Thursday, July 31, 2008
In the back of my mind I'm thinking about making paintings in, of, around, and inspired by anything in the San Gabriel Valley for a show later in the year. For some reason I wasn't really inspired about landscape at the moment, but I have been into these master copies. So I thought, it'd be fun to paint a copy of what is arguably the "Mona Lisa" of Los Angeles, that is Gainsborough's Blue Boy at the Huntington Library. It would be painting something that has had me excited lately and it falls within the parameters of the show. I'm preparing a big 60 by 40 inch canvas for the final piece, and in the meantime I did a little 28 by 20 acrylic on canvas to get in the mood. I really enjoyed exploring the colors, the drawing is ok, overall I like this little piece, but it feels too tame to me. I need to paint more beastly.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I did some more work on the girl with a mirror today, more on the background, glazing some darks... I'm very happy with it. It was a good evolution. To show some of that, here's a couple details, before and after. The details are of the exact same area of the canvas when I first layed it in and let it dry, to how it looks today. I think it's important for painters to understand that paintings evolve toward finish, I'm always reminding myself to be more aggressive and less fussy. You don't start with detail, you finish with it! You start with laying down the simple chord structure of color notes of the entire composition, the gestalt or ensemble, then when that's dry, paint as much refinement on top of that as you like. You have to learn to paint the forest before the leaves.
These before and after images are interesting to me because they are basically the same, they differ in their degree of detail, but their essence, their simple, primal structure is identical. I think it's that essential property that Matisse was playing with, I read this about him from a book about Bonnard.
"As Matisse demonstrated, though, to remember a momentary perception is not necessarily to record a moment in time. His particular dissatisfaction with Impressionism led him to conceive of painting as a temporal process of extracting, from a momentary perception of something, the essential property of it that stayed in the memory and, therefore, survived it's merely temporary manifestation at any particular moment."
Paintings are made and evolve over time, they are visual gestation.
Like all painting, this one's much nicer to look at in person. Lots of surface variety and pentimenti.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Yesterday I pushed some paint around here and there on the 'nude in poppies',36 by 24, and now I think it's starting to take shape... It's still work in progress, but not as raw as before. And today I painted more on the copy after Titian 'Woman with a Mirror', 48 by 36. I'm finally happy with the face and overall composition; like the poppies piece it needs more TLC but as far as how it's progressed I think it's coming together. Click here to see how it started out: woman with a mirror
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
I'm in a sudden show this weekend at Circus gallery here's the info:
paintings I'm showing:
after Boucher: "L'Odalisque"
after Rembrandt: "A Woman Bathing"
position 4 and 5 from "Honey Bunny" series
gallery website: Circus Gallery
Please join us for the opening reception of Strange Ranger, a big celebratory group show. The work ranges from paintings to sculptures. The artist range from Copenhagen to LA with a couple stops in between.
Strange Ranger is curated with the help of Marie Kirkegaard and j. Reto.
Anders Brinch, David Dellagi, Christian Finne, Eske Kath, Sian Kristoffersen, Jon Stahn, Melou Vanggaard
From New York
Tim Dowse, Siebren Versteeg
Yun Bai, Scott Dove, Leandra Hinrichs, William Jolley, Mike Kuhn, Angie Lacerenza, John Luckett, Emily Mast, Alison O'Daniel, j. Reto, Alex Schaefer
Strange Ranger July 26 - August 23
7065 Lexington Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Modified summer hours Friday and Saturday 11 am - 6 pm and by appointment.
