Lines trajectory invites dancing and the SRAM pART project begins

#16 – Tuesday July 5th

All in all, it’s been a quiet week . . . but a fun one in the studio . . . so for this Tuesday I thought I’d show the development in two specific areas of a painting I’m working on.  First the activation of a line segment ( in the bottom half of the canvas )  and second, just how one of the shapes that inhabit this painting is getting it’s groove on.

The line. To sketch in the line’s trajectory, I start out with 6b graphite drawing lead, ground to a very sharp point. The 6b leads are nice and soft, easy to smear and easy to erase, so the original path is determined with a light hand and thin mark ( image 1). Once I get the line to interact with the other elements of the painting in an appropriate context, I wet my fingers and purposely do smear the graphite, expanding the line’s influence. ( image 2 ). I go back in with dry pigment and paint ( in this case a Grass Green colored pencil, Burnt Orange Conte Crayon, and Titanium White acrylic, image 3 ) working, coaxing the line, instilling in it a dynamic personality . . . a subtle but essential process making the line alive with the narrative of life.

The shape. Volume, object, figure . . . whatever. I can’t seem to come up with an appropriate designation for this dancing form, however here is its history, and looking closely, past alliterations show the genesis how it came to be. Trial, error, experimentation and a workman like attitude. Joyous and playful.

On another note . . . my box of parts for the SRAM pART project to benefit World Bicycle Relief just now arrived . . . So here’s a little preview of the box and parts ( partially unpacked) that are my source materials . . .this IS going to be fun!

Thanks for reading.


Construct promise and the deep blue sea

#13 – Tuesday June 14th

I find things. Pieces of rusty metal, the odd machine part, very round rocks, and colored shards of glass. Wood boxes, dull once sharp tools, strips of patterned fabric faded and torn, and bones bleached white. Random tree parts, broken toys, tin cans with bullet holes, and forgotten placards of failed campaigns. The whatever and the what not, clutter my studio in disorganized happenstance and I wouldn’t have it any other way. These are my accidental talismans, structures assembled by passing fancy that often find their way into my imagination and back out onto canvas.

I do think of my paintings as being constructed, built piece by piece. Line supported by shape, supported by color, supported by line . . . so intertwined one can not possibly exist without the other.  What’s always attracted me to painting is the ability for spontaneity, put it down . . . or take it off. An instantaneous process that instills a certain attitude of nothing to lose, a fearlessness that pushes the work relentlessly forward.

Thanks for reading.


Passing fancy and the very last mark

#12 – Tuesday June 7th

I find the easiest mark to make is the first one. It’s irrelevant. Yes, it will point to a direction, set a pitch, hint at a tone, and suggest an interpretation, but hours, days, weeks on weeks deep into a canvas, those first scribbles, however well-intentioned, planned out, and seemingly infused with the potency of a first love . . . are just memories embraced with a certain nostalgia best reflected on as a passing fancy. It’s the business at hand, as playful and effortless as I strive to make it seem, which gloriously guides me, leading toward the precipice of the very last mark to be made . . . that’s the nagging voice keeping me ever vigilant. When is enough, really enough? And each and every paintings comes to fruition with a quietly whispered benediction of thanks, for the clarity of knowing when to stop.

And so it goes . . . a new stack of stretchers awaiting the easiest mark . . . the canvas above, in six views toward the hardest mark . . . and those finalized in the knowing when.

Thanks for reading.