Sometimes you meet a tree and it speaks to you.
My original encounter with the tree was when I took this photo:
The first painting completed in 2018. This is oil on canvas and the title is “The Last Customer” It is of Bob’s Diner in #Brewster, NY. I’m painting some of the buildings that will be demolished when they build our new town center in a couple of years, as we will not see their like again. Small theaters, 50’s diners, and Pool Halls.
Brewster, New York is a village within the Town of Southeast. They are going to renovate the village in late 2018-19. They will knock down several historic buildings, including a 50’s Diner (Bob’s Diner) a Pool Hall and the old Cameo Theater. I plan to paint them each before they are gone.
Here is an in-progress sketch of Bob’s Diner interior. I will add more works as I go along
In order to grow as an artist you need to learn. Sometimes you learn from classes and books and sometimes you learn by trying different things. Doing the same thing over and over, if it is not working, is not the answer.
Lately I’ve been working in oils and playing with perspective. But while I was online getting some supplies, I came across Golden Fluid Acrylics. I went on You Tube and found many artists doing some fantastic work with them. One whom I find very soothing to watch is a gal MelyD.artist. She comes out with some great work as well and it’s fun to watch it develop.
So of course I had to try it as well. I found where I wanted to take my experiments were different than the way she worked and that is how art works. Creative efforts often spark more creative efforts.
So here is some plain acrylic paint mixed with Matte Media. I call this one You Make my Heart Melt.
Of course I had to go on and play some more. This one is mostly fluid acrylics with a little painting on top. I call this one Meeting the Genius.
Conjuring the Storm
Surfing the Mindscape
I find I like to use these acrylics to make a complex background and then either enhance the elements with a little painting or paint over them. It’s always fun to try a different direction.
This is another larger one at 36 X 48 inches in size. I wanted to capture some of the aspects of nature without making it relative to size. At the bottom I have painted some pollen grains that I think have a wonderful abstract quality. This painting is bright, without being overwhelming. If you look carefully you’ll find a tiny homage to the first video game I played and also a pair of my tired eyes after painting the many very tiny details this painting holds.
Recently I’ve been working in two styles, one is the egg tempera based one I’ve discussed in previous posts and also a more abstract one, that I’ve been working with in acrylic. I find it very hard to settle down and just do one style. So I’ve decided to try and focus on just two for a while (if I can). I’ve been playing with drawings that I draw to convey some sort of motion and then I add color. I find that these are best expressed in acrylic, that dries fast so I can keep my shapes clean and sharp. I greatly enlarge the small sketches and start playing with the images I see on the canvas. Some sort of magic happens when I make the initial images larger and I start seeing new shapes and images arise in the negative space. Here are two that I have finished in that style. So for the winter, let it flow and let it grow.
The top one is entitled “Reach for Peace” and the next one is “The Power of Nature” and both 36 x 48 inches in size, the third one is “The Mating Game” and is about 24 x 30 and the bottom one “Ride the Wild Seahorse” and is 18 x 24 inches in size.
I recently finished this painting on the Kleshas. In Christian philosophy, we have the seven deadly sins, that might keep you from finding a state of grace. There are both yogic and Buddhist approaches to the Kleshas and the flavor is slightly different and they define them a little differently.
I came across the Kleshas during studies with my yoga teacher. They are: abhinivesha (fear), asmita (false identity), raga (attachment), dvesha (aversion) and avidya (ignorance).
There are many images for the Kleshas but of not in a Western cultural context. I wanted to create something that those studying yoga in the West could use to understand and meditate on the Kleshas. I did this painting as a gift for my yoga teacher.
The figure is standing on one foot to represent that if the Kleshas are not addressed she remains off balance. I tried to make the figure a healthy looking woman, rather than a model or a magic goddess throwing off sparks, but the you encountered in the mirror every day. The figure is not clothed, as you must take away the outside masks of costume and artifice to overcome these obstacles and know your inner self.
Each hand is in a mudra that is associated with the chakras of the kleshas. The icons for each klesha have the color of the chakra they are over. From top to bottom, they are ignorance, avoidance, false-identity, attachment and fear.
This is my new favorite painting. I combined some abstract elements with lavender fields in Provence. I also used elements of color theory that I used from Stephen Quiller and his book Color Choices: Making sense out of color theory.
The Quiller Wheel works by using semi-neutrals that harmonize a painting. For instance if you need a dark for a shadow you could try blending a purple with the opposite on the color wheel a yellow, for a cool toned semi-neutral.
You can see how this works on his website, where I love some of the muted tones in his paintings.
So without further ado, Lavender in Provence.
Over the years this has turned out to be one of my most popular paintings and I won’t give up the original. But for a friend I did Lavender in SC
And in 2016 a gallery wanted the original (which I still won’t give up) so I did Provence 2016 for them.
So if you in the mood to try reading the book I used Making Sense Out of Color Theory know that although he works in watercolors, he has charts in the book that cover acrylics and oils, as the exact name of a purple hue may be different for different media. It also comes with a pull out color wheel that I have on my studio wall. One of my favorite things about the book is that he will do the same scene using different color combinations and intensities, that in itself is very educational.
If you like his work and you are a watercolorist you may like this book: