Friday, February 23, 2018

Watermedia

                                                      Bryant Woods November watermedia on Yupo 14x11


                                                         Ice Fog Shadow watermedia on Yupo 14x11


 These were my successes over the last couple of weeks, and they came quickly. Others were labored relentlessly with unconvincing results. I wondered if the process with these two forests was nicely fluid through mastery or merely repetitious. My bottom line is simple, do I want to look at what I`ve done? Both of these held my attention. If I floss and brush my teeth looking at the photo of the painting I just did on my phone,  it`s a good sign I made something worthy. So I`m the guy who paints trees, I accept that.


                                                         Mountain Tower watermedia on paper 24x18


 I began this piece still enthralled with my new inks. Everything was a jeweled color for a while but it was looking more like a poster from the 60s than  a landscape. The sky was a vivid pink that I liked for a few hours before realizing how 'cheap' it looked. So one by one my brilliant colors became altered, less intense and more like me. I`m not sure what, if anything, to do next.


                                                         Poplars in a Field watermedia on Yupo 14x11


 I moved on to this motif which had intrigued me 20 years ago. Sauvie Island is one of the few places other than the coast where we can finally see some vast space. No trees or buildings in the way. I tried to remember the experience of painting plein air there in the summer. Wonderful afternoons sitting in the breezy shade, smelling the green and being deeply content. But what I painted seems more like a golf course than the sublime island I love.







 The three amigos show 'Nature Perceived' opened today at the Grants Pass Art Museum. The real party is next Friday the 2nd of March during the community monthly Art Walk. All of the illustrious artists will be present. Hope to see you there!




                                                                      Rose by Elisabeth Cline

 Another friend, Elisabeth Cline, has created a new web page dedicated to showcasing her intensely intimate portraits of roses. They are so sensual, gazing too long seems like an invasion of privacy. Take a look at her remarkable flowers.



                                                                   by Elmer Bischoff


 This is a favorite of mine by the Bay Area Figurative Movements own founding father, Elmer Bischoff. I`m so drawn to this portrait because of the gentle sensitivity of the artist. With a bare minimum of shape, color and line, he gives us a young woman of extraordinary beauty and intelligence. She stands there bearing our stares without any loss of herself. She`s busy thinking. Enlarge the image to see how casually perfect each smudge is in defining the character in her face.
Of the three heavyweights of the movement, he is the least sung. Only now am I curious, and I don`t know why. His thoughtful lyrical paintings often explore the relationships of figures within his paintings and yet they resist a narrative;


                                                                     by Elmer Bischoff

Such a great painter!



 I`m posting a picture of my leg braces to advocate for their effectiveness. John took a photo of me wearing them but it was too real. My isolated knees looked like huge pale raisins. Not pretty. But I want to report how well they work. They are called 'off loaders' and somehow they keep the bones in the knee from banging on each other. Like any medical device, they are ridiculously  expensive. My insurance covered it because John is a nurse and his union won for the nurses a humane reasonable contract. Yay unions!! That being said, I`d imagine there is a healthy market for such mechanical devices that have been used. Once the problem is solved, no one is going to even want to see these anymore. They are making a dramatic difference for me now as I wait for a new surgery.


                                                           the happy Alexander Calder home


 Here is a photo essay of the protean sculptor Alexander Calder`s home and studio. He knew how to have the best life possible by making things. That`s the secret right there. It`s not acquiring stuff but creating new things that causes happiness.


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Friday, February 9, 2018

The Storm is Coming

                                                The Storm is Coming watermedia on Yupo 11x14


 More ink play.
I was looking over my new work and there seemed to be a lot of gray and pink. Yes it`s winter and that might be the reason I`ve been craving pure clear color. February often has mild sunny weather that can make one ache for summer. I`m usually immune being winter`s cheerleader but this year I could use some rich bright color. Ink is the answer. But the stuff is intense and figuring out how to integrate it into my work is a challenge. The landscape is not full of primary colors. The piece above was once extremely saturated and cheap was the affect. When I muted it, it came alive. Probably just my lonely Nordic soul looking for my Mediterranean mate.
Here was another attempt at high keyed color;


                                                        Bryant Woods November oil on Yupo 14x11

 The last remnant of autumn in late November is so special. What color remains is isolated now and bittersweet in the dying vegetation. I love being in the wet forest at this time. If I`m warm, I have a cozy, homey intimacy with the trees as I`m walking along.
So that`s what I tried to paint but I`m not sure I got it.
Hitting that expressive unequivocal sweet spot of color just short of overkill is my goal.


