Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Gasp of Air

"Vincent Thomas Bridge #9 (Channel)"
oil on panel, 2011
9” x 6” (22.86cm x 15.24cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Bridge Series:
Bridges carry a certain civic pride much like state and country pride. Their primary function may be utilitarian but for locals are a source of identity.

This view of the bridge from below and outside the roadway is breathtaking. With nothing to visually hold you up its like a huge gasp of air. Showing very little of the bridge itself, with the focus on the channel it emphasizes the drama, height and span of the bridge.

I should point out this is one of those paintings I had great difficulty photographing. Even doing some editing/color correcting I could not get it right, specifically the dock. The original looks far better.167

Click on image for larger view

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Do I Pronounce That?

Here is one of those sites that must be passed along. In our online global community we all encounter words we don't know how to pronounce, words foreign to us.

I discovered this site from a post on Ingres over at Charley Parker's blog 'Lines and Colors'.

If you are like me then you sometimes have trouble deciphering other languages and the correct pronunciation of words, specifically artists names.

FORVO provides pronunciations in the native tongue, (click blue triangle), as well as a map showing the region of that diction in male and female voices.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Urban River 3

"Santa Ana River #3 Footbridge"
watercolor on paper, 2012
7" x 10" (17.78cm x 25.4cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here is the third painting of this river. The other two, here and here.

Each explores the man/nature theme.
This one showing the man made structures of pedestrian bridge in the middle ground, two traffic bridges and the power poles and towers in the distant background. So more of this composition is of the man made vaguely looming over nature.

I experimented by placing the more saturated color across the middle with the top and bottom nearly monochromatic and more loosely painted.
This one was done on hot pressed paper which takes the watercolor differently. Besides being untextured (like cold pressed) watercolor washes heavy with pigment tend to go down slightly softer around the edges, as though the surface has the slightest bleed. It also seems to dry to a more velvety finish. I like the difference but it will take some time to get used to it.166

Click on image for larger view

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vincent Thomas Bridge #12

"Vincent Thomas Bridge #12"
oil on panel, 2011
8" x 6" (20.32cm x 15.24cm)

Bridge Series:
Bridges carry a certain civic pride much like state and country pride. Their primary function may be utilitarian but for locals they are a source of identity.

Views looking up like this are described as a worms eye view. Not immediately recognizable as the bridge tower but still a dramatic composition. Visible are the two 'X' braces at top left.

The point of view here is just below and outside the roadway, essentially like hanging off the side of the bridge. On the other side of the chain link fence at left is where the traffic is whizzing by.
This is the bridge tower being wrapped in scaffolding, which will reach to the top, in preparation for painting. The scaffolding will then be wrapped in plastic to contain the work.165

Here is another view that shows the tower completely wrapped.
Click 'Vincent Thomas Bridge' Label below or at right to see more from this series.

Click on image for larger view

Friday, January 6, 2012

Urban River 2

"Santa Ana River #2"
watercolor on paper, 2012
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Looking forward to a new year as I have set many goals for 2012. Of course that now means signing the date '12. Darn, the two ones of '11 were so much easier. Oh well.

Here is my first finished piece of 2012, literally done on January 1st. This is the second of this urban river.
Much like the first, done in oil, it's the juxtaposition of the natural and man-made world that I find fascinating to study.
The lazy meandering river takes its time moving through the frame from right to left. The razor sharp line of the highlighted bike path slicing across the picture, the verticals of power poles and towers and the flat plane of the river bank contrast nicely with the organic flow of water and vegetation. 164

Click to see "Santa Ana River #1"
Click on image for larger view

Monday, January 2, 2012

2 Watercolor Landscapes from Series

"Burnscape #9"
watercolor on paper, 2011
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

"Oil Plant #10"
watercolor on paper, 2011
7" x 10" (17.78cm x 25.4cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here are two recent watercolors done near the end of 2011.
I'm still searching for my own 'visual voice' in watercolor. Up until the last six months, I had not painted with it much the last couple of years, at least in a more traditional direct approach.

I have a love/hate relationship with (this kind of) watercolor. I do enjoy it's direct, fast dry properties over oils but often I'll lay down a color wash and later realize it's wrong and I'm stuck with it. Or an area that got too dark and I can't lighten it enough. That is tough to take since I've invested the time and may otherwise like the painting, but it is essentially ruined by that.
It takes a different kind of planning I know, but it generally goes against the way I prefer to work.

I also dislike the early stages, the first few steps or washes. Mine always look so ugly and I have to remind myself to push through these initial steps and not give up. I don't have that issue with oils.

In both of these my initial intent was to work looser. They ended up tighter but that's okay for now. It is going to take a conscious effort to get to that goal without loosing the substance and solidity I want. That said, I'm still happy with the way they turned out.162,163

I found this quote from Jamie Wyeth that best sums up the last paragraph above. I'm happy that even the greats face(d) the same predicaments.

"Painting to me is constant searching.  I can see what I want, but I can’t get there, and yet you have to be open enough that if it goes another way, then let it go that way."         Jamie Wyeth.

Click 'LABELS" below to see more from each series
Click on images for larger view