Here at the studio, I am working on a second tessera canvas. This one … pictured above … is still a work in progress, but is nearing completion.
The work is composed primarily of tessera from one painting that was chopped into pieces and reconfigured into an entirely new image, but it is nevertheless a reflection of the original work. Tessera from other paintings have been added, and like bits of memories that we call on to help us when telling a story, the new bits add depth and interest to the original. So too do the traumas, and joys and grief and love that we experience add color and texture to our memories.
While working on this piece, it was struck by how this image is like my interior vision of myself. I always seem to be stitching together a new version of myself to present to the outside world. Whatever it is I piece together might look solid and cohesive, but is in fact cobbled together with bits and pieces that have washed up on the shore of my life. I would suppose that most people find this to be true. But then again, maybe not. Maybe it is just that I have the time to mull over all this existential dreck while cutting up old canvases.
CELESTIAL POOL #2 – OIL – 40 X 30 – $1,800
There is a part of me that is always aware that something could be lurking beyond our view. Space after all is constantly in motion. What if that motion is about the movement of space toward a big old hoedown of sorts? Or maybe a late night get together after work at the local pub? What if space is really a big ole biker bar? I mean they do sort of look like billiard balls, right?
What if space is a huge billiard hall filled with felt covered tables and biker gods that play for high stakes?
Would you really like to hear what they are talking about? And, what would happen if your old TV antenna were to become the cell tower for conversations with the celestial Minnesota Fats & Co?
Or maybe you realize that the Moon is really just a huge plasma screen that is showing feature films after you are asleep.
I guess it is reassuring that there is always an escape hatch … you know, the black hole.
CELESTIAL POOL #3 – OIL – 30X40 – SOLD
SEASIDE RENEWAL – OIL/PALETTE KNIFE – 30X40 – $1800
The latest of my architectural pieces this is really fun, and has an insane depth of texture. It feels like you could peek around any corner and see the water. And, are those people on the roof looking at the view???
Seriously, the texture of buildings that have been baking in the sun and surviving the winds and rains of harsh New England winters have a unique depth of character all their own. I am fascinated by those houses and storefronts that seem to hunker down for the bad weather, looking grim and grey, and then reemerge when the sun comes out, looking festive and full of life. Nowhere else is there the same feeling that the buildings carry on a life of their own once the tourists leave.
CIVIC HISTORY OIL 36 X 48 $2,000.00
The latest of my large oils, this image went through several stages to achieve the balance that makes it so satisfying to live with.
The images below are a sort of visual journey of the evolution of this painting.
In this one the loose drawing of buildings and roads and images of living in the space have been blocked in. I used an assortment of colors to go back in and over draw areas that I felt needed to be enlarged or reduced.
Next came the blocking of colors and over painting with thin washes of color to bring some balance. During this phase there were a lot of small changes and lines were again redrawn. But the image was becoming unbalanced, and loosing some of its initial draw.
This is close to the final image, but is still rather flat and uninteresting. The background needed to be addressed. But the foreground works well, and the smaller houses all feel cohesive.
Finally it begins to hang together. Now it is a question of bringing the right foreground into sync with the rest.
TUSCAN QUILT III
OIL 24 X 30
TUSCAN QUILT II
OIL 24 X 30
Continuing the theme on the quilted landscape of Tuscany, this pair of landscapes invoke the sense of lightness and joi de vive that characterize the sense that one takes away from one’s time in Tuscany. The others that were part of this series have gone to private collections.
The use of vibrant colors is somewhat contrary to the more faded coloration of the landscape. However the horizon line fading into the foreground and having no real stopping point as it recedes is very true to the atmospheric quality of the views that characterize the area. The fact that all the different textures and colors meld together, and yet remain distinct, is so much a part of what one sees.
Though these were painted as a pair so that they could be hung together, they are available individually. Don’t forget to click on the image to see them in greater detail.
THE LATER YEARS OF ITALIAN PUTTI III
OIL 24 X 18
This image is the third of my Italian Putti that asks the question, “Where do all those cute cherubs go once they grow up?” A lot of them learn to play instruments as they cavort up in the ether, but they couldn’t all be rock stars in later life. This guy apparently pursued a musical career.
Once again the piece is heavily textured and uses the palette knife to create rough and smooth surfaces that lead to a sense of ambiguity. He has an etherial quality, but at the same time is current and of the real world. He is solid and transparent at the same time.
The work is also developed on a diagonal grid, much like the earlier pieces of the same title, but this guy has an entirely different color scheme. He is also done on a gessoed board which changes the nature of the finished piece. Without the springiness of a canvas surface, the palette knife becomes more aggressive when used this way.
The piece is available through Xanadu Gallery’s Studio Artist web site. Don’t forget to click on the image for an enlarged view.
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD
OIL 30 X 40
This large image would appear to be part of a series that I am working on, using abstract views of the various houses and structures that comprise the places that we call home.
How these various places relate to each other and to the world in which they exist are as varied as those that live with them.
Earlier works, “Waterfront Property” “Old Paint and Mother Earth” and “The Textures of Tuscany” to name a few, are all part of the series. With this piece, the abstraction is carried further.
Called “Welcome to the Neighborhood / Dawn of Suburbia”, it presents a deceptively simple image. I really like this piece, and feel that it reflects the direction that my work is taking.
It is available for purchase through Xanadugallery.com under the artist / studio heading.
OIL 12 X 24
I just finished this painting. Don’t you just love those belted cows!!!
It is called Cow Symphony, and is a 12 x 24 oil on canvas. I have always loved cow images, but I especially like these guys because they reminded me of piano keys strolling across the field.
I used it as the portrait for my new Twitter page, as well as the main image for my entry, via Facebook, for Art Takes Time Square, part of the Artists Wanted competition that will be showing this year in NYC. All in all, the painting is getting a workout. To find out more about the competition check out artistswanted.org And, if you are really into the whole electronic schtick, you can follow me on Twitter at CPDSGN_Art
In other news, progress is being made on my new web site which will contain all of my new work, as well as commentary on individual pieces as I post them. So it is shaping up to be a busy spring here in the burbs.
THE LATER YEARS OF ITALIAN PUTTI
OIL 24 X 18
I just received notification that I was a finalist in the Artist Magazine Annual Competition. This piece was entered in the Abstract & Experimental category.
I was a finalist last year in the landscape category and am really psyched that I have, yet again, achieved recognition at such a high level. The winners will be featured in the December issue of the magazine, and my name will be listed.
Titled “The Later Years of Italian Putti II”, it is one of a series that I have been working on using palette knife and an underlying diagonal grid. I am really happy that this piece placed well in the competition, as it represents the direction that I am moving in my artistic development.
Don’t forget to click on the image to view more detail.
SIENA STROLL II
OIL 40 X 30
I love the newest of my Italian street scenes. This one is again from Siena, and reflects the ambiance of large crowds contained in small spaces.
I always found that if one is in a crowd like this, one can see the crowd, and the upper parts of buildings. The middle views of the surrounding buildings are blocked by the moving mass of people. So, that is what I render in my work. Plus I have always been fascinated by people and crowds in cities. Italy is the best place to observe and record people strolling and converging, and being themselves without haste.
Don’t forget to click on the image to see more detail.