Monday, October 18, 2010

Two paintings in progress

some of you have shared how much you love seeing a painting develop, so I thought I would share pix of two paintings as they have progressed through time.  This first painting is huge - 5 x7? and has lived in my studio for almost two years now in pretty much the same state as photo #1... and I have been completely baffled as to what to do with it.. But my December show at Rockingham Memorial Hospital is looming, and I promised myself that it would be a show of abstracts, so I am jumping back into the murky waters....

For some reason I want to call it "the loveboat"
but there is something plinthy and monolithic
about it. Sandstone cliffs, graffiti............
                                           almost finished!!!  Jamba says it reminds him of some of my earliest abstract paintings, when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  It certainly owes a debt to Richard Diebenkorn, who I have been studying in the vain hopes that his genius will rub off on me somehow. It lacks his gorgeous looseness and his supreme painterly confidence, but I have to admit I find it powerful and striking, even in its unfinished sate.

                                          Finished! I have decided it is the teeming bookshelf
                                          of a rather unorganized philosopher of antiquities.
                                         I finished it as the first drifts of snow floated past my

 Secondly... a painting which started as an exploration of a specific sequences of glazes (see earlier post) that has become a yarn painting of sorts.... inspired by the yarn sculptures of artist Judith Scott

very beginnings. I am so excited by the emerging forms and layers of glazes. but then....

the painting is rotated yet again: the blue is kept in hints and the figure is subsumed by scribbled lines. I love that the strange man figure has become a sense of openness in the center of the painting. I love the painting at this stage but feel it needs more complexity...

Wanting to coalesce those scribbles into a congealed form, so I overlay and overlay, trying to create depth and unity. It has been so beautiful and warm in these late October days I have been grabbing a rare chance to be able to paint outside. Perfect lighting, too- not too bright or hot.

a close up of scribbles: (this is the photo that inspires my final solution for the painting.)


The painting is almost done. I decided that I wanted to extend the yarn scribbles across the entire composition.. to have them play completely across the surface so that the painting becomes a chromatic experience of electric energy. For the last few weeks I have been visiting it daily to drop another colored yarn into the perimeters... slowly building up the edges with the same density of tangles as the original center. The painting is really lovely in person and a complete departure for me as a painter.

finished!!! I am really happy with this piece. Our soon-to be new roommate
came over and said it felt like "the happiness that lives in your chest"
and so that is what it is going to be called.

Friday, October 1, 2010

new abstracts: musings

something formless about them. a sense of calm patience. these are larger, more expansive. they are not begging for form but for small playful strokes: an exploration of layering translucents over one another. Perhaps hanging chandeliers, the endless beaded loops: a chance for more of my favorite oval form: but maybe something less identifiable. I do not feel eager with a large brush and broad strokes, or an urgency to cover the canvas and find a direction.

what are my thoughts... that there is something about my new environmental musings in it. what was it? on the road to pick up my mother from the airport, late night, dark and stormy night, pelted by swaths of rain and ambushed by roaring semi trucks, I calmly walked my mind around the surface of my new red canvas and the different colors to play on its surface. The lights reflected from the tailights in wide swaths of brilliant rectangular color.

Perhaps they are simply shadow-catchers. I place them in front of the play of light and capture the scene behind them, in endless layers. sketch form that is immediately dissolved at its edges.

or something about the acceptance of death.

the glazing is an issue... for some reason there are dry spots and wet spots... very distracting. and yet.. another guide (quieting down and following the small tracks in the forests). I paint some bright red in mimicry of the spattered oily spots, and then just try wiping the sheen off with a cloth: and reveal the most beautiful textured pattern: the original dull vermillion revealed like weathering: the surface of marined metal.