Friday, February 17, 2012

29 Newbury Interview

I just got a link to the video filmed by Andrew Swaine for BNN's It's About the Arts in which I and a couple other folks were interviewed at the reception.

I tried to embed the video but it doesn't seem to work, so here's the link!
(don't worry, it's short)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Weekend Update

I made some good progress yesterday building up the layers I want for this piece.  I started using some metallic silver in a few places and am in love with the way it catches the light.

We'll see how this develops.

For now though, I'm making preparations for the reception later this afternoon for my show at 29 Newbury.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing everyone there.  If you want to come, you can find the details of the event HERE.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Weekend (Mostly) to Myself

For all intents and purposes, I've got the weekend to myself, which is a rare thing.  Normally my son comes to visit every week, but he's visiting an uncle today, and tomorrow I have an event to attend to which I can't really bring him so we won't get together again until next week.

I owe my employer 3 hours of work today. Tomorrow, I owe 2 hours of work and there's the closing reception for my show at 29 Newbury.  The rest of the weekend however is entirely mine.

This is a painting I started about 7 years ago I think.  I was experimenting with projectors at the time and made this based on a photograph of a one of my very first models, who at the time I took the photo (maybe 13 years ago) was a long-time lover.  The photo I took at that time was originally used as inspiration for a painting I did for a class in which we were exploring impasto techniques. I gave that painting to her and still miss it.  It was one of my best paintings at the time.   In the photo, the shes laying on a large chair, so you'd have to rotate the canvas 90 degrees counter-clockwise to see the actual pose.  But because in the original painting, I'd decided instead to orient her the way you see her above, I decided to do the same thing again in this piece.  Perhaps in certain ways, I wanted the new painting to replace the one I'd given her.

For this painting, however, years later, I wanted to do something more "pop." I spent a few days working on this one, and then just got stuck.  Something wasn't right and I was never quite been able to put my finger on it.  I kept painting different things in the thought bubble and then painting them over, assuming the problem was there. For years.

What I recently came to realize though was that the real problem was the approach itself.  I was looking at this cartoony, pop image as some sort of ideal.  I was trying to make this piece one of a number of extreme deviations from my otherwise compulsive need to create deep, rich textures.  And this was wrong.

I have this great friend named Katie.  She's absolutely beautiful and utterly inspiring.  Lately, I've been having trouble painting and the other day, she came over to visit and I was painting again.

The piece needed more texture.  And color.  And it needed to be messier.  And darker. I also took Katie's advice to heart and reoriented the painting so this poor girl can finally lay down.  I have to fix the hair because of this.  No big deal.

It's not done.  But I've made significant progress.  What I think it boiled down to was that I had to start looking at the traced image as a blueprint- an underpainting- and not the ultimate realization of the idea.

So with my weekend to myself, I'm going to see if I can get some more work done on this without Katie around.  I'm optimistic.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Last Tree

"The Last Tree" Acrylic on Canvases: 2010
Back in the summer of 2010, I went up to visit my dad in Maine.  I had painted a picture recently and wanted to give him one.  We hadn't seen each other in a few years and I wanted him to get a sense of my work.

After we arrived, I took a few photos of the painting so I'd have a record of it, and then spent a great week with my dad, my son, and my then-girlfriend.

And then somewhere along the line, I lost the pictures I took of that trip. 

It had been so long since I'd seen the painting I couldn't even remember exactly what it looked like.  And then the other night, I found the SD card with the photos on it. 

Here are a couple of closeups for you:

A huge fan of Dr. Seuss as a kid, I think this piece probably had something to do with The Lorax.  My dad, something of a hermit and definitely a lover of nature, seemed the logical recipient for this one.  I called him yesterday morning to ask him if he'd check the back of the canvas for me, as I always sign, date and put the piece's title there.  Since I couldn't remember what I'd called it, I figured I'd ask him.  It turned out I'd never named this one, so I'm now calling it "The Last Tree."