Monday, March 3, 2014
I completed the tree abstract this weekend. It is large: 3' x 4', and is done in acrylic on a stretched Fredrix canvas. I started with a series of small gouache studies in my sketchbook before progressing to a larger 11" x 14" abstract study done on gesso'd 300# Montval watercolor paper. I painted a series of color swatches in my sketchbook, in order to determine the correct acrylic colors to use to replicate the gouache palette. The red was used to create a deeper green shadow in the foreground. From this I developed the final painting, working in the studio as it was raining on and off all day.
I am calling it an abstract, but it is more accurately an impressionistic painting of windblown trees on a hillside on a warm spring day.
Every once in a while I teach a class at the Creative Arts Group in Sierra Madre. These are images from Wednesday night, February 19, 2014. I like to be organized so I get there an hour before class starts so I can get things set up. I will usually pin up a number of completed paintings in order to show everyone my painting style, and I arrange my painting equipment on the work table so everything is close at hand.
The subject was a collection of old houses in Keeler, California. I did a small study in my Aquabee Sketchbook as a practice, and to illustrate to the class the advantages of fleshing out the composition, the values and to colors before painting the final version. The final painting was done on 140# Fabriano cold press watercolor paper.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Here are some recent sketchbook entries. The top two were sketched on the way to San Diego, from the car. They were done quickly with a Sanford Uniball Micro pan, and painted later in the studio with gouache.
The next two were done on Saturday afternoon, as the sun set, and the valley below my house slowly grew dark.
My work table is shown at the bottom. I was using my laptop to watch a BBC train video while I painted.
Monday, January 27, 2014
I made some progress on my large abstract painting yesterday. I worked on it outside on the patio, using my taboret as a mobile palette holder. The 60" x 80" canvas is supported by a Mabef Studio Easel.
Using my 11" x 14" study as a guide, I covered the canvas with acrylic paint, letting it drip and be thin in places. I want the final painting to be very loose and casual with a feeling of urban graffiti. I added some splatters with the brush, and some scribbles with white pastel.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Here is my new studio in the den of our 1959 mid-century modern home. The shelves on the left contain my art books, notebooks, bookshelf stereo and art supplies. I designed the worktable and had a friend make it for me. IKEA wooden critique rails line the walls and display both finished and in-progress paintings. The easel is for working on large abstract acrylic paintings. My Joe Columbo taboret sits in the center of the space and can roll around as needed. A skylight illuminates the room by day, and a collection of Artemide work lights does the job by night. I open the sliding glass door as I work, so there is always a nice fresh breeze.
This is a lot different from my original garage studio. There is less room, and I can't smoke a cigar here, but it is now in the house, close to the action, well lit, and very organized.