Friday, November 15, 2013

Dusk, Dawn, Light and Dark

I have done series and themed works then written about them here on my blog. Most of these ideas have been expressed through the vehicle of the industrial motif, a subject largely ignored since it is most often not pretty.
That is a mistake. It is the idea entrenched within the picture and not the picture itself that is (or should be) important.
I know the risk of doing this means a narrower audience and yet I push on. I can't give it up because it is part of me.
I try to show others what I see and hope they too will see it but only some can, or slow down enough to  pay attention.

I have used the end of the day as a metaphor for ideas.
Aging Relic: "L. B. Plant (Arco Oil Plant)"
The Dying Day: "Catalina Pacific Concrete"
Ponto Storage: "Ponto Storage #1"
Urban River 4: "Santa Ana River #4"
Absorbed by History?: "Linden and Broadway"

I have used light and dark for the same.
Yin and Yang: "Oil Plant #4 (Sunlit Grass)"
"Dark Rain"
"Light Rain"
Melancholy: "Harbor Line #50 (Catalina Pacific Concrete)"
Curtain of Rain: "BNSF (Cajon Puddle)"
Spot-Lighted: "PHL Sulfur Pile"
No House of Cards: "Catalina Pacific Concrete (Storm)"
Crushed By The Sun: "Warehouse Rooftop (w/ Palm)"
Beast of Burden: "Harbor Line #61 (Dusk w/ Engineer)"

And I have used the dead of night too.
Terminated: "Oil Plant Nocturne"
Subdued Energy: "Tree Nocturne (19th St.)"
'Of the Night' 2: "Nocturne - Night Owl"

Lately I have been exploring the beginning of the day and the potential themes of it.
Tied Up Dog: "Relic Sunrise"

Like night and day the dusk and dawn are opposites but also complimentary. They are moving in opposite directions but they share the same moments of light, the day or night ending or beginning.

They are divisions that mark the day and carry their own meanings and associations and can be different to us all. The beginning, the end, but of what?
Neither the beginning nor the end is really tied to any one meaning, it is a matter of personal experiences and perception and most importantly observation. It can be but is not always cheery.

It is not necessarily one of hope, that idea is too common and obvious, just think of all those motivational posters, slogans, images etc., too much and it becomes trite. The new day can also represent despair, for some, as each new day IS another beginning of something. That idea I tackled in the above Tied up Dog: "Relic Sunrise"

It does not always have to be that extreme either, sometimes it's the small melancholy incidentals that are just part of life... the things we encounter daily but ignore, those small incremental changes in the landscape, things we notice briefly then forget, an abandoned object or building.

We are already conditioned to see beauty in nature, the figure etc but you have to look for it in the unpretty.......You need to stop and take notice or you'll miss it. It's there if you look hard enough.
It is the job of the artist to point it out.

I should say I am not a depressive person, never have been, I am happy and like it that way, but many of these things I examine are just part of life and I think examining them is worth doing. Not all artists want to do nothing but happy snappy works so although I don't live mired in it I can still put down my observations on it. That point of view is just as valid.

I am not even being needlessly negative, or needlessly happy for that matter, instead I am recording what I see and doing so consciously.

I might even say that to know one side you must look at its opposite to really understand, so being the content person I am means it is perfectly logical to stare at the 'unpleasant' to fully realize and appreciate who I am and what I have.

You can't really know the darkness until you have stood in the sunshine otherwise you get along thinking 'this is how it is' and 'it' is normal. That would be abnormal or at least naive.

How can you know joy unless you have tasted sorrow, we must experience both.

I simply must do this, have some target, something to drive me in my work otherwise I am merely painting pretty pictures and will get bored to death. To me, that would be depressing. There must be something in it or I end up feeling a bit hollow as I work.


  1. Okay David! I don't think I have ever mentioned this before and I am not sure why I haven't. But here goes... Not only do you paint well but you write very well!
    I wish I could write how much I love your art! I wish I could find the words to express how important and relevant your art is! Your art is beautiful on so many levels. Your prose too!
    I love to think that art has its very own language. Just like music! So, I know this may sound trite, and I also know I write this quite a bit, but I feel so strongly that good art speaks for itself. Maybe that is why I find it difficult to write about art! Your art "says" so much to me. It is a visual experience that maybe shouldn't be put into words! So my buddy keep on keeping on! Know that your East Coast Art Buddy is out here eagerly awaiting your next post and the chance to see your exciting work! Bravo David!
    (It is now after mid night. I love late night! I love early morning. I love twilight time. I love daybreak. I am not a huge fan of mid day! Funny huh! Noon time to me seems to have no drama. Sun rise and sun set are tremendous. Late night watching the stars is amazing. Okay I am rambling. It is late.
    Boa noite o meu amigo!
    Miguel aka Michael

    1. Hi Michael,
      Thank you! You are always so enthusiastic!!!

      I enjoy writing my thoughts as much as I do painting. It is what is going through my mind as I work, actually all the time since my brain is always working whether I am painting or not.

      I agree art has its own language like music etc but I am in a different camp as to whether it should be put into words. I think it should.

      Even when it speaks for itself there is always more than we can initially see. We all have thoughts going through our head, intuitive or not, while creating and the only one who can really convey that is the artist. No one can do that for you.
      In fact I am fascinated by the 'mechanics' and thoughts of other artists and how they create their own work, so different than mine. I love to here it.

      I am reminded of an article I read on Winslow Homer, a favorite of mine, and it was said that he never talked about his work, never recorded his own unique thoughts. So all thoughts on his work is ONLY through the interpretations of others.
      I think that is too bad because we'll never know the perspective that only the creator can give.
      After that the thoughts of others are fine.

      Also, even though I am an artist I can't always interpret another's work, even if I have my own visceral reaction. If I can interpret it I still like hearing them describe it themselves, that makes it more personal.

      In the case of this post I am relating how all my work is strung together in a unifying manner, my thoughts don't start and stop but instead pass through each work continuously, I am constantly thinking about it like one big series. So to the casual viewer, the one who may find a single image of mine here and there, they would not know unless I tell them.

      Something to ponder...
      Thanks Michael,
      Keep painting...