Friday, February 13, 2009

Stage Two

The second stage of this painting was a quick session to try and establish a color harmony over the burnt umber layout. From here I'll continue to make adjustments and build up a paint surface.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Feeding Geese

The day after my partner's nephew's wedding in CT the family was trading Ziplock bags of family photos. One photo that passed by me captivated my brain and I kept a close watch on it to make sure it was going home with us.
The slightly yellowed colors gave it a unity, the random cropping had stumbled into some kind of non-linear narrative and geese are one of my recuring themes anyway. I immediately knew the painting's size was to be 36"x22". I had a stretched linen already prepared and Monday morning I adjusted the design and roughed it out in grissaille, a practice I rarely do but there were drawing complexities involved and wanted to lock in the composition. This way I hope to concentrate on the color design when I'm painting.
A found photograph is like any found object or subject for painting except that it's already reduced to two dimensions. The challenge is to use the photo, like any subject matter, as a point of departure and not to copy it, but to try and find what triggered my interest and to explore that.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

February Tulips

Going to a wedding in CT through Sunday so no postings until after that. I'll leave you with the forced tulips we leave behind. Please don't forget to water them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


It's usually good to free myself from the motif even on site, or in this case to play with the painting later in the studio. This can free me up to explore, using the model or motif as a point of departure. Being February in Vermont, it also reminds me of summer in Maine.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Tandem

Working the on site sketch and the larger piece (old copper roof flashing glued on birch plywood) at the same time. This is one way to approach a painting, to discover things while developing the sketch and working the larger painting simultaneously, and also discovering things on the larger one and using those discoveries on the "sketch". And it's unclear which one will become dominant. Painting, to me, is not a linear process.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Studio Update

Slogging forward for the April show.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


While we're on the subject of re-do's, another painting I reworked late fall was this one, a painting from 2002. I believed in the concept strongly enough that it blinded me to the fact that the painting as it was couldn't support it. A year later I put it away and didn't show it again. I pulled it out early this fall, still believing in the concept, and saw what I could do with it. Sometimes a painting has to go away for a long time so that when I look at it again I can see shortcomings or strengths more clearly.


It's Superbowl Sunday and I was reading about Bruce Springsteen, something about his desire to create "durable" songs. Art is a product of the time it was created in, but I liked that utilitarian description of his, art meant to stand on its own, weathering changing times and interactions with changing audiences. That's what all of us makers of things would like, to make something durable.