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
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.
RECEIVING NEWS FROM THE OTHER SIDE
UNFRAMED OIL 30X24
This is the latest Diva from my studio. As an addition to my ‘Divas and Other Creatures, it reads as part of the line that goes back years through all sorts of images and media. But this one really brings a new spontenaity to the table.
I really had a hard time deciding on the title, as I felt that it could also be a commentary on the tech-head, the over use of digital images, or the spaciness of anyone using an electronic device. They all share that otherworldly stare, and appear cut off from the real world when listening to incoming messages.
The receiving lines / antennae are pinstripes of luminescent orange that reflect into the digital input of pixels floating around in the atmosphere. But here is the real question, is that a black hole looming over the image, or is it the real world looking black and indecipherable in contrast to the bright lights of the digital world? So many questions.
This piece is available through Xanadugallery.com under the studio artists listing. Don’t forget to click on the image to get a close up view.
QUEEN OF HEARTS
OIL 24 X 20
I love this piece of whimsey. She is the result of a fascination with the older forms of portraiture that use a standard pose with embellishments. They all sit the same way, and wear the same kind of costumes and look to be frozen in time. They all look to be a bit trapped in their backgrounds. However, I found that by trying to replicate the technique it is revealed that the sitter’s face comes alive in this type of portrait. By painting away the other parts, the face becomes more alive.
The use of a diagonal grid is very evident in this piece. It is almost as if she has been trapped in the maze of lines that underlay the work. However, her face is very strong, and overcomes the background patterns.
By working with the piece as if it were a study of the older portrait form, I found that I could understand why this format continues to satisfy viewers. The very fact that the image is flat, allows the human features to become dominate. It was a very interesting exercise, and I plan to work with a similar format again.
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.