Monday, September 22, 2014

Beautiful on the Outside (oil on canvas, 2014)

I never work from photographs, but I often do a lot of drawing prior to making an oil painting. I usually work in pastels when drawing, but sometimes I'll do black and white drawings in either charcoal or pencil and then work up a color painting in the studio. I like working this way because it frees me (or forces me) to make more subjective color choices, with the colors being chosen for their contribution to image rather than for their ability to "describe" the original subject, something that doesn't interest me at all.The sky was myriad shades of blue, from deep ultramarine to teal, in all of the preparatory studies that I did for this image, but when it came time to do the actual painting, this happened. I think it's important when working to allow the emerging image to direct the activity rather than imposing my preconceptions on the work. I want my paintings to surprise the viewer, to show them something that they've never seen before. I like to be surprised myself, as well.

The Best is Yet to Come (oil on canvas, 2014)

This was based on a pastel drawing that I did out on the Foxcroft Road a couple of years ago. I neglected to photograph the drawing before it was framed under glass, so there's no image of it here, but the original image was a square, with this composition being based on the top half of it only. I like the original drawing, but I think the reading of the various forms across the horizontal format is more effective. I tend to be of a dark, brooding nature but this is a painting full of optimism.

Five Months of Winter (oil on canvas, 2014)

I confess - I've been terrible at keeping up with my blog, but I have been working a lot since April. I was tied up during most of the summer with a bathroom remodeling project that turned into a nightmare, replete with horsehair plaster, asbestos, formaldehyde, rough-hewn-oddly-spaced wall supports, ungrounded wiring and a host of other interesting and exciting obstacles which I won't recount here. Add to that a plague of computer issues which lead to my Mac ultimately giving up the ghost, and the result is a sadly neglected blog.
This was painted in late March, at the tail end of the longest, coldest, snowiest winter I've ever lived through. I've been running by this menacing, anthropomorhic tree, with its flailing limbs, at the end of the Hamilton's driveway on the Framingham Road, for years and have always wanted to paint it. I like to think that the warm colors are creeping in and displacing the cold ones.