Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Feeling for a Place

Evening on the Arno, Oil/Cold Wax on panel, 24" X 30"

This piece has been on my painting wall for a week or so, and I knew it needed resolving.  I've spent a few days working on other things, all the while keeping my eye on it. This morning, I walked up to it and without any hesitation, placed some colour areas, drew some marks, and scraped back layers, mostly in the upper quadrants. I think it is complete.  In my mind, I have been remembering Florence, and long walks along the Arno in the autumn. That river seemed to change by the moment - so many images and feelings come to mind now. Perhaps they will appear in more new pieces.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


It's always interesting, and often a surprise, to witness how colours relate to one another. The painting on the left is an accumulation of several layers, applied intuitively, with the simple aim of putting down colour spaces and marks that are interesting and exciting to me.  Next comes the "middle part" of the process: keeping some areas, obliterating others, or maybe altering the orientation. The piece on the right is a composition of some gestural marks that may or may not survive. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Philip Guston Over My Shoulder

All it took was a brief video of Philip Guston talking about his meandering, pot-holed route from beginnings to near completion of his artworks to remind me that it is the journey I make with my art that is so satisfying. Frustrating, sometimes, but always something new and exciting eventually takes hold.  After a week of layering cool over warm, warm over cool, scraping, scratching, dark over light, light over dark, more texturing, dissolving with mineral spirits, etc., and repeating the processes, I declared these three pieces done!  The results are vastly different from where I began (landscapes?), but I  think of torsos as human landscapes.  I'll let them hang around for a few weeks before they can be deemed "done". Or are they ever completely "done"?

Three New Beginnings, after a week of transformation...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Three New Beginnings....

Three 16" X 16" panels that are awaiting a "breakthrough". I've been moving them around the house, and in diffferent configurations, looking for something; don't know what yet, but it will come to me.

Some areas are developing with many layers of oil and wax, scraping back, more layers, and scratchmarks.

Other areas have similar layers of oil and wax, with powdered pastel used for some subtle colour shifts. I can get caught up with my nose centimeters from the panel, realizing that I need to take a step back.

More mark-making with my favourite tools through the wax/oil layers.

The oil paint is setting up quite nicely, so I think that by tomorrow I will go in with some oil sticks, charcoal, graphite and more pastel. I want to explore some relationships between line and the colour fields.  Don't have any images in mind, but the lines should augment the colour and conflict with the shapes. Hmmm...sounds like a plan. By tomorrow though, the ideas will undoubtedly change, and something else will appear on the panels.  The work always seems to surprise me.