Archive for September, 2010

The sailmaker

The sail maker. or the sail makers daughter, I haven’t figured out which it will be. I lean towards the latter. Sounds like a movie. Anyway it’s one of a series that I’m sending up to Walls gallery in Wilmington, a great gallery with two of the best owners you could ever know. They said, “enough with the landscapes already, please send us some figurative (narrative) work”. I had this image in my back pocket waiting to do something with it. It has all the components I like, busy vs rest, a lot of information against one small moment of something involving the human element, in our time, not 100 years ago. I finished it last week before my workshop in Richmond and today looking at it I decided to glaze down the background a bit with some asphaltum and a little french ultramarine blue to neutralize it plus a mix of Galkyd light and grumtine, a pure thinner, to make the glaze. this is the stuff I like doing. It’s not pretty art, no sunsets, no water. But it has a thing, it tells a story.

There’s a bit of a triad going on with the sail maker lady and the windows. The light makes a nice diagonal down to the back window, the sail is a flowy counterpart to all the geometric things in the background. And then there’s the warm vs cool thing, warm light in the background, cool daylight for balance. Love the little sailboat in the foreground. Also there’s a subtriad going with the 3 little sailboats in the image. Balance, baby, that’s what it’s all about.


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more new stuff

Another 30×30, painted on site. It was smelter swelter out there for this one, I was sweating so profusely it was dripping from the brim of my hat into my paints. I used the man-easel, the beauport from ASW.com because of the larger sized canvas. It’s one of the most affordable easels going and can take a canvas up to 40×50, only downside is that it’s cumbersome to carry being nearly the size and weight of a bag of golf clubs. Setting it up is a little like putting a bike together on christmas eve but once set up it’s as sturdy as a rock in a wind storm.

These bigger pieces are usually one pass on site, keeping it loose, with a second pass a few days later. Since I couldn’t get back to the site, I used a shot I had taken to fill in the details and a few years of compostional experience to move things and push and pull.

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fresh from the easel

Just finished this 30×30, part of a new series of more narrative pieces. It’s from a trip to Cortez near St. Pete a few years back. I’ve been wanting to do more paintings of our times, people doing what they do, hopefully without artifice (women in billowy dress on the beach), going about their busy work lives and this scene really struck a cord. It’s a composite of a few different shots but what I like about it is a thing that is common in my work, the idea of busy vs rest.  It’s a kind of balancing act with a lot of information and the lack of it. It’s something I look for in a scene. Lots of angles, lots of space and hopefully the right mix for one to support the other. The hardest part was to paint the traps without overstating them. I painted in the masses of color where the mesh of the traps grouped up and where the ground or sky wanted to show through more and then did a back and forth of more and less mesh, sky and ground showing through untill I got the right balance. Looks pretty good for now, I’m starting another and will take another look at this when I get a chance. Peace out yo.

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10 commandments for artists

I found these on some golden tablets buried in my back yard… weird.

1) To thine own self be true.

2) Seeketh balance but avoideth the center.

3) Thou must draw before you can paint.

4) Knoweth value then form and good color shall surely follow.

5) Covet not thy fellow artists good sales for it shall only send you into iniquity.

6) Thou shalt not judge any other art form lest ye be judged.

7) Maketh not yourself into an idol.

8) Thou shalt not steal the ideas of another.

9) Work as the oxen but play as the monkey.

10) Be humble and know that sales maketh not the artist. Though it helps.

not sure why the number 8 is a smiley face…. maybe it’s a message?

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