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.
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.
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 24 X 12
The view is from the top floor cafe of a department store in Florence. Aside from being visually compelling, it has a special charm because of its unexpectedness. There, amidst all of the hustle and gusto of the city streets, was this quiet little neighborhood with terrace gardens, balconies, staircases and turrets with weather-vane flags. All of them marching up the hillside and sharing the view with those of us having mid-morning coffee. What a perfect little vignette of life in this most wonderful of cities.
Don’t forget to click on the image to see an larger view of this piece.
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.
OIL 40 X 30
This is the latest piece to go into a private collection. I shall miss it, as it hung over my bookcase and was a constant reminder of the zing that I felt walking the streets of Siena on a beautiful sunny day.
Ironically, the companion piece that hung over the other bookcase sold a week later and is going into a different collection.
I am working on some new oils the same size to replace this one and the other that was sold. Keep checking here for updates.
Shown here is the next in my palette knife series. It is so heavily textured and deeply scored that it has an almost sculptural quality.
The palette knife seems to free the image to become more abstract. The technique doesn’t lend itself to fine detailing, and so forces me to simplify and use color and texture differently.
OIL 20 X 30
The process involved in creating this and the other palette knife pieces that I have done, demands a very rapid and confident application, that calls upon all that one has learned over the years regarding composition and color.
Click on the image to see an enlarged view of the piece and it’s surface details.