cleaning the studio......and other adventures in art
RR Jones photographed some of my work the other day, both new pieces as well as older drawings that I had never had photographed. Here is Ron, photographing something new, amidst the drawings now hanging for Open Studios.
And here are a few of the photographs he shot…these are drawings from a few years ago. I have always envisioned these three being hung together, in this order. Thanks to our wonderful model Melinda for having the imagination to show up with a tutu!
I’m continuing on with my Iceland landscapes. I’m not so sure that the original photo needs any interpretation, but perhaps this in-progress painting gives some idea what I’m seeing when I see that barn, and that landscape.
I am excited to be a part of this beautiful exhibition. We have a reception this Sunday, May 17, from 4:30-6:30. Please join us!
I’m back in Iceland, taking a lot of photos for later use in the studio, as inspiration for drawings and paintings.
The horizon line is not as prominent in this one as in some of the other photos I’ve taken (and in all of the drawings), but I like that line of fenceposts and the inconsequential-looking building against the overwhelming landscape.
That inconsequential-looking building would keep you warm though. Yes, it’s May, but Iceland doesn’t know that.
Another Iceland drawing (see this post for the first two). This one, though done with drawing materials, feels like a painting to me.
As is usually the case, the scale of these drawings seems important to me, so here is the obligatory studio shot with my yellow ladder included for scale reference.
I don’t normally engage in magical thinking, but I do believe in the power of art. I needed a talisman, for personal reasons, so I edited my two recent large landscape drawings to add doors to the buildings. I felt that I need an entrance to that stark world. The titles have also changed, Iceland/Ísland to Talisman. There’s a third drawing for this series in the works.
The drawing below has already appeared on this blog, sans door.
I get asked all the time how I go about starting a painting. Do I work from a drawing that I then copy onto the canvas? Directly from a model? Or from photos?
Do I sketch first on the canvas? With charcoal? Pencil? Paint?
Truth be told, I don’t have a single “method”. I try it all. Sometimes I work directly from a model, sometimes from photos, sometimes from both, or neither.
One thing I almost never do is work on a painting from a preliminary drawing. I draw, regularly, but I don’t draw to turn the drawings directly into paintings. There is not a direct and linear path from one to the other. I draw because drawing is a worthwhile pursuit in and of itself, and needs nothing else to recommend it. Drawing is full of its own challenges and rewards, and it has the capacity to inform all my work.
At the moment, I’m drawing Iceland, so the title of this blog post, “In the Beginning” seems to relate. Iceland is a landscape in the process of coming into being, and so it truly is “In the Beginning”. This one is charcoal and chalk on paper, and it’s a largish drawing, 46″x66″.
This piece is currently in a show at the Cabrillo Gallery titled “12×12 (x12): An Open Invitational 2014. As you can guess from the title, all pieces in the show are 12″x12″ (x12″), which makes for a cohesive show.
A trick of the eye makes this piece appear to be more vertical than square, but it truly is exactly 12″x12″. It is encaustic on wood panel with a rust-patina metal frame.
The horizontal bars are not welded into place so they can (or could) slip out of the frame. I like the idea that the piece could mutate at a later date, outside of my control. Those bars remind me of pick-up sticks from the childhood game, though the piece is far from playful.
I’m still in Iceland, trying to dissect the landscape by considering just small portions of it at a time: the colors and shapes of the pebbles on which I’m walking, the yellow dandelions growing amidst the black volcanic rock.
The landscape as a whole continues to elude me in its enormity. Here’s a photo, but imagine that this landscape surrounds you 360º.
Looking at the landscape, what grabs my attention every time is the insistent and ever-present horizon line, but my efforts with that may have to wait until I’m back in my studio with large-scale materials at hand. I have ideas…
In the meantime, I made the happy discovery of a can of outdoor acrylic paint that is very close to the color I’ve been using in my studio on the large-scale figurative paintings. It also happens to be the color of this barn at which I’m working, and I have a generous pile of cardboard too. I’m in my element, surrounded by mixed-media supplies. I started some pieces while thinking about the horizon line, but they turned into more of a meditation on my immediate surroundings, echoing the colors and shapes around me.