Sunday, June 29, 2008
oil on canvas
I painted over an older painting and the (color of the) frame is now a part of the art work. It is a very physical thing, painting-as-object, in addition to the burnt orange square feeling dense like a Richard Serra paintstick piece or sculpture. It is some kind of hybrid of Serra, O'Keefe adobe houses and Josef Albers. The blue in the gray is complementary to the orange, but it isn't a picture about transparency like the Albers painting in the previous link. It's a tough painting, a Tae-Bo kick painting, not a Celine Dion painting. I don't usually paint this way, but here it is. Perhaps painting over an older piece made me think more about the physicality of the thing, the work as artifact.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
19" x 22"
oil on panel
A stone foundation provides the square framework I enjoy. The landscape can seem like a direct downward view, or a frontal angle with the stone tipped up like a frame to look through. I recently heard a podcast through MOMA NYC, I believe, about Sean Scully (very good article I've linked, by the way). I never gravitate to his work but now I have a new appreciation as he described the rectangles in his paintings as "bricks" and the significance of the brick in history/culture. Now I am all over them.
Foundation is about the architecture AND the landscape, however. There is a sense of mapping through the linear element in the work. The bricks are a bit quirky, beautiful and unique like people. The Williams Visual Arts Building at Lafayette College, where I once taught, is a wonderful building whose bricks were individually hit as they were made to purposefully bend them into irregular shapes. They protrude from the walls and curve in an aesthetically stimulating manner. Back to the painting - the yellows and greens bring new life to the bricks. A new foundation or old, we can not tell; it speaks to the past as well as to the future.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
36" x 24"
Soutine still life painting of fish
This is my third painting of the subject, all done in this size. The second I donated in December to St. Luke's Episcopal Church, New Orleans, LA, where there was reconstruction after Katrina, no art, and every member but one lost their home. I received an e-mail last month looking for the insurance value of the work because they had a fire and the painting was destroyed. I don't know any details about the fire. I really liked the painting and to do something a second time (or a third) is to do it differently, so there was a bit of a loss there. I didn't want to sulk too long, so I made this version. The composition of the one lost went something like this digital version. I have a jpeg of it somewhere. In this new painting, the hands are almost juggling the pita bread loaves/suns or they are buoying in an ocean-sky.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
18" x 24"
oil on panel
This is like an agrarian Broadway Boogie Woogie. It is fun, like Mondrian's. As a rule, I'm not so interested in the perfectly square (you should see me trying to mat things), primarily because I like the slightly imperfect. At the same time, the color is orchestrated in perfect pitch. The rectangles aren't static; the color induces ocular somersaults. Radiant, it seems to give off heat.