Remember the unfinished painting that my solo exhibit at R. Michelson Galleries, The Willing Suspension of Disbelief, was organized around? When the show came down, the painting returned to my studio for some finishing touches. Once it was back on my wall, I realized that there were still some major elements that had to be changed. That's the thing about sending art out into the world. You look at everything with a fresh perspective. The sky was desperate for more definition.
This painting has been fleshing itself out (seriously, I've been working on some of the flesh) and I now have a working title. It's "A Willing Suspension of Disbelief", a phrase written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge about what constitutes poetic faith. In this case, it's about how one creates a perception of reality wholly based in the imagination. This is a pretty complex project. Not just the painting itself, which has a lot of moving parts and hard-to-paint details, but makin
The sky is still red. In order to create the sky-blue-pink I see in my head, it's important to work on everything that juxtaposes it. That way, I can work back and forth between figures, ground and sky. There are always adjustments. Do the heads emerge strongly enough from the background color? Does the sky give a feeling of infinite distance? How do I make the tents almost ethereal, blending with the sky, but still real? Lots of questions. The bonfire on the beach is coming
I often come back to the same models when I think about a new painting. (Not the birds. I always choose new birds.) After quite some time spent manipulating images of people and places, putting them together, pulling them apart, the composition settled down. Allison and Hannah (who have never been in my paintings together before now) became my muses. This one began with a snapshot of party tents my sister took on the beach in Provincetown, MA. I loved the light, which is alw
Faces are my favorite subject to paint. I treated myself this week to both faces - and threw in a start on the flying seagulls too. I'm attempting to get the expressions right in this first pass. If that doesn't go well... I take a rag, some turp and wipe it all away. Even if I've struggled with it for hours. Since this is an underpainting, the values and expressions at this stage really dictate where the painting goes. There's a lot of complexity coming up. "Losing the whit
So this is where I am at the end of today. This painting is just starting to gain presence and solidity. It's important to work back and forth, playing flesh tones against fabric, bodies against stone, a glimpse of sky through draperies. Getting it right, so that the painting seems so real - yet is not - hangs on how convincing the reality is. These girls have never met each other, the setting is completely imaginary, the seagull seems so important but was almost the last com
Three versions. Even if a painting changes radically once I put brush to canvas, I do attempt to get the photo sketch as close as possible to what's in my mind's eye. I played around with the girl on the left, and added a seagull. I really preferred the talking seagull. Then I changed the girl on the right, thinking I wanted more interaction. I liked this composition MUCH better. But something was still bothering me about the composition. It took a while to figure it out. See
Writing a blog is a bit like posting on Facebook. Since this is my first blog entry on this new website, I'll share where my painting is today, but I'll also go back to the beginning. Who isn't interested in how a painting comes about? This is where I began today. #painting #sea #seagull #carousel #girls #stonewall