Thursday, March 28, 2013

Blind Artist Portrait

The "Blind Artist" is a portrait of me. I am partially blind in my left eye. The canvas is 20 x 30 and painted with oil, charcoal and pastel. I used paint brushes, plastic, palette knife and my fingers. I am pleased with the outcome and look forward to continuing in this direction. It is rough, dirty and raw in feeling. Gone are the days of ideal perfectionism in portraiture. This portrait is a reflection of life.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Paint the Paint (status update)

I'm beginning to like where this is going. I also think I might keep the hair dark. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Blind Artist (status update)

This too is moving forward slowly as I'm still figuring out how I want to proceed. As I look at this image, I see the space between my nose and mouth is still off as might be my chin. Looks like that will be the area I work during my next studio day. Paint and adjust, paint, adjust, wipe clean and apply again... this is the process of a painter, or at least this painter!

Paint the Paint (status update)

A status update. I'm still not sure where I'm taking this painting but here is the latest progress. More work to be done on Thursday!

Buddha Dancer

Today was a busy afternoon. I started another painting, called the "Buddha Dancer". It is oil on canvas, 5 ft. x 6ft. The idea came from a black and white promotional photograph I have of a Buddha Dancer. The photograph started to deteriorate some ten years ago and I had it restored, but in the process many of the figure's physical details were lost. My idea is to start with as close of a replica as I can and then start to distort and turn it into a painting about painting and movement. We will see how it goes. 

I also should note the location of the painting. Since I'm tight on useable wall space in the studio, I cleared out one of the dormers where I had canvas' stored and turned it into another painting space. Unfortunately it doesn't lend itself to good photographs! Don't let it be said that I don't utilize ever inch of my studio space!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Paint the Paint (a working title)

Today was a new beginning. For now, I'm calling this one "Paint the Paint", its a working title that reflects the guidance of my mentor. I spent today gesturing the figure and correcting proportions, and will must likely continue to correct as I go along. The concept behind this work is to paint paint. No I'm not stuttering I really mean to paint the paint... I am again the figure but I am no longer the subject. The paint and the act of painting is the subject, I am only the means to the end. My goal is to keep it loose and dirty emphasizing the quality and feel of the paint, no polish just rough paint application. I am already liking it much more than what is underneath which had pretty colors but also felt very cartoonish to me and that was not the direction I wanted to go. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Well... my blog is called Life in the studio. Here is the result of a day in the studio! I spent the morning painting myself out, then drawing me back in and painting in bamboo. The early afternoon was me changing my mind and painting myself loosely back in. The late afternoon was spent completely painting over everything and then wiping it all out! So now I have a cleanish slate and will begin again tomorrow. Right now... I'm going to have a glass of wine! Enjoy my destruction!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

"Artist for Sale" (Installation) in progress

"Artist for Sale" is my first installation piece. As you can see it is a work in progress. The next step will be to decide how I'm going to display these pieces. As of right now my two thoughts are either a line of thumb tacks or on a string or clothes line type devise. The concept behind this work, still relates to my exploration of identity. Each piece on the label is a piece of an ink drawing I did of myself. The squares are all 11/2 inch in size. Combined or pieced together they make a portrait, separately they become an abstract image. This examination of self as artist delves into the question of what happens if you remove the image of the artist from the work, how then does the work change? I plan to do more conceptual/installation work in the future as it also pushes the creative envelope within my paintings.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Blind Artist (status update)

More work done on "The Blind Artist"... trying to keep it lose and raw all the while developing it further. I started another painting experiment but can't photograph it because it's tacked to the fall in the dormer and I can't get far enough away to photograph it. When I have more wall space I will post it as well. I'm suppose to think less and simply so that's what that experiment was about. More later...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Progress update on The Really Big Painting

I did a lot or concept research this morning, really thinking about the concept of identity as well as exploring other words, that could develop into painting concepts. So this morning was a good "thinking" morning. This afternoon I continued to work on "The Really Big Painting". Progress is slow but its coming. I also decided to add a bit of our contemporary society into the piece so it is a combination of 19th century, 20th century and the 21st century... my art historical painting expedition. Art History is a part of who I am so I think this counts as a study of identity, yes?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Really Big Painting (revised)

I've been obsessing about this painting all day long! Adding the head? Man that was a stupid idea! It starting bugging me the moment I put the brush down... I just needed Andy to come home and validate me, sad but true. So I painted my second head out and while I was at it, I decided to move the lily pads around and added a couple of more. I've also figured out what I'm actually going to paint on the canvas in the painting. This work definitely draws on my art history background and relates to that part of my identity.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Really Big Painting (progress)

I little more progress on developing the concept of this painting... not sure about it though. I'm exploring what I consider my identity and the idea of an 'emerging artist' started to take hold. As I paint, the paint does not adhere to the canvas per say but the environment around me. The painting is not the canvas on the easel but that which I am in and as that painting develops so do I, emerging from the water. I am watching myself paint. Life in the painting, in this case a yellow and red frog observes me observing me, while a blue green frog observes me painting. As I paint, I too am becoming or dissolving into the painting.  The idea of emerging and the metamorphosis of the artist is at play here, but I'm not sold on the second head. Perhaps what needs to happen is the artist is the singular object that dissolves into the water, not just the shirt but my body too the water that is blue begins to turn the color of skin? Another thought, another approach.... to be continued!

The Blind Artist progress

I made a little progress on this painting, but also took a step back now that I look at it because what I added to the nose made it look crooked, so now I have to fix that... other than that I just noodled with the eyes and added a little more skin tones.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Blind Artist

My mission today was to paint a grungy painting, meaning raw and dirty. A nice contrast from yesterday's bright, complementary color palette of Van Gogh! My intention with this experiment is to attach the canvas with paint and charcoal and not worry what it looks like, just to keep it feeling raw. Also... notice, I'm not looking at the viewer! This should be another interesting experiment...