Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Union Jackie

This painting is really a three part experiment, which is probably the least effective way to conduct an experiment.

The first part was the support - the canvas. When I was in school a professor told me that painting on linen was a heavenly experience. It's pricey stuff and I've never been able to afford it. I came across some reasonably priced stretched canvas in my favorite art store and couldn't resist the impulse. It was sealed with clear gesso, so I was thinking it'd be super toothy.

The second was the medium. Normally I use galkyd as my medium, but I rummaged out a bottle of oil that I mixed up near five years ago. I lovingly refer to it as Leyendecker Juice, as it's the closest approximation I've been able to find to the mystery medium J.C. Leyendecker used.

The last part was the color palette. I've been experimenting with a very limited palette (yellow ochre, cadmium red medium, titanium white, and ivory black) but sometimes you just need to paint something blue. So I introduced Payne's Gray to bias some things towards blue and the cooler side of the spectrum.

I consider this experiment a win; though later I realized that I couldn't tell if it was the clear gesso, linen canvas, or painting medium that I was responding to. I did some follow experiments which I'll be posting shortly.

Oil on linen. 11" x 14".

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

More from the sketchbook

The thing I like most about working in the sketchbook? It's the best way to procrastinate and still be productive. It's such a happy distraction.

Another venture in distracting myself from what I should probably be working on.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Taking My Brain For a Walk

I've got an ambitious project on my board and truth be told I'm kind of scared of it. So, whenever I hit a roadblock in the process I would pull out my sketchbook and just do some random drawings to get my head right again. I think Brad Holland put it best when he referred to making art as taking his brain for a walk. So that's what I did, I took an inward vacation and drew for the sheer joy of drawing.

No pressure. No deadlines. No expectations.
Just me, my pencil, the page, and music blaring in my ears from an 86 GB well.

On the left is a sort of warm-up doodle, which is followed by a warm up sketch. I guess the point was to take me away from the problem I was working on while keeping my brain in the "art zone". Thus allowing me to get the distance and perspective I needed. Whatever the reason, it worked. I was able to get back to my project and slide right past the roadblocks. (Unfortunately there are always more waiting on the other side!)

At any rate, I have a few more things to post in the coming days - and I hope by the time I run dry I'll have finished side-stepping roadblocks and can share it with all of you.