She had cut my hair twice, we had walked together and she was the mother in law of our handyman Joe. But it wasn`t until I looked closely at her website did I understand who she was. I had been aware of P A Jones of Texas for a long time. Peggy now lives in West Linn and we`re buddies!


                                                                  painting by P A Jones


 My local plein air group, Las LOPAS, will be happy to have her join us. Anyone can join us! Talking shop with other painters in the cool morning sun of summer can`t be beat.


Speaking of Handyman Joe, if anyone local needs a fix it guy, he is the One! He repaired a hundred year old ceiling in my upstairs guestroom. cleaned our gutters, repaired our screen door, helped me with a framing issue in my studio, took stuff to the dump and built this sturdy little hand rail;





 I will need this after my surgery. Last year I was helpless to get down off our porches without assistance. This little addition will mean 'freedom', right when I need it most.
Joe is smart and very professional. Text me for his number. [me-503-380-4731]


                                                               Quincy Jones by Art Streiber



 If you haven`t read the profane, eye opening interview with Quincy Jones in the online magazine Vulture yet, I highly recommend it. Such a fascinating, behind the curtain look at the music industry! This guy has known everybody.


                                                                    by Richard Diebenkorn


 This is the most charming little painting I`ve ever seen by the master. I suspect it is in a sketchbook he carried on a European trip. When his wife Phyllis died a couple of years ago she donated his sketchbooks to Stanford. You can see them with this link.


                                                             Over the Sea 28 oil on panel 12x12


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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

I`ve been Painting

                                          Ice Fog at Fanno Creek watermedia on Yupo 20x13


                                    Ice Fog at Fanno Creek 2 watermedia on Yupo 20x26


                                     Ice Fog at Fanno Creek 3 oil on panel 26x24


All the news sites, including the Weather Channel, predicted it so I set my alarm for 7. By 8 I was at Fanno Creek at its confluence with the Tualatin River exulting in the ice fog. It did not disappoint!
Four paintings were born though one didn`t make it. Spectacular morning!











I bought some ink. First I did a little research and chose Higgins Fadeproof. Not many color choices but the ones they have are intense and mix nicely with watercolor and acrylic. I also purchased Daler Rowney Pro-White and it is a game changer. I`ve finally found a strongly opaque white that is water soluble. It can be used for delicate highlights that can only be obtained in watercolor through the use of a masking fluid which leaves stark unnatural edges.
I am not a happy shopper of anything so finding promising new materials is really exciting.


                                     South Pacific watermedia on paper 8x11


 My first experiment with the inks [above].


                                                Untitled watermedia on paper 6x8


                               A Day at the Coast watermedia on Yupo 26x20 [finally got it right]


                                                Untitled watermedia on Yupo 9x11


                                          Buried watermedia on watercolor board 16x12


                                                Untitled watermedia on Terraskin 13.5x8.5


                                                     Untitled watermedia on paper 8x6


 Since we were together, I`ve painted some abstractions too. I keep circling back to non-representational work to see if it`s a fit. I admire this kind of painting so much. But nope, not at all something I could sustain. I need a motif to propel me most of the time.


                                              Cliff Fissure watermedia on Yupo 26x20


 This is new and a complete mystery to me. I was trying for rock but I seem to have arrived at traumatized flesh. When I`m at the beach, it`s the cliffs and their merge with the sand that interests me. Sure I love the ocean but it keeps moving, it`s hard to hold in my mind. The Pacific Northwest is blessed with astounding headlands. The bluff that inspired this painting is at Hug Point which is rich in gorgeous rock formations. I will consider this a work in progress and resume at a later time.


                                              Camellia watermedia on paper 6x6


 To my delight and amazement, my sister in law Mary has taken up painting in her retirement! It began as a social thing but she seems to be hooked. She came by the other day to get some tips and she brought a self portrait drawing and it looked like her! I can`t do that! At my suggestion she had bought Betty Edwards` Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain and apparently absorbed it! I`m not saying she`s a prodigy, not yet. Nonetheless, it is so cool to see her excited by this. The camellia was a little demo I did while she was here.


