Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
...but first, I have to share today's accomplishments! I think I made up for Wednesday's delinquency!
I must thank previous days of focused painting, because of course, these three paintings weren't just "whipped up" today.
This red door piece is the commissioned painting that I've been talking about and have been working on for some time. It's called "Un Mercato a Riomaggiore" (the Cinque Terre, Italy) 28"x42". It is similar to one I have painted before, but the client's interior designer, Kathy Renwick from KC Interior Design in Chilliwack, suggested a larger and longer size for her home. It was fun for me to add new scenery to make the work longer.
This tree painting (Oooo how I love them trees!) is titled "Strong, Silent Type" 16"x30" indicating the size and solidity of the cedar. I was recently reading about the giant cedars we have here in BC and some stumps have been measured at 20 feet in diameter! Further north from Vancouver in a small town, a stump has been a post office and people have even lived in them... pretty cool!
The long, thin style of "Reach for the Top" 36"x12" (left) speaks of the height that these cedars can grow to. Not as tall as the Douglas Firs in our forests, but they can still claim amazing heights.
Now, about a couple of paintings in their second stage. I guess you could technically say it's the 4th stage as: 1) I build the framed wood panel; 2) I draw the composition on the board; 3) Outline the drawing, sometimes changing where my pencil lines were with my black mixture; 4) fill in the lines with more black mixture.
I have lightened this photo a little to make it easier to see. Yes... I paint on black... it makes the colour pop out more. If you have read my past blog, it's the image I used from a photo I took sitting under the trees.
A good tip, is not to start you painting on just a plain white background. My preference is black, and because of my style, it's always black. (Unless of course, I'm experimenting trying new techniques). Try a background of red, brown or blue. Try blocking in multiple colours. Try new things!
Starting your work on white doesn't seem to give your painting as much depth and there also seems to be a bit of a mental block when starting on something that's such a pristine, untouched canvas or board.
This is the cedar stump (or tree base):
I'll keep you posted on how the addition of colour comes along!
GREAT RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS:
Watch Robert Genn paint on his You Tube videos - he is full of ideas and fantastic painting tips in his newsletter - it's a MUST to subscribe to!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Today I woke up early and went to my business networking group "VBN" (bad coffee), so I went home, made a yummy cup of coffee and headed out to Surrey to pick up my Jiu Jitzu uniform (gi). I figure I can't go there anymore in a pink t-shirt and brown pants.
When I got back to Abbotsford, I walked over to my studio. I started to finish a project that I simply MUST complete (it's nice to get paid). A few paint brush strokes were made but then I started fidgeting and my mind began wondering. There's just not that much left to do, but boy can I find excuses to do other things.
In my first successful attempt today to avoid making art, I flipped through Julia Cameron's book and this comic seemed to fit the bill pretty good:
Then the studio started getting kind of warm and uncomfortable. I guess I could open the windows... yes, yes... that could take up some time. Besides, the morning light has already moved and changed:
Ok. Windows opened, fresh air... A few more brush strokes on said painting, but boy what a mess in here! It is amazing what I can collect and keep 'just in case'.
And that's just what kind of day it's been.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Then there's my bff Ms Barbara Jane's Superman who has a band, Wichita Trip who I went to see in Vancouver the a couple of weekends ago. Totally different style than Gabrys that added new blended flavours (ah yes, flavours...cooking is another fantastic artful analogy!) of Roadhouse Country & Honky-Tonk Rock 'n Roll.
Monday, June 16, 2008
I love my studio and can't wait to get there today. The space is more than ample, has perfect lighting and great for teaching too.
Call to come and visit: 778.241.1553
Friday, June 13, 2008
I've started 5 new paintings (2 shown here). This is what the first step looks like in my work. ACTUALLY, the VERY first step is when I make the panels in my workshop... I'll have to get some fotos of that too!
This is the above stump in my vision: It could actually be the base of a tree and not an eroded stump. Maybe next time it will look more like the above picture. Nature can always be one's own interpretation.
After my initial sketch on the board, you can see that I change my mind in some areas. When the darker black goes on, sometimes it's easier to see what I've drawn and the composition changes slightly.
