Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Temper Tantrum

"Seascape #9 (Angry Wave)"   SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
24" x 36" (60.96cm x 91.44cm)

One of my larger works that will be in my show at the Randy Higbee Gallery this Saturday  October 1st 2011, (See previous posts for more info). And a nice contrast to the harder edged works I do.

We like to give human characteristics to inanimate objects and the sea is no exception. Here I experimented with a soft edged focus to play against the somewhat angry wave violently slamming down like a child throwing a temper tantrum.129

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

One Man Show - HB Power Plant

"HB Power Plant - Dusk"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
12" x 16" (30.48cm x 40.64cm)

Here is the painting from the postcard announcement for my show at the Randy Higbee Gallery next Saturday, October 1st 2011. See previous posts for more info.

Two elements of our coastal landscapes and a common motif in my work. The mix of industry and nature. Not beautiful to some but in scenes like these I see themes that go beyond the mere industrial or nature images alone. Themes in the tradition of Homer and Hopper.

Man and Nature side by side. Industry has to be placed somewhere so it's impossible to ignore. Since we like to live in beautiful areas we end up with power plants like this one becoming part of the landscape.

Here the setting sun and the marine layer provide a dramatic backdrop to both the power plant and the wetlands of Huntington Beach.128

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oh No!... Chrome Green

"Vincent Thomas Bridge #5 - Study"
watercolor/gouache on wc paper, 2011
9" x 6" (22.86cm x 15.24cm)

A study for my Vincent Thomas Bridge series and included in the upcoming show. See previous post.

A few months back I began to ponder this series, especially regarding the show, and how it would present itself.
The challenge I found myself faced with was the color of the bridge itself. If I wasn't careful I would end up with a bunch 'chrome green' paintings... and green is a tough color, too much and your'e sunk. My Dad used to say "There is no such thing as a bad color... only a bad application of it."

Who would buy paintings with lots of green? Kermit the Frog. Shrek. The Incredible Hulk. They're not real so that leaves... Ed Begley Jr.?

The green of the bridge itself is spectacular in real life, the iridescent light reflecting paint, shimmering even on overcast days. But the moment it becomes a painting it's a different set of problems. Artistic decisions must be made. You can't merely copy real life.

I decided I had better use atmospheric conditions and time of day, light and shadow to control the green of the bridge within the paintings. This allowed me to modify the palette. Darken it by throwing it in shadow, lighten it with bright sunlight, increase the saturation, decrease the saturation or step on it (as Stapleton advises), use very little of it by featuring more of the surroundings, or eliminate the green altogether. All of which I've done in various paintings for the show.

This study shows the bridge in the afternoon under full sunlight, giving it more of a lime color. Lime green could easily overwhelm too, but used sparingly (as Dad would do) it pops, its bold, like it or not it's unexpected.
For a study I was free to throw down color. Here I put the more saturated color in the top half of the composition, the blue sky and the bridge, while the lower portion is deeper and richer in color and tone, chocolate brown and forest green, which helps anchor and keep the saturated colors under control.
To better integrate the bridge into its environment I allowed the warmer tones to spill into the background.127

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

One Man Show at Randy Higbee Gallery

Here is the postcard announcement for the show at Randy Higbee Gallery. More info on this show here and here.
All above paintings are new and were painted for this show so this is the first preview of what the show will look like.