                                               Winter Bog oil on panel 26x24


 My beloved Bryant Woods in its bleak soggy glory. This will be in the show Nature Perceived at the Grant`s Pass Art Museum Feb. 23-March 30. Joining me will be Ruth Armitage and Don Gray. Both are terrific painters and beautiful souls.


                                              Untitled landscape watermedia on paper 8x6




 See the razor blade on my work table? Me neither. This is how a day of working with watermedia begins, searching for the razor to clean off the palette. During the Portland Open Studios I do a good cleaning and even organize some. It is remarkable just how fast I can trash my work space. Not deliberately of course but through concentrating on my project. I`m beyond shame.


News;
  I didn`t win but I was a finalist to be the artist in residence at Halekala National Park! I will apply again and again until they let me stay in that crater.
  Thanks to Jeremy McWilliams, my website has been updated.
  My mini-interview on the Savvy Painter is now available. My ten minutes is near the end. It took me a week until I had enough courage to listen to my voice. What is with that? Nearly everyone has a mortal dread of hearing themselves recorded!
  I`ve been asked to teach a workshop at the Seattle Artist League this summer. This would be fun and I`ve said yes. If I can. Since this blog is all about me, let me explain.
One of the reasons I wanted a break from blogging was to grapple emotionally with my disability. By November I could see I wouldn`t even be close to my predicted Christmas full recovery. It dawned on me that my situation was as good as it would get. But then it got worse so I had MRIs of both knees. They showed that the infection had deteriorated the 'good' parts of the knees which explained the sharp new pain. So I`m scheduled to see a new surgeon and probably will need total replacements, one at a time, in both. Bring it on. Although this isn`t life threatening like cancer, it has really messed with my mental health.



                                                       

 Ever wonder how Willem de Kooning began a painting? This audacious young man from the Museum of Modern Art will show you how.


                                                           by Carola Schapals


 My new hero, Carola Schapals. She has powers of observation that are incredible and a deep understanding of both nature and architecture.


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Sunday, December 3, 2017

Really Green and a Hiatus

                            Untitled Green watermedia on Trekel watercolor gatorboard 16x12





 So part of my prize in my third place finish in the Savvy Painter Podcast Competition, was a gift certificate from Trekel Art Supplies, a company new to me. I found that they are located just north of my hometown, Fontana CA, in Hesperia. I ordered some of their watercolor paper mounted on Gatorboard. The paper was a standard Arches cold press but the idea of a stable mounting onto something sturdy appealed to me. If a painting was successful, I could varnish it and frame without a mat or glass.
 Now I`ve bought Arches blocks for decades but never found it as responsive as it is on these boards. With an abstraction especially, I really work the surface hard. The board did warp some but I think a frame will straighten it. The color was the big surprise. Luminous, almost like Yupo. Those rich colors are so satisfying to me.


                                         Fanno Creek Wetlands oil on canvas board 18x36


 This was my last completed landscape.
As usual, late autumn is full of color and structure in the wilder areas. Yesterday I walked in Bryant Woods as it drizzled and it was a sodden, glorious feast for the senses;


















                                                   Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci


 If you haven`t seen it yet, this is the newly attributed da Vinci masterpiece that just sold for a record breaking $450,000,000. The authenticity was questioned for years and I`m not sure how the experts became certain.  But if you look closely at the enigmatic expression with its otherworldly gaze, it seems to me, no one else could have done it. It is about the most arresting portrait I`ve ever seen. Its seductive power is utterly unique.


                                                                   by Tom Uttech


 My pal, Don Gray, posted an interview with our National Treasure, the painter Tom Uttech on Facebook. It is well worth a look. This man paints visceral, haunting images of the upper Great Lakes region. In my humble opinion, painting doesn`t get much better.


Speaking of Don Gray, he and Ruth Armitage will join me in a show entitled 'Nature Perceived' at the Grant`s Pass Art Museum beginning in late February. The museum suggested a show for me a couple of years ago just as I was preparing an exhibit for the Coos Art Museum. Not wanting to tie up a whole lot of work again, I asked if my buddies could join me. It will be an interesting show. Ruth is doing some dynamic abstractions based on aerial views of her family`s farm, while Don sways between representation and expressionist abstraction. Nature will be interpreted with inventive loving attention.


