Monday, December 01, 2014

Watercolors? Make it a large Palette.

For oil painters, the idea of limited palettes is well ingrained. All you need is a warm and cool of each of the primaries and a white and you are basically good to go. This is something artists who start out in oils tend to want to migrate with them to watercolors. You wouldn't think of it for pastels of course, but somehow watercolors are seen as closer to oils in a manner.



That is not exactly true. As a matter of fact there is more in common between pastels and oil paints than with oil paints and watercolors. Mostly pastels and oil paints are used in opaque applications, while watercolors are transparent.



That is the key. It is well known that the more you mix colors, the less vibrant and more muddy they become. In the case of transparent watercolors, I prefer no mixing on the palette at all. If any mixing needs to happen, it is better for that to happen on the paper so that their vibrancy remains intact. That is why I have an embarrassingly large color collection on my palette. I admit that I rarely use more than a few at a time, but I like to have them there ready for use any time I needed them.



The less one mixes watercolors the more these colors reward you in the end. I understand that many of the colors on my palette are not single pigment colors. Some are mixes in their own right, but a color-man's mixture in the milling or composing process is very different from an artist's mixture. One is calibrated and ends up in a consistent product, the other is done in the heat of the painting process.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Letter from the edge II

Recently I have come to understand the landscape as a metaphor for emotion and mood. I actually always knew that, but in my effort to interpret the physical, I had been unable to leap beyond the scene and into the pure interpretation of the metaphor. The trees got in the way so to speak.

Looking back I can see that my work has always been close to leaping into the metaphor. I have always shunned photo-realism and even in my realist style, I tended away from copying nature. It doesn't need it.

Something was missing though. As I started seeing the landscape designs repeating and interpretive techniques becoming a routine, I needed more. I needed my paintings to stop aping the late 19th Century realist/impressionist art and move on. I needed my art to be mine. 

So where to now? I am not sure. I am in my studio working on watercolors and acrylic pieces. I have chosen not to review them yet so once I am done with them they go face down and out of sight. I need to do this. I need to have a couple of dozen done before I lay them out and see what they are telling me. To have a map for where I am going. I know that wherever that place is or that road leads, some will like it and others will not. I, already feel freed. I need to go there. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Directions from the edge.

Perhaps incubation is a good thing for artists. I don't know. This time when you feel a lot is bubbling up but the brush is not cooperating and the studio stove has been cold for a while.

I am fed up with the idyllic pastoral landscape... I think. I am attracted to abstraction, to minimization to economy, but is that selling out? Can I pull it off? Is it another long journey that I am starting and do I have to start at the beginning?



I want to break free. I will break free from the confines of the norm. I never meant to be in the normal, in the main stream of art. I always felt I belonged on the edges. I like edges. Unsafe as they are, they are what you can  push against. There is nothing to push against in the middle.

Steven Daedalus I am not. More like a Leopold if you have to peg me, but my mind is racing far beyond the present art that I am doing. It is not satisfying. I need to do more daring things.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Virtual Exhibition Coming Back Soon!

OK, yes I admit,  I have not been posting my art lately as frequently as I used to. But I have not dropped off the face of the art world and my brushes have not been dry either.

Do you enjoy visiting art galleries, but find that they are too far from where you are or that you don't have the time or maybe the energy to get to one this season? In  the past I have enjoyed putting together an online exhibition event that looks and feels like a real gallery visit, albeit a virtual one. It involves virtual framing, and virtual hanging of actual paintings that will go on sale during the exhibition.

The exciting thing about exhibitions, is that you expect to see works that you have not seen before and you expect them to be of a standard that merits your time and attention.



I am  working on just that right now. A virtual exhibition that will start on the first week of November and go to the end of the month. It will include only new works that have never been seen before, and the works will be priced to sell fast and just in time for the holidays.

I am hard at work to put this together, but I am also open to suggestions and ideas. What would you like to see? What price range would you like to have (no commitments I just want to know what people expect to pay nowadays)? If you have seen any of my virtual exhibitions before, what did you like/not like in them and what would you suggest that I can do to make them better?

In short, I am asking for your help to make this upcoming exhibition a success. Will you help me?


Saturday, August 09, 2014

Florida Sky

I spent a couple of weeks in Orlando absorbing the summer sun and heat. I love it!
I was completely taken by the Florida skies and the billowing clouds that form every afternoon. They are amazing. Full of vigor and life and yes a LOT of water.

I sketched a few sunsets, and these lead to Gathering Storm, a 14"x10" Watercolor (below). I hope there will be more from this trip. I just need to let my mind digest what I saw.

Gathering Storm, watercolor 14"x10"
Gathering Storm, a 14"x10" Watercolor

Monday, June 09, 2014

Twilight Gold, Oil on panel 12"x10"

I did this one outdoor on Saturday. I always forget to take work-in-progress shots, but this time I remembered. It is always fun to share these but also a great way to learn what you are doing. In the heat of the moment you don't really get to analyse every step you take. These step by step shots are great help. 

Here to start is the final after a few minor studio adjustments

Twilight Gold, Oil on panel 12"x10"


And here are the in progress shots. Sorry they are not that great but that is all I could do with my iphone.
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