This painting basic comes from a foto when I was in the park lying under the trees (a few days ago -usually best when the ground is dry or you have something underneath your bum!) Again, you can see the pencil marks, which will eventually be covered up. [You'll see, you'll see.] It's probably difficult to make out exactly what I have in mind here, but I'll show you the finished product and [hopefully] all will become clear.
Now I must be off to my studio to get working on these and the other few I have started. No, I have not forgotten about my giant tree painting [as mentioned in my first blog], but just putting it on the backburner for a while to let it stew on low heat.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I decided to do a Wikipedia search to see if anything special has happened in history and nothing says this day should be particularly good. In fact, it's pretty doomy and gloomy!
Tuesday's child is full of grace;
Wednesday's child is full of woe;
Thursday's child has far to go;
Friday's child is loving and giving;
Saturday's child works hard for a living.
But the child that is born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise, good and gay
Black Thursday refers to October 24, 1929 when stock prices on the New York Stock Exchange fell sharply, with record volume of nearly 13 million shares. Five days later, the market crashed on volume of over 16 million shares – a level not to be surpassed for 39 years. In popular imagery, the crash has come to mark the beginning of the Great Depression.
I'm stopping RIGHT here and NOW...
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Alot of my paintings have been based on this type of setting. This was taken at Mill Lake in Abbotsford. There's usually a few more people in this park... lots of dogs being walked and also lots of baby geese and goslings! Also refreshing for the spirit. Just watch out for all the geese poop!
I can't wait for some better weather soon... that means getting out of the studio and back into the woods!
Monday, June 9, 2008
When an artist (or any profession for that matter) studies their subject for enough time, it becomes second nature to draw it, talk about it, and redesign it. Sometimes it has to be ripped up, reanalyzed, and deconstructed before it takes its shape or comes into its full 'being'. Ideas and creations are like that.
Let's do a quick (and a non-exhaustive) comparion of the following:
the one on the left created in 2000, the other a few years later:
a little different technique, style and colour palette.
How about these two?
Left: early. On the right, years later:
Geez... I've doodled, sketched and painted the piano so many times over the years (never mind seeing one every day of my life while I was anchored on the bench practicing) that I could draw one in my sleep... dreams or nightmares, take your pick!
That's only getting to know your subject. Then there's the time (in hours and years) it takes an artist to know their medium... it's definitely a relationship that has its germinating and growing stages. Maybe you change or add to your medium - this is the fun part for me. But without challenge, change and growth, what IS the fun?
I wish I would have taken more pictures of the stages I've gone through to document my progress. No time like the present, and the past is only a second away. From this time on, I hope to only learn more, process the ideas the ideas that are constantly popping in and out of my head, and enjoy myself doing it -- AND take lots of pictures along the way.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
The answer? I don't really know. I don't log the hours and minutes... I'm not paid by the hour, only roughly by the square inch. So in general, size will matter in adding more time to the piece.
For example, this painting "Stand Tall" peaks at 8' x 4'. Yup, that's 96" x 48"... big. It flowed. It worked. The composition, the colours, everything just came together with little or no frustration, contemplation or hair pulling.
How long did it take? Hmmmm...
I can probably guesstimate that it took me about 3 weeks or so... maybe less. That includes building the frame that it's on (I build the panelled mahogany boards that I paint on), designing, sketching, painting, varnishing, etc. If I kept a time sheet, I'd probably lose my enthusiasm and feel like I was back at the law office I used to work at years ago.
This one (below) is driving me insane! It's the same size as the above painting only horizontal. In case you can't see my sarcastic smile, believe me... it's there and I AM going crazy trying to get this painting to come together! Of course I'm not showing you the whole picture of the painting, only the best looking bits...
It's been months and I'm still not finished - the length of time that it takes can be a frustration in itself and can produce a substantial loss of inspiration. Something else you should know is that I am not CONSTANTLY working on ONLY this piece - then I'd really go nuts. Sometimes it's good to give your next 'masterpiece' a break and get back to it later when your mind is fresher. Starting (AND finishing) a new and different project makes you feel good about yourself and your art.
So, my struggles on this piece continue and my ideas keep changing. Things will eventually come together, they always do. I have to keep telling myself to have patience, not to give up and to remember the exhilerating feeling when this monster will be finished.