September 5, Sarah Cromarty
John Knuth, Director
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Vista Hermosa means "beautiful view" in English and this brand new park in LA really lives up to it's name. Stunning views of Los Angeles! It's downtown first new public park since 1895! (read that here: Los Angeles Times) This place is much needed in our city, and they've really done a great job here. Everyone go out, play some soccer and have a picnic! oil on canvas, 27 by 18.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
In many ways painting is like the universe and it follows the rule of entropy which says all things go from order to disorder, hot to cool, birth to death. As one paints, the palette of colors will go from just squeezed out perfect from the tube, to a beautiful, sloppy, subtly re-ordered arrangement (if you know when to stop), to a single lifeless pile of grey (if you don't). A well orchestrated tumble down a staircase. And that arrangement/tumble on your canvas hopefully expresses something of the truth that first inspired you to paint, a landscape, a person, a light, a color. But for that personal, subtle re-arrangement of the paint to happen effectively on the canvas, the palette of colors has to have a superorder so that when you start stomping all over it with your brush you get a good long period of time to mix subtle colors before entropy inevitably kicks in and the palette turns to a pile of grey.
Here's a photo my palette which to me looks like a fertile place for color to happen! This is the order I've liked the colors lately which I got from seeing Grace's palette, a slight shift from my old order of colors. Before I paint, I save the strong piles of color and clear off and consolidate the old piles of grey, oftentimes I do this the day before when I'm done painting. Then when starting to paint, with clean brushes I mix tints of the colors in ample piles, it only takes a few minutes and always pays off in the end... to me this is like stringing your guitar and tuning it, or getting your ingredients prepared before you cook an omlette. It's hard enough to play a guitar, try to play one out of tune with the strings randomly strung!
There has to be order before beautiful dis-order can happen!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
I worked more on the painting of Grace in the aquamarine dress, I was working on it earlier in the day than I did yesterday and I liked the sunlight behind her and on the ground. I want to put the trunk of the avocado tree in as a nice grey-violet dark but I want to wait for what's underneath it to dry a little. I'm happy with it so far! A lovely mess and I think very sunshine-y! I was debating whether to blur it out again, but I'll trust you the viewer will just >squint< your eyes and enjoy! ^_^ oil on canvas, 40 by 30 inches
Monday, July 14, 2008
Today was some painting outdoors in the backyard. Yesterday Grace and I agreed to sit and pose for each other to start some new paintings. I sat for her and she sat for me. We both consider these paintings to be 'in progress' and will work more on them, but here they are so far... Since I've only painted on my portrait without my glasses, I'm going to post a blurred image so you can see it how I see it as I'm working on it... otherwise it's quite messy!! my painting is 40 by 30 inches oil on canvas, Grace is painting me 24 by 20 oil on canvas.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
I was invited by the California Art Club to paint landscapes at the Kidspace Museum in Pasadena. When I was a kid this was the type of place I would have LOVED, in fact I even loved it today! They have fun interactive gardens and science exhibitions, a place to learn and play! I was there to paint "plein air" and talk about what I was doing. It was fun to paint a little goofy and let the kids put paint on the canvas. We collaborated on all these! It's important to remember that art is FUN!!!
Monday, July 7, 2008
I finally got around to photoshopping pictures from Colorado and wanted to post them here. The North Fork guest ranch is totally amazing and fun! Here's some shots of me enjoying some of the activities, doing well at riding, fishing, shooting, painting, failing at line dancing, plus a great picture of the family!
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Yesterday was a busy day! I was at First Street Studios from 5 to 8 painting portraits and enjoying all the cool people, the light there was really nice and it was fun to paint outdoors. I painted three portraits and did a pen sketch. I sold two of them and didn't get a photo, but I hope they'll send me them in my e-mail! Here's a shot of one of the kids I painted, he had a nice hat on.
Then I went to the Hive Gallery and painted two more portraits, one of Amy the face painter with her artwork all over her face, and one of Grace. The lighting and color at the Hive is a little dull and hard to paint, but it all ads to the challenge! After I painted their portraits, I let my models paint me! So here are portraits yours truly by Amy and Grace. I really like Grace's! Nice strong colors and thick, juicy paint!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
I'm still working on this one. The 48 by 36 inch size is fun and challenging! Over the last three days I've gone from likeing it to despising it to liking it again. I'm not even going to bother to post how it looked yesterday! Awful! Today, with an overwhelming attitude, I was able to find the essence and energy again and here's the progress. Still needs more TLC but the design and spirit is there.
Don't forget to read the post below and come to my shows if you can!