee to ensure decent titles/wife. Sometimes I sit back and allow myself to really enjoy the smallest part in one of my own paintings. I have only just started and already the shadows on the concrete really rock my boat!