Sunday, August 20, 2017
Video from the NY Times by Jason Schmidt
From sketch to explosion, a close look at the artist Cai Guo-Qiang's process.
Since 1984 he has created over 1,000 works with gunpowder.
|Light Effects, oil on canvas 48 x 36 inches|
The background was also laid in with strong colors but as the painting progressed over the last few months, what remained was the strong lighting at the top as the the strong colors in the background were toned down, causing them to recede.
All of these moves were done to improve the painting rather than create a more realistic scene. This is what makes painting enjoyable for me - trying to get more out of the artwork with a variety of strategies.
During the last painting session today the lighter areas began to take the lead. I made the sky brighter and insured that the glow travelled down into the background. Once more light and shadow variations were added to the grasses below, the entire painting fell into place. After a lot of patient trials, this forest came to life with color, atmosphere and in a somewhat abstract way.
I really like those original dark trees with their high contrast and the motion they give to this work.
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Monday, August 14, 2017
In this 6 minute video, Jim Carrey he discusses much and his works are very revealing. It's always interesting to hear artist's motivations.
From the video:
"What you do in life chooses you. You can choose not to do it. You can choose to do something safer.'"
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Monday, August 7, 2017
|New Work: Glittering Forest, oil on canvas, 48 x 36|
This painting went through 5 or 6 big changes and once the composition came together, I declared it finished, photographed it and declared it a good day.
When I returned to the studio the next morning, it was apparent that something had been lost along the way. As it often happens, I think my just-finished oils are really good until the next day.
That's OK, because it's an opportunity to take the painting further, and I jumped right in with much brighter colors. Since I was painting over a slightly duller background, those brights began to sing! Additional colors were added to the mix and while I was putting on the last strokes, the title came to me, Glittering Forest!
Saturday, August 5, 2017
|Green Dream II oil on canvas, 48 x 48 inches $8950 framed|
Sometime you just want to push the color! This is a larger version of the 24 x 24 oil on panel that was created from a 'mistake.' I really liked the smaller version and it encouraged me to start a larger version and take the greens further. More about the creation of the smaller oil here
|Green Dream, oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches $2450 framed|
The larger oil is a composition where the color comes first. The light and shadows are unnaturally placed to create more contrast and intensity. Some of the brights are too bright and the shade doesn't always follow the usual contours, given the so-called light source, but it is all part of the theatre.
The entire effect is a bit surreal and intense. As I was painting this it was a bit like throwing on more logs to make a brighter fire. Surprisingly, there is a balance in this but the solution came slowly, over a number of painting sessions. At first the greens and yellows were just too bright, but I didn't want to sacrifice their power. The stand of trees was a bit chaotic as well, so other colors and shapes were added for support: light blues, lavenders, cobalts and the orange foliage.
Finally, everything came together to create the right chord, not one you hear everyday, but it is made to be played loud!
Monday, July 31, 2017
It is a pleasure to walk into the studio and see a number of works in progress. Working on multiple canvases greatly reduces the pressure of trying to make an individual oil come together in some perfect way. Instead of rushing and stressing, the many works benefit from an extended time of contemplation and experimentation.
Two of these works, the 3 x 5 foot on the easel and on the one on the floor are new starts, painted directly over an older idea that wasn't working. In both cases, these new starts are quite different from the underlaying image and I felt free to work right over an idea that was a struggle. Having a lot of canvases in play is liberating... everything is up for change, sometimes radically. No single canvas or section of the oil is precious.
The upper left canvas is 4 x 5 foot, a new start from last week and the oil on the right was started as a demo in my art class a couple of months ago.
These canvases proceed in a steady but non-linear way and everything is up for grabs. All is in pursuit of the best possible outcome, a compelling work of art that is successful on a number of levels. Along the way, many experiments in color, light, contrasts, etc are tried out. It appears that a lot of mistakes are being made and sometimes that is the case, but this is really an efficient way to take these works into new and unpredictable territory.
There is always intrigue in the studio with the paintings communicating their present needs and dreams of greater things. Strategies will be pursued and because this process welcomes surprises, thrills will often result.