Monday, March 28, 2011


Spent a the evening hammering out the arc of the bridge.  It's been tricker than I thought it would be.  I guess the test will be if I walk into the studio tomorrow evening and if I feel satisfied with it.  Other than that I've been trying to figure out if a flourish motif or different large text elements would enhance or detract from the overall composition.  I'm leaning to the side of using subtle collage elements with a focus on texture and distressed paper elements. Just a little readable text here and there, but very minimal.  The sky will become more dynamic with time.  There are a lot of drips that seem to really work that I have to be very careful to preserve, which should prove to be very challenging as work continues.

As work continues I'm working really hard to keep a certain mixture of focused and blurry elements within the piece.  I feel that when you look at a structure as large as the Fremont Bridge it's more of an awareness of the totality of the structure while you focus in on different elements.  When your focusing in on the rivets of the frame the distant shore drops out of focus and the opposite is true when you focus in on the distant shore.  It's how we truly see and experience the world.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fremont Bridge

I began the Fremont Bridge painting this weekend.  I don't know the title yet, but I'm sure I'll have a title by the end of the week.  It's been interesting going through the photo references and figuring out the piece.  Some of my best photos don't show the water beneath the bridge and for some reason that has been really important to me.  Other photos show the water, but don't show the whole bridge or the they're perspective isn't extreme enough which is also important.  So really the painting is a composite of these different photos.  I care more about the psychological feel of the work rather than the straight forward depiction of reality.  I guess I'm not much of a realist. I feel like the mood for the piece is already set, so now it's just a matter of going with the flow.  It even has a soundtrack.

I'm still in the process of moving stuff from the old studio into the new one.  It's been going painfully slow.  Most of it's just a matter of figuring storage systems out and getting them built in the new studio.  I'm strongly against simply piling things in and cluttering the space.  It's already starting to feel a little jumbled, because not everything has a place yet.  I'm sure it will all pan out.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

6 Days and The Bridges Commission

I finished 6 Days tonight, which feels really good to have the first finished work within the studio out of the way.  It's a really interesting work considering that it started as a print piece for last year's print show.  Some how if felt right to take it all the way into a finished painting rather than letting it stay a print piece. I changed the title of the work along the way. Ironically, I feel this work is almost a sketch for the 50 x 70" canvases above.

These two canvases are the Bridge Commission.  I took Friday off, so that I had the whole weekend to build them and finish 6 Days up. On the left is going to be the Fremont Bridge piece and on the right will be the Steel Bridge. I just finished priming the Steel Bridge piece, so the studio reeks of the wonderful smell of gesso. This will probably be the last rendering of the Steel Bridge for a while.  This will be the fourth work I've painted.  I'm going to mix this one up a little though and use a different photo reference.  On my last morning ride in Portland the day we departed for home.  I photographed a barge pass underneath.

Thanks to my friend Shawn I have a ton of photos of the Fremont bridge to choose from. It's going to be hard to narrow the reference photo down since there are so many good shots.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Getting into the groove

Starting to get some momentum with the painting and starting to figure out where everything needs to go in the new studio.  It's odd when I think of it, but it took me eleven years to figure out how to organize the old studio.  I have a bit of a jump since I've spent months sketching out where to put things.  It is different when you finally moving in though.