Tuesday, March 8, 2016


So today was another fantastic studio day. Last week I took a walk with my camera and took a series of reference photos of the lines and marks that I've been observing when I'm out walking Molly. I printed a number of them and tacked them to one of the walls in my studio for inspiration. Then I started experimenting with what I'm calling my cloudy Day series. It is a total of six drawings on paper with charcoal and oil paint.

On My Walk I Saw Many Things

Marks of Nature and Man


Subculture Rising

Time Passing

Growing Shadows without Light

In addition to the drawings which were on gessoed Lithograph paper. I did a brief experiment using charcoal, graphite and oil paint on ungessoed paper. I'd been studying works on canvas and paper by Helen Frankenthaler earlier in the day and among other things she is known for her paintings on unprimed canvas so I thought why not try unprimed paper (I think Robert Motherwell also did this.)

I Climbed the Mountain to See the Bear
(the color is off slightly on this one - the paper is too warm in this image)

After this, I moved to painting on six by six gessoed masonite panels that I had, adding a more vibrant color (Hot Pink although in these photos it reads as red) to the black, white and gray... granted in the Cloudy Day series and this drawing I included small amounts of pale blue which I decided was a subconscious reference to the pale blue sky that occasionally peeked out through the gray clouds. Working subconsciously or more intuitively is one of my goals in trying to develop a better understanding of process and tapping into a higher level of creativity which I hope will perhaps break the chains that bind me too tightly to my ideas and observational imagery. I think its the observational component... having a visual idea of what the outcome will look like that is confining to me.  I still have a concept, in this case it is the dark mark, but I've intentionally kept it very open and ambiguous which I'm discovering really opens up the possibilities. These next two paintings examplify what I mean by this.

Red Stain

Orifice with Dark Mark Inside

Actually I'm a little out of order, before I moved to painting I created a second larger scale drawing that was intended to be a mate for the large scale drawing I completed last week. I don't really see them as a diptych persay but more as companion pieces (can see them hanging together in a room).


Of course when I was looking for this image to upload, I discovered I'd missed the first drawing experiment I did today which was actually a continuation on a drawing that I started last week. I didn't care for it when I finished it last week and decided this gave me an opportunity to experiment with adding something to it... this is the result.


Again the color is off on this image as the paper is too warm. I think in the future I might have to do some further exploration into circles. One of my favorite contemporary artists Hung Hui often incorporates circles into her imagery.

(that's her with me with my cheezy ass smile held over from college fraternity/sorority party smile days...) 

So there you have it, when I wasn't drawing or painting today, I was studying paintings and prints by Helen Frankenthaler (although I think I said that earlier in this post). One of the things that is brewing in the back of my mind is exploring the dark mark in printmaking. I'm studying up on the different techiques used in printmaking and I am looking forward to seeing how the dark mark translates in that media!

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