Monday, August 31, 2015
In the 2 paintings here, the sensation was of the evening sunlight on the fresh green of cedars at the trout ponds....so I looked into the foliage in different places on my walk that evening. I make only one painting a day, so these are from 2 separate days...there may be more coming, I can never tell, nor do I wish to plan the work in advance.
On the making of pictures, it pays to risk everything. If you already have a picture like the one you made, best to follow your hunches, if you have any, and chances are good that you do....because you are after that fresh, excited feeling in yourself, and you won't get it if you repeat, in essence, a picture you already have. You've made that picture, so you can move on, and each new work calls for a new, but small push forward. This just means that in the process of making each new work, there will come a moment, and likely more than one, where you have to say, well I'll try this even if it upsets the apple cart, and it likely will. But gradually the picture you are working on will find its balance as well, and then you can stop. It could mean that you have to take out a portion of the picture and try again....now the other thing doesn't belong, and you have to try something else, but the thing is not dead, so you and it move along in some way, change after change, seeking a new, pleasing balance that you haven't quite seen before, but that you welcome. But you have to listen to your hunches to do this. And this is what makes it all an adventure, and exciting.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
I was gifted some Canson paper and tried it out....it's not bad. It doesn't absorb paint at all, so encourages use of thicker paint. 9 x 12 inches. I love art papers of all types...always have.... and hope to explore even more types.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
....after I make each one, I stare at it for a good long time. The sign will hang from my tent at The Shelter Valley Folk Festival, near Grafton, Ontario, where I will show very many works on paper, Friday Sept. 4 - Sunday Sept, 6. I'll make a few paintings while the folk festival is going on.......I wouldn't mind if someone sat for a portrait.....
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
The recent heatwave makes it unpleasant to be out earlier than dusk, so perhaps that gives me another reason to do paintings of this favourite time of day....all acrylic and pencil on unprimed Arches paper, 10 x 13.5 inches.
Monday, August 17, 2015
....by the time I make it back here, home is only 10 minutes away, and the day's light is almost used up. Acrylic and pencil on Arches paper, 10 x 13.5 inches.
Acrylic and pencil on Whatman paper 10 x 13.75 inches, with the little on-site diagram used to make the work.....in the last bits of daylight the quality of air changes so quickly, the light changes noticeably almost minute-to-minute. Where I was standing on the highway, I could feel the coolness as the dew dropped. The horses were all in paddocks close to the house, keeping them safe for the night.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Acrylic on archival paper, 7.5 x 11 inches, signed lightly in pencil. Very strange, active skies last night led to a day of thunder storms today. 2 collage paintings were made in the past 2 days, so today I went back to painting directly on the paper....these types of procedural changes happen naturally.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
Acrylic collage painting on archival paper, 7.5 x 11 inches, signed lightly in pencil.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Summer moves so quickly.....there is always a change of mood in early August that seems partly a response to the change in land, air, and light. The crops are mature, or getting there, it darkens earlier, the smells are a bit different. Acrylic collage painting on archival paper 7.5 x 11 inches, signed lightly in pencil.
It is strange to consider the history behind how I make things now. Sometimes when people ask how this is done, I see almost exactly how I got to this point, and am only mystified it took so long to do such a simple thing. In a small praire town I looked at a lot of skies, enjoyed rambling over any bit of wild land I could find, went searching for it in many places, played hooky in middle school to go sit in the snow by the river, carve sticks and stare at the landscape just to feel the wonder of things. And I remember trying to figure out how to put things together in a picture....always interested in that from perhaps aged 12 forward. I had Mr. Egenschweiller (sp) order every book on art through interlibrary loans I could find (bless your kind, sweet heart). I remember standing in the stationary store down by railway street, smelling that wonderful odour of oiled wood floors and the green granular cleaner they used to sprinkle on and then sweep up. In that store I remember looking at the 'how to paint' books and would marvel at the skill (seems déclassé now, but any instruction helps). And I was eager, and excited, wanted to learn....I'd draw horrible pencil drawings of trees and landscapes. Years of art school takes you through many styles and influences, your tastes change, many things are sampled before you seem to settle, all kinds of techniques are tried. These pieces now are a distillation of many things absorbed through the years....art history from French realism, Corot, Barbizon, to the impressionists, fauves, post impressionists, expressionists, and all manner of isms, including various forms of abstraction and non-representation in the 20th century. In all this, there is belief in the hand....your hand can do much...let it make things! Let it find out how to make things....I still have that naïve belief in picture magic of the 12 year old boy standing in that stationary school by railway street.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Acrylic collage painting on matte board, 7.75 x 9.75 inches, signed lightly in pencil. They never turn out how I expect....they turn out some other way instead, but that said, there is always a balance achieved and they stop in some interesting place.
Friday, August 7, 2015
Birdsall Beach on Rice Lake......a beautiful August day. Something that takes no effort, or little effort, will often appear very fresh and lovely in a painting. Collage will do that...the effort was made previously, and it was an easy, joyous effort at that. Lack of ease can be discouraging, disheartening.....so what gives the impression of ease in a painting? Lots of things will do it....and lots of things will prevent it. To some degree, these works are about this issue. How to keep the image fresh, alive, surprising, mysterious....in every stroke.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
I don't roam that far, but the things to see are endless. The weather, light, and seasons change.....each day feels very different if you get used to paying attention to little changes. As well, I change, because the thoughts working through me vary, which changes the emphasis and priority of what is seen. Acrylic and pencil on single ply archival matte, 7.75 x 9.75 inches, signed lightly in pencil.
...the back deck...the most common access to the back gardens, where the cats and humans love to spend time. Last night, while I was watching The Walking Dead, I forgot to take in the cat crunchies......a lovely skunk was enjoying crunchies and water just where you see this painting.....(skunks are very, very nice).
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
After a day of storms the evening was pleasant and calm with fast moving skies. On any particular day, whatever mood you wish to see in the landscape, can be found. Your eye and mind work as a lens to focus, to find what they wish to. We each remake the world.....
Acrylic and pencil on single ply archival matte, 7.75 x 9.75 inches, signed lightly in pencil.
Monday, August 3, 2015
.....yesterday close to dusk....but the storms after dark were violent, with many homes in the area still without power. Acrylic and pencil on single ply archival matte, 7.75 x 9.75 inches. These short series do not usually go on for very long.....we'll see how many more happen, if any. They do tend to pick up again after a time, though.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
....a companion piece to the one posted the other day. A number of years ago I started doing these sky scapes with just a bit on land on the bottom....I make a few every now and then when the skies are very active. Acrylic and pencil on single ply archival matte 7.75 x 9.75 inches, signed lightly in pencil.