Thursday, June 23, 2016

My Boys Are Running Wild!


Back to my boys.  After knit picking every brush stroke, I let loose on a triple portrait I started a year or two or three ago? It felt good.  It reminded me of Robert Henry who said something to the effect that no matter what you do to a painting, you won't lose the original forms.  I think that's true. As I look at these two, they still look very much like themselves. The third son still has to be brought into the fold. He's got nowhere near enough color going on.


Monday, June 20, 2016


The Maestro, Oil Grisaille, 16" x 20"

This is a milestone day. I finished the grisaille that's been on my easel since February!  The painting was quite the challenge, The guitar nearly drove me mad!  His shirt and pants were no picnic either.  Add to that my right knee that couldn't stand for long and needed days between sessions to quit burning--and a spouse who kept saying that looks finished to me--Morris was quite the trip.  Will I do another?  You bet.  Morris was a valuable painting experience; the Venetian method was the ultimate lesson in oil painting. 

And there's more to learn, but not till my right knee is ready to stand at the easel.  That won't be till Fall when it will be fully healed from the makoplasty. Till then, graphite pencils will be the medium of choice. 

Daily drawing really suffered these last days.  Morris and my knee weighed down my enthusiasm.
I did manage a few, which I noticed as I got closer  to finishing Morris, got more and more heavy handed and a bit wild. 

Hank, Graphite, 5" x 8"

.Lee Krazner, graphite, 6" x 8"

Helen Frankenthaler, graphite, 6" x 8"

Eva Hess, graphite, 6" x 8"

Marisol, graphite, 6" x 8"

Georgia O'Keefe, graphite, 6" x 8"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

I Spy A Finish Line

Morris is a tweak or two away from signing.
Morris is a tweak or two away from finished; I can see the finish line. In spite of a second bout this month with a bad back, I have been able to hobble down to the studio and zero in on this or that adjustment that make the maestro that maestro. The last three partially visible guitar strings, some indications of frets and the indication of a jowl on the far side of his face and that will be that.

Work on Morris has been off and on since January due to one ailment or another. Work on the next painting will be erratic as well. The surgery on my right knee in July may make standing at the easel a bit uncomfortable at first, but less and less till there's none.  It's time to find a subject as absorbing as Morris to take his place on the easel.  I have two subjects in mind.

Piggy Back is a possibility.

Waiting At The Gate is another.

The Venetian method demands total belief in the subject. The process is incredibly slow. The painting is on the easel for weeks to months. Everyday you go to the studio and it greets you with demands.  You comply. Little by little, the scaled cartoon becomes a painting. With the transformation, the urge to hurry and finish disappears. You relax and just go about the job of reading values, mixing matches and correcting flaws.  You are content in the doing.  It's really quite a lovely feeling. I am enjoying it--enough to want to do another. 

Piggyback would be a sweet painting, but Waiting At The Gate arouses my curiosity and offers painting challenges.  I will be wondering the whole time I'm painting what these women were talking about--and if I wonder, so will viewers. While the painting would be a portrait, it would also tell a story. I also see this subject in color--the final layer of the Venetian method, in which color glazes are laid over the completed monochrome. This is the challenge; I've never worked with color glazes before. I think I've made a decision?