Finally, I`ve decided to take a break from writing this blog. Regular visitors will have noticed the long gaps between posts. For the first time in nine years I feel like I don`t have much to say. Rather than post half hearted stuff, I`m just going to leave for awhile. As I`ve mentioned, it is not only a promotional tool but has become somewhat of a journal too. This aspect is important to me. The best part is the friends it`s given me, both locally and beyond. I never expected that or that anyone would actually read it. I thought people would just look at the pictures like John does. Yet I`ve heard the kindest commentary on my writing. Thank you.
I will still post new work here;

Randall David Tipton Facebook Studio Page
Instagram @ randalldavidt
Pinterest 'My Own Work'
and on my new blog for sales
Work for Sale in my Studio

I`ll be back sooner than later!





Let`s be like this monkey, gentle!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Before the Snow

                                                   Before the Snow oil on canvas 24x20


 It wasn`t my intention to create a tonalist painting, but it was as if Emil Carlson was whispering in my ear to slow down and use smaller brushes. Coax the image into life. This was another failed painting that I knew I would fool around with again some day. Saturday was the day. I had squeezed random blobs of color, white and clear thick painting medium on the piece. Then I squeegeed them all over the canvas mixing them up in the process. What I had then was an amorphous misty void. Here and there I saw elements of its former life and began to emphasize areas using transparent color. It was more assembled than painted and the palette had to be cold. Maybe because it`s November. It is based on the soggy marsh forests on Minto-Brown Island.


                                                Rainforest Autumn 4 oil on canvas 20x16


 This also became tonalist in my effort to tweak it toward vitality.



                                              Cascade Head Spring watermedia on Yupo 12x39


 There it was, impossible to ignore! An announcement that the Saavy Painter Podcast was having a competition and online exhibition. Reasonable entry fee, and no shipping or framing issues due to it`s digital nature. I thought it was a perfect opportunity to enter a couple of oddly shaped paintings. Cascade Head Spring won third place! Yay me! Nice prizes and a mini interview for the podcast. That`s perfect with my fear of public speaking. The exposure for my work will be considerable too.
You can see the show here.

I was feeling very lucky at the end of Oct. and also applied to be the first artist in residence at Hakeakala National Park on Maui. One month inside the crater! My only competition is the rest of the whole world. Open to all disciplines and nationalities.  I slaved over my proposal letter.

And I submitted for an award from the Santos Foundation for artists of merit. I thought why not? can`t win unless you enter! I also saw that they had extended the deadline. That means they were short of applicants.

 I learned a long time ago to give efforts like these my whole attention during the application process and then forget about it. Usually works unless I want something badly.
I need to be in that crater.







Within all of the reports surrounding this necessary purge in sexual harassment claims and denials, I found this quote to live by "if a woman wants to see your penis, she will ask".
As for gay predators, shame on you! You are not excused because you`ve been denied full acceptance. Your homosexuality is not a shield for you to hide behind.
When power is used to sexually coerce it`s just wrong, we all know it.



                                                                    MatthewDibble


 Matthew Dibble is an artist I`ve admired a long time. He shows with Saatchi Online as I do and I`ve watched his career expand with interest. He works hard and every painting I`ve ever seen has something exciting about it.

Too much thinking can be an obstacle for me when painting; the ‘judge’ always seems to get in the way. My connection can only be found in the moment, and I often come back to a sense of my feet on the floor while painting. During these moments some real work is possible…. As artists, we do much better trying to keep things simple. We do better to compare ourselves solely to ourselves. Self-inventory is useful, while self-condemnation is not. Without calling our whole identity into question, there are inquiries that we can fruitfully ask. How am I developing as an artist? Am I doing the work necessary for me to mature? Did I work today? Yes? Well, that’s good. Working today is what gives us currency and self-respect. There is dignity in work. —Matthew Dibble



                                                              painting by Matthew Dibble



                                                           painting by Matthew Dibble



                                                             painting by Matthew Dibble

 He`s terrific, yes?



                                           Fanno Creek Fall watermedia on paper 16x12


 This seemed like a dud a couple of years ago, now I like its wistfulness.



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