Friday, November 9, 2018

New Work: Color at the Edge of the Lake, oil on canvas, 48 x 30 inches

Color at the Edge of the Lake
Oil on canvas, 48 x 30 inches  $6400 framed
Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

I was visiting a friend in the Baltimore area some years ago and came across a photo from that trip, a small stand of trees at the edge of a lake. The photograph was very different, with even lighting and all green foliage.

Regardless, I liked the composition and began the painting with a somewhat subdued palette. After a few sessions, the painting evolved into scene with the light coming in from the back, accentuating the dark trunks in the foreground,

There is a lot of color involved, each with its own part of the tapestry. Earlier, the foreground was darker with more blues but I later opted for a soft carpet of jewel tones spaced among the slightly glowing greens. 

At this point the subdued palette idea went out the window once I added the more powerful colors to the wall of trees beyond the lake. It was a delight to push the color back there and now I'll pass it onto you.

Grateful Notices: Edge of the Woods, Autumn, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches

Edge of the Woods, Autumn, oil on canvas, 36 x 36 inches
Private collection
Exhibited: Dominique Boisjoli Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM

This is a canvas demonstration from a workshop I did in Kansas City. I wanted to do a simple, red line of trees, somewhat abstracted and with varying degrees of complexity to make it convincing.

As it turns out, this oil is much more than red trees because the reds are supported and amplified by a variety of other, non-red colors. The orange and pink notes at the base of the trees provide an unexpected light source and interest.

The white clouds on the upper right were accidental. When I was painting in the sky, I left that area open, leaving the white canvas. My intention was to add some kind of tree highlight into that space but the bit of white was much more interesting, so clouds it became with the white contrast helping the reds stand out even more. It was very helpful to have an interesting element on that side of the oil.

The black trunks on the bottom left boost the reds further and add a much needed contrast and definition to the composition. 

Again, this is a simple idea but as the painting progressed in class, it became apparent that it would take additional sessions in the studio back home where I continued my own painting lessons until it was complete.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Grateful Notices: Saccades VII, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

Saccades VII, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches

What a surprise and thrill to have a dear friend purchase a large artwork for their home... I felt much honored. I really enjoy the freedom of these somewhat abstracted forest scenes.

The idea of this Saccades series is to create a more abstracted forest scene that works without a singular point of focus. This oil is pattern and color with equal interest everywhere. The greens and yellows are pushed but contained by the irregular verticals and the blues. I found that the more those colors were increased, the more attractive the oil became, creating a greater need for more powerful contrasts.

This cycle carried on for a month until a completed the painting emerged, a window into a forest that is alive with the yellows animating the scene and projecting everything forward in the space.

About the word Saccades:
"Since the late 19th century, researchers have been aware of the phenomenon of saccades, the rapid movement of the eye as we shift our attention from one thing to another. As a result, vision itself is discontinuous. We construct a “map of reality” from saccades much as a film editor puts together a scene from individual camera takes."

From an article by the film maker Earl Morris, NY Times