Sunday, August 25, 2013

Cling in Progress - almost

Cling is closer to being finished, but there's still more to do.  It's a great piece, so I'm not too concerned about rushing it off the easel yet.  The strategy of pre-mixing large batches of base colors has worked out very well.  I'm trying to walk a fine line between having a large mixture of colors while maintaining a monochromatic/cinematic lens filtered look for mood.  The weather has been kind to me with rain throughout the weekend slowing my drying time down a lot and making it easier to blend large areas.

I also started working on the first of many drawings that will make up the show as well.  Usually, when I exhibit it's paintings only without any drawings.  Modified has requested a mixture and I'm more than happy to oblige.  I really feel like I don't draw nearly enough.  I have a tendency to work only on the easel and only sketch when out of town or while sitting at a coffee house.  My camera in a lot of ways has replaced my sketchbook.  I can see pros and cons to both really.  Maybe, as a result of this show I'll find a balance between the two.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cling - In Progress

A quick progress shot of Cling. I'm just getting a chance to return back to this painting. It may likely be the postcard piece for the October showing at Modified Arts. It has been a very challenging piece. I think that the composition  coupled with it's size has had something to do with that. The fact it's been a challenge will make it just that much sweeter when I finish the piece. My goal is to try to finish it this weekend. I have some other works in progress, but I think if I can complete this one that it will create a sense of momentum. Next weekend will be a three day weekend for me, which will allow me to get a lot done for the show. I've been working extra at work, so it's pulled me away from the studio over the last month. I'm taking time off in September to make sure I finish all the works for the show.

This exhibit is going to be really interesting. It will be a mixture of my normal urban paintings, night paintings, and the gas station works. I'm going through my Bisbee photos for some new work. I have a feeling that performing some more paintings from my Bisbee photographs will serve as a bridge between the two bodies of work. Really, the gas station paintings are very much like my bridge paintings in feel. I know in some crazy way all these works dove tail into each other and although they may seem disparate they're actually part of a really big story.  I just need to figure out the chapters and characters to link them all together.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Tow Away Breakfast

Finished A Tow Away Breakfast. If I weren't on vacation and walking around with a camera I might have missed this small moment of two birds finding a scavenger's feast right before they were joined by three dozen of their feathered brothers and sisters. Yet, there is something just so fitting about these birds feasting in the tow away zone considering how most people think of pigeons and most likely want to do away with them. I confess after living in Hawaii and having to clean lanais up after them as part of my family's cleaning business...

Still, it's a great snapshot of urban life and what it is to live in a large city.

I also started work over the week on a new piece called Dead End that is going to be part of a series of night paintings. I have tons of night photos from San Francisco that I've barely touched. Largely, this clutch of photos is partly due to the fact that with my first trip to San Francisco I had more time to shoot photos at night than during the day. At the same time though there is nothing like wandering through the streets of a city at night. The city has such a different feel at night and some streets and alleyways become haunting where as during the day they are completely benign. 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Isolated States - Completed

I completed Isolated States before leaving for vacation, but with the rush of getting everything together for the trip - I didn't have time to post. This station was in the middle of nowhere just East of Lordsburg, New Mexico. It was a very desolate place and the distance between the sign and the station made me think of how they were two isolated islands in a sea of dirt and gravel.

The last two works have been a little more desolate than the previous ones.  That has a lot to do with the environment and how hot the day was when I went shooting for the source photos. Maybe a little on how I felt that day as well. I start painting these pieces in my mind while photographing them.

I also think that these paintings are portraits of the buildings as living things in themselves. In this case two structures isolated from each other that face the extreme elements of this desolate landscape together, but hundreds of feet apart. In the summer it's hot, in the winter it's cold always windy with hardly any rain. 

The concept of buildings as living entities has been a big part of my work for the last several years and a big part of my return to realism. The first paintings where I returned from abstraction to realism contained buildings. From there I started taking source photos and taught myself to become a better street photographer and my work became more realistic. Of course keeping the abstract and collage elements within them. When I paint buildings I am painting their soul as a living being or the stain left by all those who have inhabited them. When I paint an old hotel or gas station I'm thinking of all the lives that have passed through them. The lover's quarrels and makeups, the family ups and downs, the lonesome travelers who have passed through, the life and times of the ownership and employees, and everything else that could've happened there. I feel the stain of time that haunts these places and while I paint these works I do my best to infuse them with those feelings.