Glimpses of the New Year

I decided to post a couple of very low res pictures of some of the new work I’ve been doing over the past few months.  None of these works are finished, but they’re far enough along that the content should be identifiable.  I tend to work on new drawings and paintings over months to years at a time, so there is no expected time of completion.  Sometimes I don’t even feel like working on a project any further either, so what you see here might be all that will happen.  I hope to continue on these, however.

New Organic Geometrics (2009)

First, this is a return to my organic-geometrics.  I still can make a pretty nice pile o’ floating blocks.  It’s been about six years or so since I really did one of these and it’s nice to see I still have it. Now, if only people cared enough for these to buy them, I’d make a mint.  As one of my old art teachers once said (and I paraphrase), “the shapes, textures, compositions, colors, and techniques are all fantastic, but there is no energy.  If anything, these blocks are an attack on energy.”  He was very correct.  I hope to one day figure out the energy aspect of the work and make these floating shapes exciting and meaningful to the viewer.  At the moment, I think of them more lately as if Rothko made forms.  These are for contemplation, not for shock.  Are they about anything? No – as Francis Bacon once said, painting shouldn’t be “about” anything.  Not that I entirely agree with that, but I think I know what he meant… (there’s a painting joke there somewhere).

You may notice the faded color around the edges – this is only because the final layers of color have not yet been added.  The final step in this process is more color and a bit more water.  I’m waiting to do it though, I don’t quite know why.  Oh, incidentally, this is a soft pastel drawing on arches watercolor paper.  I add some white charcoal for a blending mechanism and spray with water.  Delightful.

Portraint (Unfinished)

Portraint (underpainting)

Second, is a new portrait.  This is intended as an underpainting of the final portrait, thus the blues and reds, but I’ve stopped painting on it at the moment.  I may re-start it.  This is oil paint on hardboard but I was experimenting with oil mediums and the surface is a bit uneven.  This does not show up in the photo, but if you were to touch the surface, you would feel it.  I let it dry a bit so I could work adequately back on top of it, but I waited too long and it pretty much dried completely.  So, this one is pretty much done as is.  If anything, I might hit it with some other material like soft pastel, but that rarely works.  This portrait was also painted from a photo of a model which I hate doing, but once you’ve painted real models, you can usually work from the photos later.  You must always remember, however, that you’re painting a painting, not painting a photo.  The photo should only help remind you of small details your mind may have missed.

"Come, Join the Dance" (2009)

Lastly is this monster of a painting.  I won’t even bother explaining this, but it should be obvious that it is very much incomplete at the moment.  I just wanted to give a small example of where I’m heading with work now.  I started working on this back in October, and have taken a small hiatus from it.  I used walnut and poppy oils on it and some of it is actually still wet after about 1.2 months of a break from it.  I ran out of steam working on it and hope to be renewed in the coming year to finish this thing.  It’s a large separation from what I usually do (see above), and it came out (so far) rather successfully, I think.  Comments from viewers are always appreciated, whether pro or con.

And that’s a few new things for a new year to come.

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