Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fanno Creek Marsh and renewal

                                  Fanno Creek Marsh oil on cradled panel 20x20

  I`ve only seen a small section of Fanno Creek, it suddenly is visible then disappears into suburban neighborhoods. Still feeling like a newcomer to the westside, there are many things that remain a mystery. The part I do know in Tigard, is lovely. This time of year it is flooding its banks just before joining the Tualatin River. This marshy area isn`t real accessible but wonderful sights reward those willing to get their shoes muddy.
 Complete in one day because I was excited, inspired, and bolstered by my trip to California. This is such a tangible benefit to travel! Given a different perspective things make more sense, priorities become clearer, decisions are made, resolutions are committed to and if it was fun, we return to our 'real' lives enthused and refreshed. This is so predictable for me, I try to go somewhere else whenever possible.
 This is how I did an oil painting in one day; first of all, I paint thin and in layers. If I can get into the studio in the morning, using Winsor Newton Liquin, mineral spirits and Winsor Newton Alkyd White in my process, I can lay down an atmospheric color base. Alkyds are quick drying and compatible with standard oil paints and mediums. After a walk, when I return to the studio, my under painting is nearly dry. Now I add some shapes and a few marks that look good to encourage my resolve. They are usually temporary. When I finally have a big block of time in the evening, again it`s a tacky dry which is my favorite consistency to work with. Now come a bunch of little experiments with  most of them removed. Often it`s just a small stroke or a random color that unlocks the image and it soon unfurls into being. If I`m lucky, like with this one.
 Here`s what I use;

 Lots of house painter brushes for blending, many tools for removal such as Q-tips and scrapers and little bowls to mix liquid color for pouring.
 Here are some more Fanno Creek Wetlands;

                                                    oil on canvas 30x48

                                                    watercolor on Yupo 26x20

                                                           oil on paper 9x12

 The abstract expressionist/color field painter Barnett Newman once said sculpture was something you bumped into as you back up to look at a painting. It is ironic that he created the 20th century masterpiece, Broken Obelisk.

 Sculpture usually doesn`t draw me in unless it`s made by a genius like Calder or Martin Puryear.
Take a look at Puryear`s 'Greed`s Trophy';

 This is in MOMA, it`s huge and delicate and commands your attention as it flares out from the wall. He was a Peace Corp volunteer in Africa and learned traditional craft techniques that he uses in his poetic modernist work.

 I was looking for new checks the other day and found a stack of drawings some co-workers at Assaggio did of me. Waiters are a talented bunch of people who have to keep busy even in the down time. Only one was an artist. My temper, sexuality and dislike of heat are duly noted.

 I thought this little interview with the legendary Joan Mitchell was terrific!

 My beautiful husband [!] turns 50 on Monday!

 work for sale in my studio


Maureen said...

The Fanno Creek paintings are beautiful, especially together, as is that poem.

Happy Birthday to John!

Puryear is one of my favorites. He was born in D.C. His new work looks back to the Phrygian cap from the French Revolution. He used red cedar that he painted red.

Lake said...

Your blog just gets better and better.

Happy Birthday to John! Lookin Good!

Thanks for the link to other artists. I love the work of the sculptor, Puryear.

Mitch said...

Fanno Creek continues to be a well of inspiration for you, and your latest one here is exquisite!
Does John get to hear about the birthday wishes on your comments? Any big plans?

As for the comments by the staff at Assaggio, I do not recognize the person they are referring to as "bitchy". In all the times I have met you, you have been welcoming, humble, gentle, generous and kind. Is it just that painting suits you so much better than waiting?