Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Work: Forest Sequence I, oil on canvas 48 x 120 inches

Forest Sequence I, oil on  two, 48 x 60 inch canvases, total size, 48 x 120 inches

Sometimes you just want to go bigger with an idea. With this oil and the 10' expanse, I was able to create an expressive forest view where all is simplified and surrounded in a soft, colored atmosphere. 

Care was taken to keep a limited color selection and also to subtly move the color across the canvas from left to right. There is a lot of atmosphere here and it becomes more obvious when the foliage is reduced on the right side. As the oil developed, I became more aware of the lateral possibilities and seeing back into the forest. 

It became a painting of nuances, a sweeping view of trees plainly seen and many others receding into the background. It was a joy to watch this come to life on the canvas.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Grateful Notices: Light Diffusing Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Light Diffusing   Oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches
private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

I started this oil while I was doing private lessons. The idea being presented was to grey down all of the colors and create a sunlit piece without the need for saturated colors and bright effects. Parts of the painting still appear to be bright but it's a nice illusion. The brighter colors are in reserve - they are not used here, but more vibrancy could have been brought in if needed.

Since the colors are not a full strength, it allows for the delicate purples and blue-greens to play a prominent role here and there, breaking up the line of trees and making this part of the forest more interesting. It's a good strategy for making every color count and creating a softer mood.

The composition went through numerous changes, simplifying each time with the end result being a painting equally focused on color and composition.

My thanks to the collectors that purchased this work. It's always an honor.


Article and Video: Did a Deceased Couple Steal a de Kooning and Get Away With It?


Here's a very interesting headline from the Washington Post, August 3, 2018 by Antonia Farzan.  This is an excerpt, so check out the full Washington Post story here and scroll down to see the video documentary.


A small-town couple left behind a stolen painting worth over $100 million — and a big mystery


Woman-Ochre” by Willem de Kooning.
(Courtesy of University of Arizona Museum of Art)
More than 30 years ago, that same painting disappeared the day after Thanksgiving from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson
Jerry and Rita Alter kept to themselves. They were a lovely couple, neighbors in the small New Mexico town of Cliff would later tell reporters. But no one knew much about them.

They may have been hiding a decades-old secret, pieces of which are now just emerging.

Among them:

After the couple died, a stolen Willem de Kooning painting with an estimated worth of $160 million was discovered in their bedroom.

More than 30 years ago, that same painting disappeared the day after Thanksgiving from the University of Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson.

And Wednesday, the Arizona Republic reported that a family photo had surfaced, showing that the day before the painting vanished, the couple was, in fact, in Tucson.

The next morning, a man and a woman would walk into the museum and then leave 15 minutes later. A security guard had unlocked the museum’s front door to let a staff member into the lobby, curator Olivia Miller told NPR. The couple followed. Since the museum was about to open for the day, the guard let them in.

The man walked up to the museum’s second floor while the woman struck up a conversation with the guard. A few minutes later, he came back downstairs, and the two abruptly left, according to the NPR interview and other media reports.

Sensing that something wasn’t right, the guard walked upstairs. There, he saw an empty frame where de Kooning’s “Woman-Ochre” had hung.

At the time, the museum had no surveillance cameras. Police found no fingerprints. One witness described seeing a rust-color sports car drive away but didn’t get the license plate number. For 31 years, the frame remained empty.

In 2012, Jerry Alter passed away. His widow, Rita Alter, died five years later at 81.

After their deaths, the painting was returned to the museum. The FBI is investigating the theft.

Did the quiet couple who lived in a three-bedroom ranch on Mesa Road steal “Woman-Ochre” and get away with it?

Something else doesn’t add up. Jerry and Rita Alter worked in public schools for most of their careers. Yet they somehow managed to travel to 140 countries and all seven continents, documenting their trips with tens of thousands of photos.


Also included in the Post article is this documentary from WFAA, Dallas


And yet, when they died, they had more than a million dollars in their bank account, according to the Sun News.

“I guess I figured they were very frugal,” their nephew, Ron Roseman, told WFAA.

Roseman couldn’t be reached for comment on Thursday evening. But not long after “Woman — Ochre” resurfaced, he told ABC13 that he couldn’t imagine that his aunt and uncle had stolen the painting.

“They were just nice people,” he said.


Read the rest of this Washington Post story here


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Grateful Notices: Red Progressions, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches

Red Progressions, oil on canvas, 48 x 72 inches
Purchased from Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art  Santa Fe, NMPrivate collection, Dallas, TX

3 minute video of this work with Ken narrating


I want to express my gratitude to the collector the purchased this work and to Dominique Boisjoli, my dealer and wonderful supporter in Santa Fe, NM.


