Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rainforest Bog 2

                                                         watermedia on Yupo 26x20
Another piece that came from a walk along Tryon Creek a couple of weeks ago. Obviously not real literal, I was more interested in boggishness.
My web page is updated with images up to the end of 2013. Once again, Jeremy McWilliams did a beautiful, prompt and affordable job. Sometime in the last year, I noticed Scott Gellatly `s site had expired and suggested he contact Jeremy. He did and now it`s fresh and current! J. M. is a pleasure to work with!
It was bound to happen. There is now an app that does watercolors better than anyone!

Available Work in the Studio

Monday, January 27, 2014

South California

                                                                   watercolor 6x6
                                    Painted in Oregon before my trip to the Coachella Valley.
I left my home state of California so long ago I never miss it. Until I am there. Our visit to Palm Springs brought back some happy memories. I briefly lived there 34 years ago and I grew up 60 miles away. It was so sweet to be near the hulking giants San Jacinto and San Gregornio again. These were icons to me as a kid. Visible only when the Santa Ana Winds blew the smog away. California has cleaner air now and I think is a better place than when I left. Walking in the foothills, canyons, oasis, and washes of the desert was like being with an old friend. See what I saw;

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Rainforest Bog

                                                        watermedia on Yupo 20x26

 This happened on the weekend and I like it. I`ve had a bunch of stinkers lately so having something I want to study feels good. On a walk along Tryon Creek last week I had a look at a small bog from a trail above it. The water was clear and the mud underneath was visible. Without leaves on the trees the sky was reflected and the surviving winter plants were glowing. The view was spatially very complex and ambiguous. Painting it required layering which is a tricky task on Yupo. When I had as much watercolor transparency and incident as the 'paper' could hold, I dried it slowly and vigilantly with a hairdryer. Then I sealed it up with Krylon Matte Finish and dried that thoroughly. Next was a coating of acrylic matte medium which also completely dried. The result was a chaotic watercolor entombed in plastic. Now I went in with translucent acrylics, using soft brushes, and knitted the thing into a whole.
 We`re about to travel to Palm Springs for a short and sweet 'honeymoon'! Never in my life did I expect to use that word for myself. The lesson to me is to never give up on humanity. An impulse deep inside wants us to grow past our animal origins and 'tribal' loyalties toward something better.

available work in the studio

Friday, January 17, 2014

Over Utah + Jonathan Apgar

                                                  Over Utah watermedia on paper 48x36

 In 1990 I flew from my home in New Mexico to the Northwest for a visit. I had a pocket sketchbook with me and did the drawing  somewhere over Utah. The juxtaposition of the geometry in the agriculture against the organic eroding landscape, fascinated me. The painting was one of many large watercolors I did in Chimayo NM.
 I`m posting this because I`ve been knee deep in my annual website update. For some reason this is never simple and takes way too much time. And I`m having old slide images transferred to CD so I can view them again. To my dismay, I found out many were already losing color though they had been stored properly. Listen up painters! if you want a lasting record of older work, get those slides  transferred as soon as you have time to sort through them. I had no idea they would deteriorate so quickly. Picture Perfect in the John`s Landing neighborhood of Portland did a quick, quality job for me at a great price.
 Last weekend I stumbled on the work of Jonathan Apgar on Pinterest and it stunned me. Although completely abstract and painterly, they seem to have spatial qualities we see in the landscape with divisions created by casual patterns and biomorphic shapes. Often the paintings are dense with strokes in odd and original colors. There is a haunting character to these massive works, take a look. On his generous website, he even shows a tutorial on building stretcher bars! I asked him if I could post some of his images and he was kind to agree.

