My First Art Opening

The painting continues...time is moving quickly these days...

Monday, January 24, 2011

Degas, you Magnificent Bastard!

Impressionist or Post Impressionist, whatever you may place him, his work is amazing.
I go to used book sales and pick up art books if I can. I saw one on Degas and for $3 figured I couldn't loose.
He was very interested in moments, small and subtle moments of reality.
I love this painting of the horse track. The subject is of the racers sizing each other up before the race. The whole scene glows with an either early morning or late afternoon light. They are probably trotting around on grass and I like how Degas made the choice to make the ground golden instead of green (it may very well have been golden like California gets in the summer).
He took great care in laying out his paintings. In every one you will find no error in perspective or proportion, which is amazing.
I admire his use of contour and color. Some say that many of his paintings are cold and aloof, but this one is warm and expressive.

Montessori Progress

I had a productive Sunday on this one and am almost finished.
I think that the window shutters are too light, even though they are in direct sun. They should be more blue-green and contrast a bit more from the stucco wall.
The curtain in the window is something that I made up. It needs a crisp shadow line to make it believable.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Things in the Basement

It was a wet Portland weekend and I managed to sneak in some painting time.
Saturday I managed to do the layout on canvas for the Casa Di Bambini painting while I "watched" for the kids. My daughter did some drawing with me while I sketched.
Later, during a lull in family activity, I did the under painting for the "Bambini" and set it aside to dry.
At another break, while the kids were watching a movie, I re painted the Civic Stadium painting sky. While I liked the green color, it just wasn't working for me as the sky. I kept looking at it and could not love it. I think that if the whole painting was more abstract, say with a red sky and green stadium, it would have worked as a piece. Now it is a simple blue sky with a bit of the green coming through, which adds a nice depth to it.
I was too spent to take any photos this time.

My studio is in the basement, so that is where the paintings live. I go in to visit them even if I can't do any painting. There is a conversation going on between me and the canvas, trying to decide how they want to be.
When I have more than one painting going at the same time the conversation is even more interesting. I love being surrounded by work in progress.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Casa di Bambini

This is the start of a small commission for a painting of the original Montessori school, started by Maria Montessori, in Rome.
Google Maria Montessori if you want the story on the school.
The patron is an ex-girlfriend from New Jersey who is starting a Montessori school.
She wanted to purchase a painting from the Marysville series that was already purchased, so she came up with an idea to do a painting of the original school.
We pieced together some photos and this is what I came up with. I will use it as a guide, but it is kind of a nice drawing on it's own.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Civic Stadium

Here are a few detail snap shots of the current painting.
It is coming together nicely, but there was something about the orange background that made the painting more powerful.
I do need to try more expressive use of color in future stuff.
I came very close to finishing the painting, but ran out of time and steam for that matter.
I did a bit of editing of the subject for this painting. In actuality, there are tree branches, a bunch of bike racks and the red tent is actually forest green, but none of that was working.

I specifically did not paint in an all blue sky. The green is something that I made up.

I need to do the people, the stadium seating and the fence pickets.

Here is what my palette looks like after a day of painting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dreams and Revelations

I awoke from a dream last night in a state of profound enlightenment, or so it felt at the time. The dream that I had been having was an elaborate mystery acted out by friends and acquaintances.

This was the first of three dreams that I had.

The next had something to do with art and the third I really can’t remember, but they all seemed to relate and left me lying in a bit of a sweat. This is not the first 3AM revelation that I have had, but it was pretty intense.

As with most dreams they make much less sense now than they did while experiencing the dream. What I do know is that when I woke up for the first dream I had a profound realization that there is so much to explore in life and in art.

Lying awake at 3:00 AM I felt the desire to write a novel, which would be based on friends and acquaintances and would weave a mystery of unexpected twists and turns. The story would take place in the city, perhaps a morphed Portland or other place.

My thought was then that perhaps I should write a new great American novel. I somehow managed to think that somehow I could use my life as the basis for an interesting story that would somehow connect my generation.

Waking from the next dream left images of artwork and an art scene that I am not yet apart of. While creating my own original art work, I managed to create some paintings that copied fragments of other artists work. I don’t know why I was doing this exactly, but it did engender some ideas that have not yet fully formed in my mind.

Architecture, usually urban in nature, is always a part of my dreams. I do get into a lot of detail about what the city around me looks like. Some of it is bright and new and some is old and dark, but there is always a sense that this is the stage set of my life.

I am fully awake now and attempting to solve the problem of water infiltration from below and existing concrete slab. This is not really what I want to be doing with my life. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy being an architect, I do, and I think that it works for me. Having the professional life and the artist life are not mutually exclusive and, in fact, each will enhance the other.

I am tired because I woke up three times last night, but I am left feeling like there are things to do. I don’t feel overwhelmed, just energized.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

I have had a bad cold for the past week, including New Years Eve. It has been making me very tired and I have not had the energy that I usually have to paint, but I did it anyway.
Today was good and I managed to get the layout completed as well as the majority of the under-painting.
I like this scene because of the vertical line of the mast and the curve of the stadium roof.
I also like the sense of scale that you get from the people at the bottom of the frame. The sky is the usual Portland blue, but I am hoping to do something a little different with it.
This painting is 30" x 40" and it is good to be working big again.