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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Ballerinas Also Rest

Sequined Skirt   conte crayon/pastel   20.5 x 12
I always look forward to Tuesday evenings when Ballet Excel Ohio teams up with Cuyahoga Valley Art Center to provide young dancers with live models for the evening.  Typically the session begins with a series of 1-5 minute poses, wherein we are more likely to be treated to particular dance movements, where the body itself, as well as the negative space surrounding the body, becomes the subject.  The major shapes in the work are complex, broken up and imply the energy of the dance.  Subsequently, the model is posed in a more static restful position which she will hold, with small breaks, until the end of the session.  This is when observational skills are piqued and extended.  The major shapes are more self-enclosed, less dynamic.  This quietude leads to a completely different kind of that is more of an exchange between model and artist, one that offers an emotional countenance.  These things, then, become the subject of the work.  Two completely different kinds of work.

In looking back over the past works, I see that most of my work has been a welcome exchange between the seated model and myself...a quieter, more serious kind of contemplation.

I think that when our sessions begin again in January, I will try to make more creative and dynamic works from the gesture poses.....a bit daunting....but very exciting....I love giving myself new challenges.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Pump up the Color!

Mexican Sunflowers   watercolor   13 x 10
Some would deem watercolor to be the perfect medium for floral work.  I agree that that can be true.  However, my tastes run to the richer, the meatier, the weightier.....too much lightness, for me, can not be taken seriously.  These particular flowers are Mexican sunflowers.  The seeds were sewn indoors, then later transplanted to the garden.  Late summer.....these blooms create a trellis-like entangling, about 6 feet in height.  The hummingbirds love them.  We love them.  The color is spectacular.....the most fluorescent hue imaginable!

Fluorescent?  Lucky me.  Last birthday I received some watercolor pans from Case for Making, a San Francisco-based storefront that carries handmade pigments.  The ones used here (as well as several other autumn projects):  fluorescent orange light and fluorescent flame red. 

In the working of this painting, the entangling of the blooms got to be too much, just too tedious.  That is when I used a blue-tinted gouache to separate the top.  This break almost reads as sky,  and the design benefits greatly. 

Color me fluorescently happy.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Glimpse

Doe, A Dear
This work began as reference photo shot deep within the woods.  The animal was barely visible, his own self-protective camouflage coloring working as it should.  The background was, of course, filled with texture....leaves, leaves, branches and leaves.  What I have done here is, in my own opinion, to create a better painting than what was provided by my reference.  I know what I like....and any attempt to alter it has been discarded, repainted, and, perhaps, discarded again.  I have absolutely no interest in painting hyper-realism.  (I am probably unable to do it anyways). 

In looking at the work, and trying to understand a few of the major decisions that made this work personal, I found:

- The value of the deep woods in the background was maintained, while eliminating the texture. 

- Some shapes were simplified and made two-dimensional, to further simplify

- the largest major shape (deer torso) has been broken into, primarily because I wanted more interest     in the face and head

- and, as always, values were slightly pushed to a blackish-violet in some areas to further rhythmic        viewing and focal point description

These decisions were made is only when finished, that I try to understand why things happened as they did.

Although my final work reveals more than just a glimpse, I am happier.