Saturday, April 30, 2011


Waited for daylight to show the progress. I don't feel the light has been right in the studio at night for accurate photos.  Spent time working in the details of the bridge and more glazing into the sky.  Today will be a busy day.  I'm working out the final sketch for the Steel Bridge piece and will start that today.  

Unfortunately, I'm going to have to spend some time refurbishing my gate replacing the 2x4s with 2x6s, changing out the slats and the locking mechanism for a more heavy duty slide bolt.  Two weeks ago someone kicked it in, but didn't take anything in the yard. I figured it was just a drunk with anger issues or teenager having fun.  I repaired it and wedged a concrete block at it's base for extra security and thought that it was just a fluke.  Tuesday night while I was out in the studio working late someone attempted to break through the gate again.  I grabbed a hammer and stepped out of the studio door yelling "Who's out there!!!!"  Shortly after I heard running and the dogs barking at them two doors down.

It has unnerved me a bit.  I have a tendency to work late at night into the early morning hours.  It's when I'm the most creative and have a tendency to perform three hours work per hour when I break into the grove.  Painting is a lot like surfing in that respect. The last thing I want is to contend with an unwanted visitor or the fear of one.  I've worked out on the patio for years without issue, so hopefully this is just a passing phase due to bad economic times.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


The commission has thrown it's share of curve balls at me. I kept on looking at the bridge as I collaged and reworked the sky and the perspective just looked off. It has taken hours of working and reworking, but I'm finally comfortable with the perspective.  I hate the delay, but I hate the idea of letting a work with a faulty perspective leaving the studio a good deal more.  Now the piece is about midway through where I'm adding artifacts and then obscuring them and then adding more.  Building the textures layer by layer and varnishing between layers to create the luminosity.

The sky is becoming a very important factor in this painting and it's a little more painterly than I usually get.  I've had this concept of a dark stormy sky as the backdrop to the bridge in my mind. An uncanny liken to a seen photograph burned into my mind actually.  I thought it was a photo I saw on the web while performing the visual research for the painting, but I've come to the conclusion the photo of the bridge wasn't something I'd seen in waking, but rather while dreaming.  This after a couple of hours of trying to find it again and only seeing photos like it, but not it. I do that often.  Many times in my sleep I will see a painting or the subject matter as clear as a photograph and the memory is so vivid that I believe it was actually seen during my waking hours.  Well the sky isn't perfect yet, but I'll nail it down this weekend. In fact I should be in the glazing stage of the painting this weekend, so I'll be starting the second piece of the Steel Bridge tomorrow night.  I plan for this to be the final rendition of the Steel Bridge.  I've painted it now three times and this will be the fourth.  I believe 6 Days while being a great piece begot this one.  I haven't decided if I'm going to bring the yellow sky back into it.  I'm feeling a bit film noir at the moment and digging the dark grayscale vibe.  I may have to pop in a Hitchcock film in this weekend.

Studio Update:

I've fully moved out of the old studio and have been working on the new studio while working on the commission.  My Brother-in-law and I built my painting rack/loft (4 x 15' approx), which freed up a lot of space in the studio and eliminated even more clutter.  I'm getting to where I don't work well creatively with clutter, so figuring out where things go and keeping the studio clean is imperative to being able to create. The neat freaks of my past would rejoice if they were here now. My studios in the past have imitated Francis Bacon to a watered down extent.  Now it's as spartan as Jasper John's studio.  Maybe it was always a size issue.

The painting rack is really beautiful in of itself.  I lucked out that my brother-in-law is a lot stronger than me, because the two layer 2"x8"x15' beams with the boards joined by carriage bolts weighed a ton.  He had the muscle to put them in their joist hangers with me supporting their weight on the opposite side. It was good too to have another brain to figure out the construction specifics as well.

Along with building the painting rack I purchased and constructed a shelf from Ikea to hold my paint jars and a cart for my collage materials.  I think that will be it for the projects for the moment.  Need a small reprieve from construction projects and some time just painting.