Sunday, March 22, 2009

More to come

Progress shots for a few other works.  First off returning to working on the diptych again.  I haven't figured out the name for the paintings.  I might call them "The Fever at 3am".  I'm sure it will come to me, before I finish them.  I put them on the back burner to complete some smaller paintings. Next up another painting that I don't have a name for yet and then Once Remembered 3 and 2.  I have a feeling that I will be turning the third canvas into a larger painting.  There's just something about the composition.

17 down

I now have seventeen canvases done for the Modified show.  This weekend I started yet more paintings with a focus on small works.  I felt it was important to change the focus a little bit from large to medium canvases to the smaller ones.  I also spent more time in the sketch book.

Starting from the top Once Remembered 1, Threads 2, Night 2 and Night 1.  These are still following the Trapped In and Complements series sharing similar skyline motifs.  With the Threads series that I completed Today I was experimenting with new encaustic techniques using soft matte medium rather than wax.  I will be playing more with that technique latter.  I think that is what makes painting small canvases so important.  It's a place where you can focus in on new techniques and compositional elements of larger works.  It's also a great place to work on sketches without going to the full size canvas.

For the Modified exhibit I will have all sizes of paintings along with sketches.  I feel this year folks are going to be a little more strapped for cash than usual, so it will be nice to have framed sketches selling for $25 and up.  I'm going to have some really small sketches included in the mix as well.  I just want to have work for every price range.  I originally planned to self publish a book of my work to have for sale, but I don't feel comfortable with the timing.  I will create a book with the work of both these exhibits along with previous works that fit and have it up for sale over the summer.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Working like mad

Starting from the top Trapped In 3 (in progress), Compliments 3, Compliments 2 and Trapped In 1.  I also finished Trapped In 2 and Compliments 1, but their photos didn't turn out to my liking.  I'll post them at a latter date.

Trapped In and Compliments are really the same series.  I just wasn't sure if I wanted to go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7... Also, there is a shift midway through.  Originally the buildings in the background were just that - the background.  As I kept going they became more important and the foreground of a empty lot in the middle of the city that people cut through to get place to place became more apparent.  By the time I reached the fourth canvas I realized that the people were actually the props and not the buildings and the empty lot.  There will be three more as well with a focus on the liter in the empty lot i.e. crushed soda cans etc..  Hence the name Trapped In, the empty lot is a piece of nature that is trapped in by the city around it.  Of course originally I thought of it, because I was listening to Trapped In by Division of Laura Lee when I was sketching the series out.  I find that there is a synchronically logical reason behind my naming practices no matter how random, silly, mundane, and weird as they seem to me.

How I name work is one of four ways.  First there is that magical name that pops in my head when sketching or painting and it happens about thirty percent of the time.  Funny those are the names people object to from time to time.  Second I name paintings based on pieces of music, song lyrics, or literary titles or passages fifteen percent of the time. Third I use visual cues within the painting when text elements have been collaged in thirty percent of the time (people just scratch there heads with these names). Lastly, I sit down with a dictionary and randomly open it and read through the words on the two pages I've opened to and figure it out the rest of the time (my main way of titling work since my freshman year in College).  No matter how random the title seems I find out latter on that it's spot on. Frankly, I don't think there is a right or wrong way for artists, writers, musicians, and other creative people name works of art.  I also think that the work has it's name from the get go and we're simply figuring out what it's already named itself.  I'm a romantic.

Crazy week between figuring out the tax stuff and the neighborhood meeting I lost three nights of working total.  Not a good idea at this stage in the game of preparing for a show.  Oh well, life happens and is great at getting in the way of things.  Must simply adapt and move forward.

I also started three other new works over the weekend.  I had about eleven canvases going on at one point, but now I'm back down to six. This will be a easy week and a week where it's easier to photograph stuff as I go.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trapped In

The Trapped In series is going smoothly.  I'm going to start the next three of the series tomorrow evening. Right now I'm starting as many canvases as I can and just working them all up to between half to three quarters done.  It's nice to work several canvases up together.  It's the best way I've found to produce a solid body of work that hangs really well together.  I look at painting exhibits like LPs for musicians.  A band or performer cuts a record and they try to make all the songs fit together, sometimes the whole album tells a story or at least carries a mood.  I look at painting exhibits like that.  I try to have all the paintings tie into each other. I do have a few disparate ones here and there, but I'm sure I'll tie them in before April or I'll just hold back on hanging them.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lost and Found

This weekend has been pretty scatter shot.  I've been working on sketches, taking street photographs, doing graphic design work and working on seven canvases.  I finished one Saturday morning and will probably finish another painting tonight or be close.  I purchased the canvas for Toil and Humdrum 2 this afternoon.

Above is starting off with a drawing I did for Alicia.  I will make a painting out of it called Lost and Found.  Then a sketch called Trapped In.  The painting below it is actually from the same series called Trapped In #3 (Full).  I'm working on Trapped In #1 and #2 as well.  I'm just limited to how many images I can post at once. Oh, below that is the pallet table clutter. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More Toil and Humdrum

Toil and Humdrum is complete.  I'm on to working on to a triptych and the diptych. I'll post the progress on those tomorrow.  The triptych is going to have a similar feel to Toil and Humdrum, but the diptych is going a completely different direction.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Toil and Humdrum

Toil and Humdrum continues.  Tonight I worked on the figures on the left side and splashed a little color in here and there.  Most notably in the couple in the center of the canvas.  I will be putting a little more color in the older gentleman's face as well.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coming to a couch near you

Title of the post comes from a newspaper Ad I found in Wall Street Journal. Amongst painters it is a bit of a cliche.  We're often told at openings, "Oh, I so love this painting, but it will simply not match my couch".  At that point I smile and say "I understand". Honestly, I do I have a couch and a color scheme. In my case it would be "your painting wouldn't look good on my bright grasshopper green wall". Well, this little sentence "Coming to a couch..." is going to find itself collaged into a painting soon.  I can't resist a little humor relief once in a while.

A very busy and productive weekend.  I started five new canvases Saturday, so now I have seven paintings going at once. The one on the easel Toil and Humdrum though is going extremely fast and will be done before the rest.  I'm really happy with this canvas and I can't say why.  I mean I'm happy with all of them, but there's something great going on with this canvas.  I love the texture and the painterly brush strokes.  I think I'm going to make a series out of it. I'm not putting buildings in this one and a few others.  I want to focus in on the actual movement of the people in the composition.  I'm also going to put a little more color into some of these works. It will be subtle though. There actually is a fair amount of Payne's Grey in this painting.

Oh, the two photos above are the under-painting and fabric collage stage of a triptych I started Saturday.  It's going to be along the same lines of Toil and Humdrum.