Friday, March 19, 2010

Back to Pensive

Pensive has been languishing on and off the easel as I was figuring out what to do with the background behind the main figures.  The building just weren't cutting it for me.  As much as I was wanting to bring buildings back into the mix of these long horizontal figure pieces - it just wasn't quite right. Also, the bringing color into the piece is settled as well.  It stays film noir.  I think color would simply be gratuitous.

The goal this weekend is to complete Pensive and Could've and get started on a few new works.  I have three canvases to stretch, so that will be the bulk of the work done on the new works.  I still have more work to do on the preliminary sketches anyway.

I have two shows in the works. I will be at Modified Arts in Downtown Phoenix with the opening reception May 21st and the second reception June 4th.  I am tentatively set to be at the Lanning Gallery in Sedona, AZ with the opening reception July 2nd.   I'm going to be working like a demon to get everything painted.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Could've Continues

Could've continues.  I'm adding color and reworking elements as I go.  I'm figuring out how I'm going to resolve the background behind the two female figures.  I feel the mail figure on the far left is just astoundingly resolved.  It was one of those cases where I paused for just a moment long enough to stop myself from ruining a good thing.  Sometimes it's not always about what I do, but what I don't do.  That's why I'm calling it a night early on figuring out what to do for the background.  I might very well see my query to resolve the background to tie the two female figures into each other as a bad idea.

I have a feeling that it's really about the male figure far left and the female far right.  I think the central figure despite her compositional dominance is merely the subplot of the story.  Now I need to figure out if the female character on the far right is in flight or merely recognizing an old friend.  Maybe I'm not supposed to know and just enjoy the tension.

I remember a long time ago my High School Art Teacher Sid Travis pointed out a painting in a magazine that depicted the dangling feet of a  hung man with men on horseback looking like they just road up or committed the hanging.  He pointed out the psychological created by the composition and the ambiguity of the scene. He told me that was what good art was about - making the viewer write the story in their head.

Later David Sklar my painting professor at SCC and mentor differentiated the difference between propaganda and art.  "Propaganda tells you what to believe, art asks you to believe", David Sklar.

I guess that's really a big part of my definition of what making good art is about.

Friday, March 12, 2010


Working away on Could've.  I seem to be into the horizontal figurative works right now.  I think it's strange how dynamic these compositions are despite the fact that horizontal compositions usually don't have the inherent compositional dynamics of vertical compositions.  Maybe it's just the implied movement that creates visual tension and thus dynamics.  I'm planning to finish Could've and Pensive up this weekend if possible.  I might start a new work or two as well.

I guess right now I'm just working and letting the work take me where it will.  I've been derailed a little by life stuff for the last two weeks, so I'm just trying to get back into the groove.  Could've is a great start.

I'm tempted to jump the light rail and go crazy with my camera down on Mill Avenue tomorrow.  Maybe my wife and I could eat at Pita Jungle just a few stops down on Apache or heck just go to Athenian Express on Central (our favorite Greek Place for over five years now).  I guess it will depend on how the work in the studio is shaping up tomorrow and how restless we are.  I'm just feeling that the answer to what to paint for the next canvases lies in getting out and about with a camera.  I've been flirting with the idea of doing a series of carnival pieces.  Just popped in my head the rides and the fact it would be fun to paint night lights.  I also have a series of night city paintings brewing in the back of my mind.  I think the Modified and the Lanning Gallery Shows are going to be a bit different.