Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ouch! Creation And Destruction Go Hand In Hand

Above is the first state of a replacement canvas for "Maps"

After considering the whole painting, it was necessary to make many changes to incorporate the canvas into the existing whole of "Maps" (see below).

The image above, "Maps, is an oil and acrylic on 10 canvases, part of a series of paintings called,"Some Thoughts About The Weather", begun in 2001. This section is 54" X 90".

Originally shown at the Arvada Center in Arvada, Colorado, later shown at the Museum of Nature and Science in Denver, I have been adding to the series (painting additional canvases), and subtracting from it (sales) ever since it's initial exhibition.

Several of the canvases above had been sold, and as a client wanted this whole section, I was asked to replace the sold sections with similar and compatible images.

The first painting I completed was state one, shown at the top of this page. For about 30 years I have been painting color studies like this one, usually in conjunction with a painting. I would try to devise color sequences for the painting, or try out the value or saturation of a color before using it. Occasionally, I'd just get so involved in the study that I'd forget the "painting" for awhile. As a consequence, during the past several years, these studies have sometimes been incorporated into my final pieces as an integral part of my process, as the canvas at the top was in the "Maps" piece.

But once I placed the canvas (that I liked very much) in the context of the whole, it jumped out. I've so often told students that no one wants to buy just a piece of a painting, or cut out a chunk to hang on the wall. The painting needs to work as a total statement. And here I was, faced with the prospect of painting over just the area that I most enjoyed. The yellows and some of the oranges jumped. A dark purple rectangle in the upper left of the canvas was between a bright yellow and an orange, and although interesting when the piece was alone, was too much of an eye catcher in combination.

So, ouch! I ignored my fears and dove in, eagerly destroying my favorite part of the smaller canvas to complete the whole of "Maps". Each time I changed one color, everything else was off balance, and required further adjustments. Along the way, I discovered a number of queer and satisfying colors that I had never used before. And I was proud of allowing myself to destroy an area I liked and the awareness of new colors I gained.

The second piece above was the re-painted canvas.

Workshop in Tuscany

Acrylic and oil painting, 24" X 30", "Lamole", view from the Restaurant "Lamole" where we will have lunch on our Chanti day-trip.

Only one spot left for those of you considering my workshop at Abbondanza Toscana this September 17 to the 27 in Tuscany. Enticing painting trips are planned to Chianti, a private garden inside the walls of Lucca, Devil's Bridge and a Mediterranean fishing village just south of the Cinque Terre. Plus wonderful food and wine from our private chef at Selva. Don't miss this.