Saturday, January 2, 2016

Field and Sky, New Year's Day

Sky and Field, New Year's Day (sold)

...cloudy and pleasant, after the snowfall. Acrylic collage painting on thin, gessoed, birch panel, 7.5 x 12 inches.

...these next bits are all from a FB discussion today. I normally list what I make each day in my Etsy shop, and on FB...and then I stick around on FB and chat about any responses or questions people might have. It's very enjoyable!

Many of my pieces are collages that are then painted on, but there are also many that are just pure paintings. I like to alternate the methods to keep the whole process as fresh and unpredictable as possible. I make little diagrams on location (about 30 seconds each) and those are about colour and composition. Sometimes I take photos, but when I take photos, I download then onto my computer, look at them, and then close the file. The problem I had painting directly on location, or with photos, is there is too much information. I needed to find a way to edit. Sometimes I also work directly from memory or invention.

When I'm on the scene, certain things make a strong impression, and many things don't. When something strikes me, I first think/see the 4/5 things in relationship that make up the effect. Those are the things I diagram in my little drawings, and those are the things needed in the painting.

All sorts of things can be invented besides those things.....but those things that were diagramed have to remain in the painting, in some fashion.

The mental analysis happens quite quickly, and happens Before a little diagram is made, or before a photo is taken. The thinking/seeing happens first, then it's recorded, and the recording is a memory aid.

....process is all very interesting. I really have a foot in a number of camps. I'm a landscape painter, but in many ways, also an abstract painter...I do a lot of looking at surfaces, textures, colours....

....And I love design....I like how things can be put together to create an effect. That part is really quite separate from the visual motif experienced on the scene.

In some ways I love NOT knowing where I'm's one of the things that keeps me making things, and it's part of the reason why I mix up my procedures as much as that any kind of certainty is removed. BUT...I know there is always a resolution to the visual problem in front of me, and I know that largely because of the way I use the elements and principles of design. The picture will always stop in some interesting place achieving a balance that's fascinating to me. Other than could be anything.

....Yes, I think there needs to be a balance re: the uncertainty. And in a way, I'm very certain. For example, I KNOW the picture will work out....I won't leave it alone until it works out, in some way! But, it could end up looking in a very unpredictable way, in a way that I certainly didn't forsee at the start of the picture. That part is really essential, because I don't think you'd keep making pictures if you knew what they were going to look would just get BORED after a period of time, and likely sooner than later.

All my paintings these days are made in studio, with the exception of larger pencil drawings, which are sometimes made while I sit in my car, on location. Which reminds me.....I've been meaning to do more of those drawings recently.....    


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  2. thanks for so generously talking about your process. and for sharing so many images and your thoughts on them. really enjoying this blog, Harry.