About this oil:
My first desire when beginning this oil was to create a forest scene that didn't have a high finish. That is, the brushstrokes and even the physical surface of the oil would be rough. Forests are not even, polished places and I wanted this large oil to convey a bit of that experience.

In the first session when I applied all the variations of reds and oranges, it wasn't satisfactory to me. The plan was to put in a lot of complexity right away, creating variables in color but sticking to the idea of a single sweep of red trees and make it believable. I did that, and I was underwhelmed.

Peeking above the trees was an outline of far blue hills and it was lacking as well. I was too predictable. Everyday is not a happy one in the studio, but I did step up and block in a 4 x 6 foot oil, a worthy accomplishment, so I left it at that.

Looking back, what did I expect? That I would have created a really nice oil in one session?

In the second session I came back fresh and simply thought about what the painting needed: Contrast.

Once the dark tree trunks went in, the painting came to life. The background colors began to sing and suddenly the painting was calling out for improvements in a number of places. I drastically cut back the amount of the blue hill that was visible and in turn, it gave the trees more prominence.

Over the next few sessions, it was a pleasure to attend to those needs and take the oil to new places. A number of 'mistakes' were made - attempts that hit a dead end, but those moves opened up new opportunities for other, better solutions.

It all came down to making a good start and continuing forward in a way that would not diminish the power and spontaneity that existed at the beginning. I was committed to this single line of trees without gaps or interruptions. This idea created a series of  difficult problems across a 6 foot surface, so a lot of small strategies came into play.

A considerable number of changes were made along the way but always with the idea of creating a large and compelling forest presence that is interesting across the entire canvas.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Video: Dramatic Skies video by Randy Halverson




I love skies and Randy Halverson made a great video that is a must-see.
Ken

Dakotalapse  View on Vimeo

Breathtaking video with views of the skies over South Dakota and Wyoming, by Randy Halverson (3’30”)

From Randy:
Dakotalapse 8K is a compilation of new timelapse I have shot in the last 2 years. It was shot in South Dakota and Wyoming and the first footage I have posted online in 8K.

8K resolution on Youtube

Badlands Night Sky Workshops - Join me this June in the Badlands of SD and learn how to shoot stills and astro timelapse.

Watch for a shot of "Steve" Aurora at 1:52

Available in 8K resolution for licensing.

The timelapse was shot with Sony AR7II, Canon 5DSR and Nikon D810. The D810 isn't quite 8K native, but I think those shots still turned out better than the 5DSR night shots, which are much larger stills.

Photography and Editing – Randy Halverson
Produced by Randy Halverson – Dakotalapse, LLC
Opening Dakotalapse graphics – Luke Arens
Music Epic Cinematic by Eric Dillen, licensed through Audiojungle.net

Thanks to Cheyenne Camping Center for the great deals on the travel trailers you see in a few of the shots. cheyennecampingcenter.com

Contact for licensing footage, shooting rates or anything else.
Randy Halverson
dakotalapse@gmail.com

Follow:
Facebook facebook.com/dakotalapse
Instagram instagram.com/dakotalapse

Monday, July 2, 2018

New Work: Saccades XI, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Saccades XI, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches  $7550 framed
Exhibiting:  Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art

The Saccades Series is something I invented for myself. It is a way to use the randomness of the forest to create abstracted patterns and color combinations without limits. Each one presents a number of problems and opportunities that I haven't encounterd before and that's the point. Saccades is an optical term that describes a condition where the eye can't rest on a particular spot.


In this case, there is that obvious blue trunk in the foreground, but it's not enough to create a real  focus. The colors are arrayed in subtle ways and the light source is diffused, creating the overall effect of that soft yellow-green light enveloping everything in the background.

The color palette shifted on this one numerous times but I did want the blue to be somewhat predominant. The light changed as well, from a darker, grayer forest to one with a more intense light coming through, but that was discarded as well.

It is often said that the painting will tell you want it wants and over a series of painting sessions with this one, I was getting an earful. The oil and I opted for the soft poetry of a forest with the soft light nearby.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

New Work: Soft Forest Blues, oil on canvas 40 x 40 inches

Soft Forest Blues, oil on canvas 40 x 40 inches   $7550.
Exhibiting:  Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art

The goal here was to do a forest with blues woven into the composition. I wanted something subtle without the blues being primary. It's easy to use blues to make trees but it's difficult to make them believable.

All of the colors are greyed down, even the darks and lights, allowing the different blues to gently glow in the background. The numerous trunks and branches create a lot of complexity, all to create a veil for the blue hues. The line of trees is bordered with that bit of sky and the muted orange below, a bit of reality to bring it all together.

Finally, the foreground was muted even more, allowing the other subtleties in the painting a chance to be noticed.