I am moving studios. Little painting is getting accomplished but ideas continually swirl. Before I began the studio switch I finished quite a number of paintings on paper. There isn't a ton of paint on them but there is vibration and color. Appreciation is one thing but mimicking is another. Of course there are always influences but to integrate them into a natural way of working is key. I think with these paper paintings I have hit on something. They are interesting and my own. They must stand for themselves because they are a bit different than my hero's paintings and so they can't use those as a crutch. I think that is why they are on paper honestly. I need to make the leap to canvas (I did one). I will post some of the paper paintings soon and hopefully paintings on canvas won't be far behind.
Second semester begins soon. I have been working in my studio trying to get a hold on my work. I have been reading about Pierre Bonnard in a new book. He says there is something to surrendering to the picture rather than nature. I agree. He painted a lot from memory. I like that too, but I feel I need the right amount of information from life to create my images. I have been sketching with graphite and then using watercolor on top of that then neocolor crayons on top of that. This process seems to give the information I need to make a painting. I have also recently watched some interviews of Wolf Kahn. He says he trys to get away from description. That is helpful for me too. It seems counter-intuitive for a representational artist to get away from description but I think this is what Bonnard means by surrendering to the picture.
The colors look awful in these pictures, sorry about that.
Excited about this one. Back on canvas. A lot of scrapping with palette knife. I am getting quite a bit of flattening while maintaining illusion. The painting looks better in life than in this photo. I used a crayon underneath (and a bit on top) - Caran d'Ache Neocolor, they are awesome.
A couple images for today. I will give a little more specifics to what I am doing. I have been sifting through my thoughts for a more solid direction. Most recently I have been thinking about the work of Ivan Chermayeff. He is best known for his graphic design work but he also makes artwork too (search him on artsy.net). I am beginning to find a link between artwork/artists I find most interesting. Fairfield Porter: simplification into shapes that sometimes meld into each other though still reading as realism, Richard Diebenkorn: The picture plane is broken into large and small shapes and is well balanced, Matisse: Particularly the Morocco paintings, the composition comes first and in this way the painting is quickly read even though large. These are just a few examples. So this is what is going into my work. I am arranging still life objects - common objects like Morandi but I am arranging them in an unconventional way as a step to abstraction. Then I paint/draw/collage in a way to maintain connection to observation, through either contours or colors or shapes, while trying to make an almost purely abstract composition (obviously pure abstraction won't happen but I like the play between the two). I want the simplification of shapes to be based on close observation and not on something so general as making a "simplified mug shape" for example. This is the connection I find interesting with these artists - How the shapes work together to create a easily read composition.
These are somewhat in chronological order, left to right and top to bottom. Browse through the images, let me know if you have any comments/questions.
This is my first blog post. I want to show my art work through this blog to get some feed back and keep people up to date on what I am doing. I am going to show images and write brief overviews of what I am doing. The next few images will be some of the first I have made at grad school to catch people up with what I am doing. The simplest way to describe what I am doing right now is to say that I am interested in a discussion between abstraction (particularly due to the limitations of materials) and observation.