Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Two more steps past the very quick sketch. Quite a few ideas rattling about on where this one will go. 

Friday, March 11, 2011


A common feature on many an artist's blog is the shout-out to other artists, alive or historical.   It's been a pretty great temptation to get on my soap box and share, but I've resisted it so far.  I wanted to keep the focus narrow and about personal process. After a couple of years doing this though, my studio floundering has been tough to keep interesting day to day.   So, after some musing, what could not be more personal than mentioning artists who have influenced my own work, views, and perceptions? 

Some artists like to imagine themselves born from the head of Zeus like Athena, fully formed and ready to roll, but its a bit disingenuous.  A big part of what an educated artist thinks about in the studio is how their own work fits into the wider context of contemporary art and art history. For a figurative artist in particular, thousands of years of humans depicting themselves is never far behind. The canon is quoted, played with, reinvented by every generation.  There are works of art that have affected me deeply.  Some I have learned techniques from, some whose images come to mind as I make my own. 

My latest series, which I have been labeling the "Kracow Cycle," accordingly quotes history, indirectly through influence, and directly through allusion.  I described it flippantly to another artist as "Lady with Ermine" filtered through Picasso's rose period.  I had been painting so many blue-violet paintings in the Nocturnes, that a switch two shifts over on the Newton color wheel, to red-violet, was significant. The style, subject matter, context, has almost nothing to do with Picasso, other than the simple idea of a dominant palette shift.  As far as the Lady... which I do quote directly, I'll have to leave that to the forthcoming artist statement.  A Picasso-Leonardo fusion may be a useful label, but really only scratches the surface of whats going.  Influences are rarely that superficial, or clear in the studio or the mind.  It's like isolating bits in a blender after the cocktail is made.

If this sounds complicated, I have only been speaking in reference to "fine art." Sculpture, photography, theater, dance, film are in the cultured mix.  Not to be snobbish, television, magazines, comic books, and video games have also warped my brain more than juts a little.  How has travel affected me?  Nature, a specific tree? I also have a strong memory for faces.... It would be ridiculous, if not altogether self-obsessed, to sort it all out. So, to keep things simple, I start off with some specific paintings I really love, things I want to share, shout-out.   And for lack of a better word, I'll tag it "influences."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Darker, More Saturated

After a few months judgment, this one was far too light.  Of course, I spent the last two steps lightening it to bring out volume, but the atmosphere was all but gone.  As the shadows get more saturated, it's really hard to see any color in the "black" areas of this digital image but, trust me, hues are quite visible in person.  The surface is a lot richer as well, but a there's a little ways to go before I can let this one go.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Coat of Paint

You might recognize this one from a few days ago.   A full coat of paint and its rather different.  

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Reworked (Owl)

Small to big changes from previous in terms of composition and color.  Defined a window, and then warmer tones took over the violet that was dominate before.  The surface on figure was almost completely reworked.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Poor Edward


Another portrait start, based on Indanthrone blue. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Down the Rabbit Hole

I've been making some rather big changes on a few of the fictional portraits that have been lying around.  Although I could have left well enough alone on this one from its previous state, I had envisioned defining a bit more of the space to place it in an interior and to divide the picture plane.  I loved the broken, expressive arm  in the earlier stage as well, but I didn't want it to be an issue.  It may be time for a shirt as well.  (On the guy, not the rabbit.)  With the old painting unraveling, a new adventure begins.  Its more complicated,  but far more interesting for me to work through.