Archive for February, 2010

West to Molokai

One more from Maui, and there will be several more coming, that I’m pretty happy with, at least in terms of composition. It’s a 16×16, which doesn’t really sound that big but it is when you are trying to paint the whole thing in an hour and a half. I started this at 4:00 pm and sunset is around 6, since I like to get all the pieces parts placed before I start really deciding to do with it, I needed to finish the block in within a fairly short time. The sky was like that for maybe ten minutes. The wind was up, the water was, at it tends to, perpetually shifting in color and texture. I got it block in and tweaked within the time limit but it needed more. This place was on the far side of the island so more than likely I wouldn’t be back at this spot during the same time. After a day or two I took the dried painting down to a local beach and set up studio under a large pine with the surf crashing nearby and repainted the whole thing from memory. I had taken pics of this day, I think but I never looked at them, just moved color and value and shape around for better effect. I like this one, it has a nice rawness to it, heavier impasto, a little more drama than usual. It didn’t sell and is coming back from the island, I’ll take another look at it and, hopefully, won’t fuss with it. We’ll see.


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Quickdraw in Hulatown

I’m back from Maui. A very long day of travel from a few parsecs away. I left last night at 8 pm Maui time and got in (after a big delay on the ground) around 5pm tonight (you also add 5 hours). That’s a lot of time sitting on airline seats. But now I have the use of all 10 fingers to post before I crash in to the deep dreamy world, and while I can still think I thought it would be good to start putting up a few. I have several from the trip I haven’t posted, the last 4 or 5 were from my iphone using the wordpress app which is very convenient but takes a lot of time to type one quarter the words. So, to catch up, here’s the hula girl quick draw from the middle of the week. We all circle up, shoulder to shoulder, around a model that someone finds and we paint away for two hours. It’s exceptionally daunting for me because I am surrounded by some great talent and I don’t want them to look over at anytime and say, “Sheeeez, I thought you could draw.” This seems to amp the pressure to perform way up and leaves a residue of panic throughout the process. Stress works against the art spirit. Plus the fact that this was an exceptionally beautiful island girl and I surely didn’t want to do her any injustice. Somewhere in the middle of the 2 hours I became painfully aware of my every move as well as all the other artists and all the standers by. It’s a lot like any sport, I’d imagine, once you start thinking about it you are doomed. It’s only when you cut right through the intellect in to the backyard of intuition that things happen.

This was not a big painting, 12×16, which made the face somewhere in the neighborhood of 3/4″x 1″. Armed with only one or two small brushes plus some big flats and filberts, I placed note after note of color on her face in all the wrong places taking the likeness farther away from the beauty and more toward the beast. But somewhere in the last 15 minutes, I stopped, took a breath and started to see. I couldn’t get much worse, but maybe I could get better. It’s only when I really look and compare all the shapes and values to one another, stop looking at the object as a thing (in this case a hula girl) and start seeing shapes and relationships, that I really start to see. I think it turned out pretty good. It was a good likeness anyway, at least as far as you know. 2 hours and change.

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Rocks are hard

A demo from this morning. Emphasis on maintaining clear separation of light and dark, top plane and side. Also a healthy amount of editing, these rocks have a lot of texture and it’s better to leave some out than it too much in. By the way, waves are hard too.

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One more from the trip. Surf was way up and this is a favorite spot so I did this one for me. I wasn’t going to put it in the show but I needed the sale. It’s still mine and I’ll keep it and hang it where I can look at it with fond remembrance of a wonderful island. At least until someone decides they like it more than me.

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While im waiting

To figure out where my last post went, here’s the pic to go with it. 10×12.

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Phoning it in

Here’s the next painting done for the Maui plein air event. I was painting with Randy sexton and we were looking for something foreground with mountains behind. That’s iao valley in the distance. This one got the best response and it was the simplest by far.

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A lot of events have a QuickDraw,this one has three. They want the public to know about the artists and the show. I promised myself I wouldn’t wander around looking for the thing. I saw the guard shack surrouned by trees and just started in. We had 3 hours but the weather was tricky; a half hour of overcast followed by rain and highwinds followed by ten minutes of sun. Rinse, dry, repeat.

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