“I could certainly never mirror nature. I would more like to
paint what it leaves with me.”
Back in January I made an entry in my art journal that I wanted to work on something “small, steady, and focused” with my painting. When looking over my progress from the previous year I felt that I was all over the place, trying out processes in many different directions. Which was all good and certainly worthwhile, but I felt it time to step back and redirect my attention. And so, the idea of a new series came about that I call Field Notes.
I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject,
all the texture around it. . . I always want to see the third dimension of something. . . I want to come alive with the object.
Our world is full of texture. Almost as much as color, I am keenly aware of the textures in my environment. Soft grasses, bristly pines, wispy clouds, ripples on water, are just a few of the endless textures we can experience in the landscape. Keep reading to discover why I love the element of texture in painting.
Rhythm is as necessary in a picture as pigment; it is as much a part of painting as of music.
~Walter J. Phillips~
I am thinking about rhythm as I continue with my posts here considering my paintings as they relate to the elements of design. Besides music, lots of things have rhythm. I enjoy the rhythm of the seasons, a rhythm to my days, and the calming rhythms of ocean waves. And I enjoy adding pattern, through repeated elements or motifs, into my painting compositions to create a visual rhythm. Repetition is probably the easiest way to express rhythm in painting by repeating any of the design elements throughout a composition. Repetition can suggest movement through a visual tempo and provide a path for the eye to follow.
The works must be concerned with fire in the soul
but executed with clinical coolness.
My intention to post here monthly fell apart at the end of 2018. So here it is a new year, a fresh start, and a good time to talk about balance. I obviously lacked a bit of balance when I allowed busyness in the studio, and with life in general, overtake other areas that are also important to me, like posting on this blog! I know it’s not easy keeping all the parts of our lives in balance, and it is something I often hear about, the attempt to keep a sense of balance in our lives.
What art offers is space – a certain breathing room for the spirit.
~ John Updike ~
Creating a feeling of spaciousness is something that I struggle with in my abstract landscape works. The spaces I strive to create in my paintings are a direct response to the landscape here in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is distance but also a closeness of rising mountainsides, tree lines and forests.
It took me a while to see it.
I have fallen into a way of working in my sketchbook that feels just about right for now.
The only consistency with my painting process is that I like to mix things up. Changing up the process helps me keep things fresh. In this way new challenges are presented, and there are new problems to be solved.
For some time now my method for working on paintings has been to allow the composition to develop intuitively on the canvas. Choices of color happen naturally as well, perhaps influenced by the color of the season or even just the weather that day. And what has been happening in these compositions are vague references to landscape, particularly mountainous landscapes. At the outset of this exploration into abstraction I attributed this to my many years of living in these mountains and that these land forms have crept into my visual vocabulary. Now I am beginning to wonder if it doesn’t go even deeper than that. Perhaps it’s in my DNA.
I dream in color.
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