Friday, February 19, 2010

More Drawing...

Some days are just meant for drawing. Today has certainly been one of those. With so many ideas rattling around my skull, it's impossible for me to spend too much time on any single concept (some call this ADHD. HA!). I find the time spent forging through the empty pages of my drawing pads is well spent. Ideas spawn more and better ideas. Some concepts are so invigorating, I find myself awake at night thinking about the next day's work. Working it out with paper and pencil makes me think about line, form, and edge before a single brush stroke is ever applied. Oh... and it's fun! The hours quickly pass by with such a delightful task. I think it's time for Otis and I to go for a ride.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SEWE 2010... the aftermath

Now that the 12-hour drive from Charleston is over and I've had the better part of a day to get caught up on some thing neglected while I was away, there's a little time to reflect on the experience of my first major art show. Of course, getting to the show in the first place was a task in itself. The first 300 miles of the trip were spent in 4-wheel drive at 35mph. It was snowing so hard in West Virginia there were times when I just had to guess where the road was and 50mph gusts made my truck hop sideways... but I made it in one piece.

By the last day of the show, my back and feet were sore from standing so much and my voice was almost gone. I met so many new people that my head is still spinning. I've learned a lot from this experience and I'm already kicking around ideas for next year.

It snowed in South Carolina while I was there and everyone blamed it on me! Still, some days had high temperatures in the 50s and after the weather we've been having in PA... that was just fine.

Now... if only I could gather enough ambition to finish unloading the truck...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

"Nuthatch and Crab Apple" 20x10 acrylic on masonite

Yes... I finally finished another painting! Maybe it's the beginning of a hot streak for me.
I shot my reference material (some of which I posted on this blog) for this piece last month at the edge of a crab apple thicket. The January sun was dropping quickly toward the horizon and the landscape took on a warm glow (even though the temperature was in the teens). The lichens on the tree bark practically vibrated with warm yellows and greens... which contrast very nicely with the reddish tones of the wood where the bark has flaked away. My goal was to capture that warm light to compliment the cool blue-gray of the nuthatch's back and draw the viewer's eye.

In all the hours I spent working on this piece, I failed to come up with a clever title. Maybe it will come to me later.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Huge Steaming Pile of... uh... Unfinished Business

There is a troll in my studio... in the form of a dust covered stack of unfinished or discarded paintings. Without exception, each of these orphaned canvases began with the spark of a solid idea, fanned into the flame of enthusiastic effort, only to burn out short of my expectations. Some are the result of poor planning... painting myself into the proverbial corner with no immediately foreseeable way out. Others have been smacked down by substandard reference material and are still waiting for their creator's magical day in the field to inspire their destiny. A few have been recycled over the years and reside in impressive collections hidden behind multiple layers of gesso and paint. Still... most just sit there facing the corner like rotten school children in perpetual punishment.

For some reason, the arrival of the new year has nearly put a halt to my production. I've been working here in the studio as much as ever, but I can't seem to complete a painting (with the exception of "Muleys and Sage"). I've been kicking around ideas for entries in the 2010 Birds in Art exhibit... one still on the easel and another already banished to the corner of the troll. With January already behind us and only one finished work in the books, I need to bear down and see a couple of these paintings through. Particularly troubling is the fact that winter usually brings on my most productive studio sessions, yet I have very little to show for it.

If the genius if inspiration ever touches me and I begin to complete some of these unfinished works, it may create an "art tsunami" that may just overwhelm my framer! Until then, I'll just have to get a bigger stick to beat the troll back under the stairs.