Sunday, June 24, 2018

New paintings varying on a theme

The theme being the idea of starting with a composition based on the shapes I find in machinery and architecture. My dilemma is that the gallery which asked me to send a body of work for a show in July saw my work in February when my work was different. As a compromise, to please the gallery owner and still find inspiration in my new direction, I combined the earlier imagery over a structure of angles and mechanical shapes. That may not be so obvious in these first smaller paintings (varying in size from 12" X 12" to 20" X 20" to 24" X 18"), but the three larger ones at the bottom show the influence more. 

A close look at these three last paintings, which are 40" square, may reveal some of the machine-inspired design. Below is what they looked like at one point, then painted over to find the "landscape" and additional details.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Experimenting with a New Direction

I've been exploring compositions influenced by photos I've taken of machinery and architectural structures. The three panels of this triptych are each 48" square. 

You might be able to find some of the elements that I used in this photo. I took reference from additional photos, too, but this is an example of what I was working with.

I pick out details from the photos and arrange them in a design that carries over from one panel to the next, trying to make sure that each panel is a good painting on its own. I start by drawing a grid on tracing paper to help me transfer the image to the larger panel. Then trace pieces of the photo.

Gesso gives the wood panels texture that I emphasize by applying the paint in thin layers with a squeegee. 

I then transfer the drawing to the panels using the grid for reference. The drawing is done in charcoal. 

Here is a second painting, a diptych. The initial drawing, the painting finished and the painting installed in its new home. 

These panels are 40" square. Once I have the mechanical aspects in the paintings I add hints of the iconography that I've used in the past - birds, trees, natural things.

I was recently in Philadelphia and enjoyed a wonderful walk along the Schuylkill River where there were infinite possibilities for images. I'm excited about this new direction and look forward to more exploration on this theme. As always, I'll keep you posted.