Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Opus Demos!

Last weekend I did a couple of demos at Opus Art Supplies in Victoria. The demo comprised of me going through the process I used to make my series of portraits. More info on that series here.
I was rather nervous being up in front of 20 people who were looking over my shoulder while I painted, but once I got into it, it was rather fun.
Here's what the set up looked like.

Here's the step by step.
Step one: wash and light contour drawing

Step two: block in colours, thin paint

Step three: destroy image with big brushes

Step four: intuitive bring back in the forms, abstract marks

Demo 1 result

Demo 2 result

It was a pretty good experience that'd I'd love to do again. I was also appreciative of the audience because they were enthusiastic, engaged, and asked some really good questions.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Dodo or Dodon't?

The Raphus Cucullatus Nebula, 38" by 28", oil on canvas, 2017
This is another work in the series of paintings of mine that start from the fractured image/collage source. One of the things that I'm liking about this process of starting from collage is that through free-association, I can begin to develop meaning in the painting as I work. One image leads me to another thought which is countered by a thought conjured from the image next to it. This piece became about memory and dead or dying dreams. I really like how loose the brushwork is in this piece which is something I want to push more as well.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

6 or half-dozen?

I seem to be caught in the battle of the two impulses when trying to find subject matter for my paintings.
1. to paint from observation of 3d subjects, the impulse to use "real life" as a vehicle for emotion in paint
There's a romantic appeal to going out into the wilderness (could also be the "wilderness" of Quadra Village ;). I have had good experiences with responding / reacting with my paint brush when working from nature. I have also enjoyed still lifes in the past when I was really into Cezanne. The reason I resist going in that direction is because of the "so what" factor: everyday objects and scenes are pretty boring. Also, because I've been warped by art school (sort of kidding) I'm looking for "the big idea" that will launch a thousand works. The small ideas aren't worth the time and energy. 
On the other hand, I can see myself giving this direction a try because of the same reasons, just the other side of the coin. Like the challenge that Cezanne made "I want to astonish Paris with an apple."
2. using 2d images as a vehicle for emotion in paint. questioning what is "real life", also for more formal concerns, helps to free myself from the tyranny of the image.
This direction I feel is more in line with "the big idea." I can see it appealing to the intellectual aspect of art appreciation. The downside is that it may lack the spark that would draw a viewer to the work and may seem cold and distant. Also, the flip-side being a good reason to try this vein.
ugh! it's just in my nature to be two minds about everything.
Here's an astonishing apple(s)

Four Apples, c.1881 - Paul Cezanne

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Like Adele

If You Want To Be Adele, You'd Better Learn To Sing, 36" by 30", oil on canvas, 2017
Here's the latest painting from my collage studies. I'm really liking where this is going so far, even though the doubts keep coming back. It must be something new for me for my inner critic to be so vocal. I'll keep at it and see where it takes me.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The sitting queen

Cassiopeia, 40" by 36", oil on canvas, Pete Kohut
I thought that I would stop here with this painting before it went off into something else. This is an example of an image that I discovered the meaning as I was working on it. This piece speaks to the idea of vanity and the pressures related to that sort of persona.