Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Voice From the Past (oil on canvas, 2013)

(Private Collection)
Back view of the old McBride homestead. The tall pine tree and porch on the right also appear in the last painting that I posted and I've painted and drawn several views of this subject over the past two years. This house has been vacant for a long time, but I've always been drawn to it and am interested in learning its history. Buildings have their own stories.....and scars and memories.....and ghosts. I recently travelled to Erie, PA for a show of my work at the Kada Gallery, with this painting, still quite wet, in the back seat of my rental car. The rental car, fortunately, was upgraded to an small SUV, which turned out to be a very good stroke of luck because I never would have fit this wet canvas, along with thirteen other paintings, three suitcases (I overpacked a bit!), my backpack full of pastels (which I never got to use because it snowed during the three days that I was in Erie) and my coffee beans and brewing equipment (which I never leave home without!) in the car that I had reserved. Whilst stopping at my parents house in MA, I found an old monotype that I had done in college and wanted to take it home with me. I put it in the back seat, behind this wet painting, which turned out to be a very bad idea because at the stop sign at the bottom of the steep hill that my parents live on, the monotype, framed under glass and quite heavy, leaned forward, pushing the wet painting onto the backs of the car seats! No damage to the painting, but enough of that yellow-green (cadmium, no less!) on the fabric of the seats to cause me quite a bit of stress! But, thanks to a bottle of "Totally Awesome" all purpose cleaner (an indispensable product in any artist's studio)and a rag, I was able to remove all of the paint from the seats and be on my way, leaving the framed monotype at my parents' house.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sometimes There Are No Words (oil on canvas, 2013)

(Private Collection)

Wistful Thinking (oil on canvas, 2013)

I recently acquired a new color - Quinacridone Violet - which is quickly becoming a favorite. A deep, red-violet that is wonderful on its own or in mixtures with other colors. It insisted on being included in this painting of the old tractor shed on the Framingham Road, about a mile and a half directly behind my house, as the crow flies. A difficult walk, through overgrown fields and dense woods, across an icy stream that can't be forded without getting your shoes wet, and with a high probability of an encounter with a black bear. Or, a two-and-a-half mile drive by car, which is how I get there. At first, the yellow-greens and oranges didn't want to share the space with the Quinacridone Violet at all. But, after considerable effort on my part, combined with a good deal of diplomacy (I convinced the yellow-green and orange that they could dominate the coveted foreground - although unbeknownst to them, there's a good deal of Quinacridone Violet mixed in all over the foreground!) everyone ended up getting along nicely. Be sure to click on the image to see a bigger version, which shows some of the paint textures.