Archive for November, 2009
The Tree of Life, 29 x 29 x 29 inches mixed media; refurbished vintage plastic lawn chair, woven canvas strips and white glue, thin layers of drywall compound: cured, sanded, carved, acrylics paint, varnish. Durable, completely functional.
There was an interesting buildup of colors after a lot of changing colors and repainting the design many times, so the impressions of this chair are created like the other chairs in this series; ancient artifact replicas. The back design is still in progress. View an earlier post of this chair, April 18th, 2009, and the other chairs are listed on the Art, Prices page.
Upcoming exhibition: monthly featured artist at Oxide Gallery in Denton, TX. Among the items on exhibit: most of the Magic Square series, Dawn at Bell Rock, Sounds of Silence, Polypore Fungi, Shadows of Summer, Eastern White Pine, and three of the vintage chairs. Opening Reception Tuesday, December 1st, 6:00 p.m. – 8 p.m., and the show runs until December 31st. Click here to view the work and price list.
Left: Chapala Winds, Mexico, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted, 1/16 of the Magic Square series, all painted as various aspects of trees for the Dancing With Trees Exhibition collection..
Dawn at Bell Rock, Arizona 24 x 18 x 2 inches acrylics on canvas, finished today. Below: phases 01, 02 and 07
The Fourth of July 02 - Orange Milkweed, Kentucky (sold) 15 x 22 inches watercolors Above: finished, below: Nov. 19th almost finished
Driving from Texas to Ontario one summer I had to pull over to take photos and a closer study of the vivid orange bouquets growing beside the highway in southern Kentucky. The colors are irresistible, and this is not the first or last time I’ll portray this subject. All plants and trees contain medicinal and useful chemical properties in their leaves, stems, roots and flowers. I looked up Orange Milkweed in the most informative books about plants, The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism edited by Malcom Stuart, which contains details about every plant I have ever sought to find information for. According to it, Appalachian Indians made a tea from the leaves to use during religious ceremonies. One common name for this plant is Pleuracy Root, as it is still useful to treat infections of the respiratory tract including pleurisy It is used as a diaphoretic, antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant… Whatever! Color also has enchanting, supernatural energizing properties!
Bird Party, Watercolors on molded 140 lb watercolor paper – in progress.
I’m not exactly sure where this is headed, but shapes were cut out of the painting, the paper drenched , folded , stretched and sculpted. Every evening just before sunset in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Grackles, blackbirds, Starlings and pigeons gather on lawns, parking lots, overhead wires and cables, rooves and trees. The event is unique to this area as far as I know, and exciting beyond words to be amongst the thousands and thousands of birds. Here is a previous piece on the subject.
Angels Trumpet (Brugmansias) San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas - 14 x 22 inches Watercolors in progress Nov.7, 8, 9th: 1) Upper left detail 2) Upper right detail 3) Lower right detail 4) below, today’s work
I definitely pushed the work too far and am not pleased with today’s results, but on this blog I think it’s really important to show that failures are part of the learning process. Sometimes things turn out to be purely study. I didn’t trust my intuition this time and leave the painting when it was bright and fresh with lots of white paper showing through. While attempting to be bolder than usual with color – recognizing that as a positive step forward here - reworking the surface just made it muddier. I’m more familiar with acrylics properties and having a longer window of time to fix things. Now onto another version of this painting, or another subject, but still in watercolors because it’s time for a success after learning so much with this one.
Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas -12 x 16 inches value study in progress, Tombo pen wash on 140 lb. WC paper.
The Tombo pen is a two-in-one water-soluble marker available in colors as well as black. One tip is medium-fine and the other looks and behaves like a Chinese paintbrush, where thickness of lines can be controlled. What’s more difficult to control is that black once it’s on the page! The edge of the ledges on the bridge here were much brighter, but I couldn’t lighten them without making a mess of the surrounding areas, so they are OK. It’s something to pay attention to when painting the colored version.
The title of a work of art can help sell it, and captions can complete our understanding of a picture, but the most successful works of Art manage well without an explanation. Our visual senses – sight and insight – have a language of their own. Upon viewing anything, multitudes of information are presented and understood simultaneously, almost instantly. With or without color, images are powerful, possibly even more than words, because with the development of human communication, pictures came first. It’s now widely accepted that symbols marked the origins of written language across the world.
It takes much less time to perceive than it does to write about it. For a hands-on illustration of this, draw a simple Smiley Face, and note the time that it takes to draw it. Afterward write down everything that comes to mind about that icon; what it means, other general impressions and associations. Although this is a familiar icon with clear connotations, possibly something we see every day now, plus almost all of us have drawn it at some point, within seconds of describing it you will realize how much longer it takes to interpret as quickly into words. Harvey Ball, the original artist of the Smiley Face icon must be flabbergasted that succeeding generations would come to coin the term, “emoticons”, based on an indefinite number of facial expressions that spawned from the first, including animated ones that wink and cry, and more.