In recent weeks I have been working to complete a couple of bodies of work.  These first two paintings are part of my Slippery Slope collection.   They represent a view of the cliffs and rocky areas along the northern shore that speak to my approach to these areas.  How close can I get and still understand the view as a landscape?  These are the areas that I like to look inside of for my other collections.

Graffiti

 

Graffiti at the Base of the Waterfall

48 x 36

 

cove

Cove

30 x 48

This last painting is a part of my Portals series.  It is acrylic on paper and is approximately 36 x 48.  This group of paintings is inspired by both real and imagined landscape features.  This one happened to be real.

portal 2 (640x428)

Portal 2

 

Now that the weather is beginning to turn wetter and chillier I am working on larger works indoors. I have made a new painting wall at the C Street Studios to pin up large chunks of paper to paint on.  A series of rock inspired paintings is happening.

Slippery Slope

This is Slippery Slope and is 36 wide but I am not sure how high just yet.  It is acrylic, graphite, and pastel on canvapaper.

I have been outside and painting flowers and woodland areas recently.  On a visit to the marina I forsake the bay and trees for this simple plant:  the thistle.  The wind was wildly scattering its fluff and the other two unopened buds were taking note.  The air was warm and the sun was low in the sky.  An excellent day painting.  There were many of these spiny thistles marking the changes in the weather and this one reached out and grabbed me. I love the ethereal qualities of this plant:  it will soon be gone just like millions of thistles before it.

Thistle   24 x 18

Thistle

24 x 18

acrylic on paper

 

Wedge

Wedge

22 x 30

acrylic on paper

This painting and its counterparts really excite me.  There will be many more of these to come.  I am preparing to show them during my November show at the Arcata Artisans.

On September 9, 2017, I will be painting at the Humboldt Botanical Gardens during the yearly fundraiser.  Many painters were invited and I am honored to be among them.  I look forward to a rich and rewarding event. That being said, practice is in order.  Flowers are not a subject I paint often so I am relieved to have chosen the Riparian Window as my spot to paint for the afternoon. This is a lovely area with a small creek and large withered fallen branches, drying grasses, and ferns.  It is perfect!  I am also painting some flowers since it would be crazy not to.  The gardens are sprawling with a rainbow of flowering plants, organized and maintained by a crew of volunteers. The grounds encompass 40 acres of grassy woodland full of manicured gardens and wild grace.  The paths make accessing the gardens easy and pleasant.  There is a butterfly house and a vegetable garden which harvests for the food bank.

I have begun the first of several paintings of the Riparian Window.  This is still basically an underpainting and I will likely finish it on the day of the gala.

beginning window

Riparian Window #1

Red Flower

Red Flower

White Roses

 White Roses

All of my recent paintings are done with my continued dedication to brushless painting.  In the image below I worked with rags, pushers, scrapers, knives, and my fingers.  I pinned canvas paper to a wall, floor to ceiling, and began painting.  This allowed me to walk many feet away from the painting and added a perspective that I cannot get on a smaller canvas.  The result is 54 x 36 inch scroll. This is an inner vision of outer elements; a visual voice louder than my speaking voice.

scroll for website

Scroll #1

In the last several weeks I have made an incremental change to how I approach painting.  I got rid of my brushes. Well, I actually stored them in my studio that is 10 mile away.  I reached the conclusion that the brushes were limiting how I wanted to make the paint work.  And I was binding up into old habits that constrained the painting and me.  In lieu of the brushes I am using rags, scrapers, sticks, knives, and pushers with which to paint.  This is so freeing!  I can reach the abstract qualities that I could not reach with a brush. Here are some pieces that I have essentially finished.

portals

Portals

36 x 36

The following two are works on paper.  They are 22.5 x 30.

Fireworks on the Bay      22x30

Fireworks on the Bay

Portal  22x30

Portal

There are many days when all I really want to do is disappear. Studios are brilliant for this.  I can be in my studio for hours with no internet, no phone, no mail, and no one really knows where it is.  It is here that I can think and paint or draw freely.  When I remove myself from the influence of others is when I paint for real.  It may or may not be masterful but it is sincere, honest painting.  It is not made for the market.  I could on for hours about my approach/avoidance with the “market” which has not been unkind but which I find distressing and interrupts my painting.

These paintings I started in total isolation.

20170421_134717

acrylic on board

9 x 12

abstract #1

acrylic on board

9 x 12

These paintings will be expanded upon and serve as the sketches for significantly larger works.

 

 

 

I don’t know why but I feel this compulsive need to post work when I have come to a stopping point in the work.  This is not always the “finished” point, just one stopping place along the painting path. Posting has become a bit like painting daily.  It helps me see how the work appears in another context and the screen image often reveals areas that need work like dead or confusing space.  So these are studies from this week: the subject is wet sand and rocks.  Each is 12 x 14.  Acrylic on canvas.

jetty rocks with shadow

 

The above piece is about the breakwater and the shadows on the rocks as well as the skim of water on the sand surrounding the rock in the foreground.

rocks in wet sand

 

This painting is of the wet sand remaining around the rocks after a high tide on the beach.