                                                    Two Heads Black Stripes oil 94x69
                                                                  Jonathan Apgar
                                                 Myth of Redemptive Violence oil 96x84
                                                                   Jonathan Apgar
                                                                Cabal oil 114x84
                                                                 Jonathan Apgar

available work in the studio

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nebbia Invernale

                                                                  oil on Yupo 8x26

 Again, Google translator cuts through the title dilemma! Winter Fog in any language! Why didn`t I think of this earlier?
 January can be so mundane, I love it. It`s peaceful again and a good time to figure things out.

available work

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Novembre Studio Foresta

                                                           watercolor on Yupo 6x7.75
This was painted in November with many other more convincing rainforests. A fantasy wackiness came through early and I didn`t fight it. This was another. Sort of an Anime look where something is about to happen.

available work in the studio

Monday, January 6, 2014

Wetlands Studies

                                                         #2  oil on canvas paper 6x6
                                                                #1 oil on Yupo 5x5

 I`ve had some frustrating sessions lately with one large piece so irretrievably bad it had to be cut into pieces. After working for hours, it`s an unhappy sense of accomplishing nothing at the end of the day.
Such is life, with luck we wake up to new opportunity. To regroup and regain some confidence, I`ll do something tiny. These are my first successes of 2014!
 I`ve mentioned my infatuation with Pinterest before and my love only deepens. Never before has it been possible to see such a diversity of art so conveniently, and it`s easy to join if you have a Facebook account. The poster Kintsugi has an amazing, vast collection of paintings, crafts and natural phenomenon. His/her 'boards' on Aboriginal Art are encyclopedic in scope, and there is one on my work too!

available work in my studio

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Yellowstone Geothermal

                                                          watermedia on Yupo 20x20

My final painting of 2013.
 One of the most striking aspects of the geothermal fields in Yellowstone, is the stark contrast between the jewel like beauty of the pools with the devastated landscapes they create. Scenes of 'natural' violence and death surround these gorgeous, seductive waters. I read that tremors underground shift the access of the scalding water and suddenly whole forests have roots that are boiled alive! We joked more than once that it`s tough to be a tree in Yellowstone. Yet in some places, grasses colonize the areas very close to the water. Life will find a way.
 I was asked to list the colors pictured on my new palette in the last post. Since it was a true shopping spree, I couldn`t remember them all and had to look at the receipt;
Titanium White [I use lots of this to create translucency and to add 'liftability' to other colors]
Ivory Black
Payne`s Gray
Cobalt Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Compose Blue
Emerald Green Nova
Cobalt Green
Terre Verte
Cerulean Blue
Compose Green #2
Cadmium Orange
Mars Violet
Cadmium Red Orange
Yellow Ochre
Shell Pink
Jaune Brillant #1
Permanent Yellow Lemon
Naples Yellow
Permanent Yellow Deep
Golden Earth
Cadmium Red Medium
Hansa Yellow Light

 Now I don`t think for a minute all of these are necessary, this purchase was therapy.
 In 1985, when I worked with Diebenkorn, I was painting tonalist abstractions; lots of murky grays and browns. He pointed to the edges of my palette where the fresh, vibrant tube colors were, then to the center where I was mixing my mud, and asked "which would you rather look at?"
That was effective teaching!

work in the studio

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year Alders

                                                            watermedia on Yupo 9x6
Nature rewards the adaptable not necessarily the strong or even smart. I see this constantly when painting. If I can tolerate the feelings of uncertainty, even failure, and stay with the process, my hopelessness can turn to joy in an instant. Or really get mired down. But then, it`s easier to walk away having fought the good fight.
With all the blessings of the past year, I hope to be a lighter being in 2014. My anxiety is no longer protective. During the studio tour, someone asked me what my favorite watercolor brand was. Without hesitation, I said Holbein. Later I realized I only had two tubes of it. In colors I couldn`t get in a cheaper version. Now I`ve always used lightfast archival materials but a higher level of quality affects the experience. Makes it more sensual and satisfying. I can afford it now so I bought all new colors from Holbein and put them in a fancy new palette;
Since life does seem short, at least to us in the second half, I hope to notice that struggles can end too.

work in the studio