Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Getting in the paint mode

I've read that many artists start each painting session with some exercises to get themselves into a "painter's mode". I've taken to grabbing a book of Man Ray celebrity photos and just doing a quick drawing. It makes me practice more realistic work and calms me. I still end up working on mostly abstract and/or non-representational stuff but the structure of the portrait seems to be a good starter. I take 5, 10, maybe 15 minutes.

This one is of a young Ernest Hemingway. That left ear is a problem. ;-)

Conte pencils

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When I'm Stuck I Steal

...or borrow or copy, whatever you want to call it. I look through my art stuff and find an artist whose work intrigues me and I'll try something similar. Most of them are dead anyway.

Alexander Calder is known for his mobiles but he went into a gouache stage (gouache is a type of opaque watercolor) and I really like the results. So I did a nice, bright, happy piece ala Calder. It's pretty big, 22" by 30" or so.

"Little Blue Leaf"

Mixed media, oil pastel crayons, gouache and acrylics

The second is a take off on Serge Poliakoff, a Russian painter of the 20th century. It's called "Some County in Iowa".

Mixed media, oil pastel crayons, gouache on matboard, 15" x 18"

Monday, January 29, 2007

I have had a helluva time...

...getting a decent photo of the 2 pieces here. The first is small, 6 x 6. The second is just so dark. But I promised I'd post something so here it is.

The little one with planet earth is called Revelation 11:18. Look it up. The hands are from a Robert Mapplethorpe photo. Irony.

Mixed media, collage and acrylics on canvas

The second is called, okay I don't have a name. I sort of like it and I'll try to get a better photo.

Mixed media, Tibetan rice paper, ink, acrylics on canvas, 16" x 12".

Monday, January 22, 2007

It's been too long...

...since I posted something here. I've been in a painter's funk. Nothing turns out right. I have failures and disasters laying everywhere. After 6 or 8 months of constant painting it seems the muse deserted me.

I finally decided to say screw it. Just paint. No preconceptions, no goals, no timelines. Just me the paper and the paint. So finally I have a couple of new things that show promise and one piece finished that I'll photograph and post tonight.

The walls of my new loft are full of my work. It is strange, for me at least, to be surrounded by things I created, paintings, photos and furniture too.

Just so that there is something visual in this post, the photo is of a small family burial plot in southern Virginia. The tombstone on the right, for a child who died after 16 days, says "Budded on earth to bloom in heaven."