The new year of making art has gotten off to a slow start, but with 3 paintings under weigh, things are looking up. There’s another I had begun in the Fall, but I can’t get into it right now, so I’ll wait. No use working on something that doesn’t have an emotional pull.
I usually work on more than one painting at a time; that way, when I’m stuck on one, I move to another. That gives me distance and evaluative perspective which is very helpful. Unless I’m working on site, I can’t do 2 hours of uninterrupted work on one painting — it gets almost claustrophobic! On site, 2 hours is the limit: light changes too much, and I get too uncomfortable (I like to sit on the ground and the older I get, the harder it gets!)
Computer was down again — that hard drive needed some thickening with a few layers of paper to make a better fit, it seems. Hope this latest fix has cured it.
The Cornell Plantations scene is OK so far, but nothing special. It needs to show not just the colors, but the awe at seeing them amid the drabness of Winter. Although the colors are there, that feeling isn’t. That’s the hard part. There’s time to work on it. I may have to just put it aside for a while.
The computer suffered the loss of 2 screws — holding the hard drive in place. Replacing them seems to have done the trick (fingers crossed). Now I can safely use my computer to access the photographs I’ll need as references for the paintings I’ve begun, one of which is of a group of red-tipped shrubs at the Cornell Plantations that look quite ordinary when fully leafed out, but are spectacular against the snow.
A new painting, “Autumn Glow along Fall Creek” has been added to the Northeast section. It’s very monochromatic; I wanted to convey that time before twilight when the sky seems infused with gold, and the colors of foliage pick it up and are illuminated by it. That’s generally in late Autumn, when a good many trees have shed their leaves, and the grasses have mellowed into various shades from dark amber to pale buff.
The framed image of “Litany” is in the Various Subjects section. More about that later.
The relief, “Prayer”, mentioned in the previous post is found in the Various Subjects category of the website, in the Painting section. (It has a partner, “Litany” which is shown in it’s unframed state also in that category — a photo of it framed will appear soon.)
“Prayer” did not begin as a religious work. I wanted to use the sticks I had found along a Maine coast for some sort of relief or sculpture, and while moving and selecting items, I saw what seemed to evoke a prayer in progress, and continued with that in mind. The prayer begins at the bottom of the piece — the uncertain beginning of a contact with the Deity. The middle has the strength of confidence in the attempt. Finally, the prayer is sent skyward with hope and assurance.
After burnishing the aluminum disk with coarse steel wool and mounting the relief on it, I drilled 3 holes for wires to be attached to the small wood piece which would ultimately be the hanging device. It seemed that the 3 wires represented the Trinity, and that little piece of wood a cloud, representing the sky/heavens.
After that came “Litany”, which will be described later. I’ve more wood, and more ideas. More work in the future!
Lots of New Year’s resolutions — uppermost is my intention to reorganize and straighten my studio so that I can get back to some concentrated work. I’m interested in doing somewhat more abstracted work, but first will begin paintings of the Cornell University Arboretum for an exhibit at their new educational center (the Nevin Center) in May and June. I’m also beginning work on a commission — a relief in wood on an aluminum background similar to “Prayer” in the miscellaneous section of the website. All the best for the New Year to you who’ve come to this site!
December 1st the snow began. Fortunately it wasn’t much — just enough to cover up the dirt and show off the subtle tones of branches and brush. Even when the sky was overcast, it was still lovely. The sun brought out those incredible blues and purples — not the “pretty” ones that I really dislike, but the dusky heavy ones that are smokey when light — and the shadows which accentuate the slightest depressions and contours. I love these Winter conditions far more than the homogeneous greens of Summer.
There’s one painting in my “Sky” collection called “West from Westview”, which is a view from my kitchen. Those towers to the left in the painting are dormitories on the Ithaca College campus. I added “Circa 2009” to the painting’s name because now, in 2010, there is an enormous roof in the landscape– that of a new 130,000 sq. ft. Events Center I.C. just built. It stretches from the bottom of those dormitory towers to about two-thirds across the painting. In addition, it has a huge tower rising from the middle of it. My painting is now an historic record!
Just want to point out how strange it is to see works that are in reality very different sizes, appear the same size on the website. To get some idea of their sizes in relation to each other, and how the frames enhance the presentation, take a look at the video of the solo. To do that, please go to the gallery website — www.soag.org — click on the exhibits, previous exhibits, then find mine in August, 2010 (just a logical progression). Clicking on that will bring you to the gallery’s official exhibit notice and at the bottom — ta da! — is a little word “video”. That’s it. Click. Of course there are reflections on the glass, but it gives a good idea of how the show looked.
There’s been a lot to be thankful for over the past months, not the least of which was the success of my exhibit in August (please click on “The Sky’s the Limit”, above, to view 25 of the 30 paintings). Been catching up on the more typical aspects of life since then, and will begin some serious pastel painting again in a week or two.
It may be a bit early to think about New Year’s resolutions, but I’m determined to work more on this website. I’ll begin by stating that I’ve had giclee reproductions made of the paintings that had sold during the August Solo, and they’re naturally much less expensive than the originals. More to come!