Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7/31(the AM), A morning at the zoo...

...drawing bamboo. 

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #24, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

For me nature is not landscape, but the dynamism of visual forces.  -Briget Riley

7/30 & 7/31 (the PM), It always feels good... be in the final stages of a painting.  This one is coming together this week, but I can get a bit anxiously excited, and not wishing to take a wrong turn, I might pace myself by leaving it for another work for the next couple of days.  The "7/22, 723, & 7/24 (the AM)" of this blog is the last comparable post of this painting at its previous stage.

I carry my ideas with me for a long time, rejecting & rewriting until I am satisfied. Since I am conscious of what I want, I never lose sight of the fundamental idea. 
- Beethoven

Monday, July 29, 2013

7/29, Figuring it out

Much of the early sketchbook work featured on this blog has been devoted to the environment and atmosphere of the long term, large scale work.  Now that the work is in the final stretch, the figures need to be finely tuned.

Sketchbook page, for long term drawing #22, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, for long term drawing #23, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

The artist does not ascribe to the natural form of appearance the same convincing significance as the realists who are his critics. He does not feel so intimately bound to that reality, because he cannot see in the formal products of nature the essence of the creative process.  - Paul Klee

Saturday, July 27, 2013

7/26, Sketchbook Friday

Sketchbook page, for long term drawing #20, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, for long term drawing #21, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it? 
- Pablo Picasso

Thursday, July 25, 2013

7/25, Zoo day...

...with the sketchbook.

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #19, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

He who binds to himself a Joy
Doth the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the Joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity's sunrise. 
- William Blake

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

7/24 the PM, Leaves and trees in the plein air...

...I continued my landscape drawing this afternoon with more exploration of the curves and diagonals at Finaly Park.

...must we not distinguish between 'artiste' & 'artist': the one who enables us to forget what we do not want to remember, & the other who enables us to remember what we do not want to forget?
 - E. Stuart Bates, INSIDE OUT An Introduction to Autobiography

7/22, 7/23 & 7/24(the AM), When a painting is in the final...

...stages of its development, things progress quite a bit...but in ways that are not as dramatically obvious as in the beginning stages.  To prevent blogger redundancy, I am posting the culmination of the past three days today.  For progress comparison, 7/19 would be the previous for this stage.

While science follows the stream of reason & consequence, & with each attainment sees further, & never attains a satisfying goal, art is always at its goal. 
- Schopenhauer

Friday, July 19, 2013

7/19 the PM, Now I think...

...that I am really getting somewhere with this image.  With the sketchbook and the art syncing up, it has been a day's time at work in the studio well spent, with big improvements to the large scale, long term drawing/painting.

We make a living by what we get, but a life by what we give. - Churchill

7/19 the AM, I think there is a solution... some of the spatial and scale issues within my large scale, long term drawing/painting right outside my window, my kitchen window.  Morning sketchbook work explored the possibilities.  Off to test my theory.

Sketchbook page, long term drawing #18, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.
- Maslow

Thursday, July 18, 2013

7/18, Another sketchbook day at the zoo...

...resulted in too many fun, quirky, and invigorating conversations with children, tweens, and teens to recount all of the words.  Most just wanted to watch me draw, and several asked to look through my entire Zoo sketchbook (I keep multiple themed sketchbooks simultaneously.)  One tween came up and introduced himself as an artist by saying "I am an artist myself and can I asked you about what you are doing?" - he then proceeded to discuss my drawings and aesthetic choices.  Another tween proclaimed that he thought I could beat his uncle in an art competition, however to be fair, I believe the outcome of any competition with his uncle would be unpredictable as his uncle is a forensic artist and thus he (the nephew) has very limited exposure to his uncle's talent.  

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #16, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #17, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Forever honored by the Tree 
Forever honored by the Tree
Whose Apple Winterworn
Enticed to Breakfast from the Sky
Two Gabriels Yestermorn.

They registered in Nature's Book
As Robins -- Sire and Son--
But Angels have that modest way
To screen them from Renown.

by Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

7/17, Nothing like a rainy day... keep things moving along in the painting.  My plans to do some plein air painting at Finley Park were cut short by the afternoon thunderstorms.  My untitled, long term work however benefited greatly from the indoor focus.  Today's progress is posted below:

Memory is the fourth dimension to any landscape.  - Janet Fitch

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

7/16, Seven hours in the studio...

...felt like a wrestling match - but one well worth it.  Shifting the brilliance and saturation of colors has resulted with the spatial relationships becoming more strategically defined, more distinctive from front to back, or rather foreground and background.  Looking forward to making the saturation of hues in the foreground more distinct from those in the middle-ground.

There is no strong performance without a little fanaticism in the performer. - Emerson

If you're willing to fail interestingly, you usually succeed interestingly.
- Edward Albee

Monday, July 15, 2013

7/15, Textures and Gestures

Today's Riverbanks Zoo outing focused on fine tuning direction and quality of the line within each environment.

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #14, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #15, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Out of clutter, find simplicity.  - Einstein

Saturday, July 13, 2013

7/13, Major progress

...on the large scale, long term drawing (originally posted about on 6/24/2013.)  The sketchbook plein air drawings are really helping to provide structure and context for the imagery and narrative.

The landscape is like being there with a powerful personality and I'm searching for just 
the right angles to make that portrait come across as meaningfully as possible. 
- Galen Rowell

Friday, July 12, 2013

7/12, Lost in translation...

...the translation of nature.  Today's Zoo sketchbook outing ended accidentally two hours later than planned.  It was quite nice losing track of time.  Two young kids passing by promptly sat next to me while I was drawing, and they ignored their parents attempts to lure them away with cotton candy or popcorn.  Their mom said she felt they were hopeful that I would let them delve into my big bin of artist markers and draw, so there was a little bit of extra creative excitement for all of us.

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #12, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #13, marker, 
 and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, for 7/11 long term drawing (below), marker and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

We are the children of our landscape; it dictates behavior and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it.Lawrence Durrell 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

7/11 the PM, The afternoon rain may be keeping me indoors...

...but life is not without color.  Another radical shift in color on a work.  Here is hoping that it will all go well when taking the work to the next level.  Like when drawing the figure, the proportion within the torso seem work itself out quite easily, it is the addition of the length of limbs and position of the head that seems to provide the most difficulty.  And likewise, the middle of almost everything in art (and life) is the easiest - its what is on the other sides, the top and bottom, or the beginning and the end which are the most difficult, risky, and complicated.

Untitled work in progress, marker, ink, and acrylic on Yupo, 30" x 40"

detail of work in progress, marker, ink and acrylic on Yupo

This is a detail of the drawing prior to the work 
conducted in the studio this afternoon.  This detail
originally appeared in a 7/1/13 blog post.

While the river of life glides along smoothly, it remains the same river; only the landscape on either bank seems to change.  - Max Miller

7/11 the AM, The green today cool enough to make me want ice cream.  Grasshopper ice cream that is.  The perils of being a painter - dietary cravings.  The morning was spent again at the State Capitol.  I am feeling uncertain as to the affects of the Yupo paper on my linear marks.  The synthetic paper suspends material and transforms the materials - thus making each edge smoother.  It has made me question artist intention and chance - how much of the marks are mine?  or are they now the residue of a "filter" which is an inherent property of the support, the Yupo?

State Capitol painting, acrylic ink on Yupo, 11" x 14"

Life is like a landscape.  You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance.  - Charles Lindbergh

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

7/10, More Certain Times

Sometimes it is important to remember when a drawing is just a drawing, and let it go.  When color comes into the mix, there is the urge to make it a painting.  However today, I decided that this is as far as I want and should go with this drawing.  Keeping it loose - the lines, the forms and the features.  It is based on one of my favorite maquettes, and I think that maquette deserves more exploration through other drawings before proceeding to a more long term work.

Don't wait for ideas, they come with production. If you prepare yourself too much, you might never be ready. Creation is itself a preparation. I have been producing like a madman ever since I was 16. Don't be afraid to do inferior things, the first fruits are always small & sour. You must work a lot, it clears the brain.  - Chagall

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

7/9, Uncertain lines

This drawing progressed today (see previous 6/21 post) with a radical addition of more color, particularly green and yellow and a radical change in the outer shape.  It is almost complete and more linear work will be added later this week.

Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.  
- Pablo Picasso

Monday, July 8, 2013

7/8, the PM: Almost

This is finished, or I should say almost.  It is finished, but as with all of my works, I will leave it hanging in my studio for a bit as there may be an area or color for me to revisit.  The State Capitol sketchbook drawing (posted below) helped to resolve the blue light on the right side of the work.

State Capitol painting, acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40"

Within my reach!
I could have touched
I might have chanced that way!
Soft sauntered through the village,
Sauntered as soft away!
So unsuspected violets
Within the fields lie low,
Too late for striving fingers
That passed, an hour ago.

by Emily Dickinson

7/8, the AM: Pragmatic and practical

The morning was spent outdoors, onsite making practical sketchbook choices that will facilitate a finishing of some long term studio work - a landscape painting and the large, long term drawing.  Back to the indoors to apply the insight.

Sketchbook page, State Capitol drawing, marker, 
watercolor, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, State Capitol, foliage study for long term drawing #11, 
marker, watercolor, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Live to paint, don't paint to live.  - Darby Bannard 

Friday, July 5, 2013

7/5, Indoors, resolving and hopefully completing...

...two studio paintings.  With only one drawing completed, the rain has disrupted my work out of doors, so I must retreat to the studio for the remainder of the day.

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #10, marker, 
watercolor, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

"This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body."

- Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass

Thursday, July 4, 2013

7/4, Its in Plein Sight, Plein Air Sight...

Morning spent drawing in the sketchbook, and I survived the mugginess long enough to complete two drawings...I think that there is some good stuff which can be incorporated in long term works.

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #8, marker, 
watercolor, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Sketchbook page, Riverbanks Zoo for long term drawing #9, marker, 
watercolor, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together.
- John Ruskin

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

7/3, Starting at the bottom

Today begins with working out details of the embellishments in the foliage at the bottom of the drawing.  During college, Richard Mattson reminded me to think about each painting's outer edges, and Lester Goldman reminded me to think of the bottom of the composition.  Frequently Lester would have me raise the bottom edge of my paintings to my eye level while I worked on them.  He was right, of course, and the composition and cohesion in each work benefited greatly as a result.  I will be following Lester's advice again today, and jump start the day's work with a sketchbook study of that area.

Sketchbook page, for long term drawing #7, marker, ink and pen on paper, 9" x 12"

Long term drawing sketchbook drawings are based on.  Area of pictorial study is highlighted.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward 
significance.  - Aristotle

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

7/2, Its all in the details, the layering of details

Today, I made significant strides in the long term large drawing.  Figures, space, and shapes are now much more unified with the addition of a buttery yellow.

Zoomed in area detail of long term, large scale drawing.

Reflexes and instincts are not pretty.  It is their decoration that initiates art.  
- Martin H. Fischer

Monday, July 1, 2013

7/1, Simple Gestures, Simple Beginnings

Sometimes I think a painting should only take one hour.  If only each work could be built with an endless flow of simple lines and simple gestures that never needed to be erased, re-proportioned, or reconfigured.

Great art is as irrational as great music.  - George Jean Nathan