Jun 13

Finesse the big brush

Lake District

Lake District is a 30 x 40 canvas painted entirely with a #20 & #16 Flat, artist’s nylon brush; only my signature was applied with a small #6 Bright. This close-up detail of the acrylic work illustrates what expressive flexibility and communication opportunities a large brush provides the artist. Yes, like all skills that we wish to master, much practice is required. However, perseverance pays dividends in the end.

Years of trial and error have rewarded me with the pleasures of accuracy and finesse. Good results begin with knowing artist’s materials and methods well. Good technique, necessary eye-hand coordination sharpens the creative mind to employ options, the moment-to-moment discovery of the inner spirit. The pleasure of waving-off a sharp, precise line or edge for a jagged one, knowing the latter will express and evoke more–well, this developed ‘touch’ is a freedom of an amazing sort. In words it’s akin to flight and love; at least in my mind it feels that way. Words don’t do this ‘creative freedom’ justice. I can tell you I often feel quietly giddy inside as I work. In that state of mind, watching the marks I put down, there is bliss. And after I put down my brush and scan the mysterious lands I’ve created, beyond the simmering satisfaction of the image created, I feel humbled by how untraceable so much of what I do is to me.

Lake District

Lake District, acrylic, 30″ x 40″

Jun 13

Happy Vertigo

Happy Vertigo, acrylic,  24″ x 30″

The interesting thing about this abstract work is the number of possible creative decisions that can be made at any given moment. Several of these recent abstracts begin with the idea of creating a compositional box within the canvas edge, loose and distorted. This compositional framework is intended to intrigue and involve as well as confuse and confound a viewers’ natural tendency to look for representational references: the rules of perspective, like the diminishing size of shapes to suggest depth and distance, or color, value, and hue intensity shifts that create the illusion of space in 2 dimension, as well.

You see this ‘compositional box,’ (clockwise) in the sliver of sky (top left); the rock wall (right); the orange-red edge surrounding my signature (bottom right and unfortunately partly cropped out in this iPad photo); and the orange arabesque shape hugging the left canvas-edge that ties both foreground rolling hills to far-off fields into one undeterminable, flattened space. 

The overall roller coaster-effect is likely a subconscious ‘tip of the hat’ to Chuck Jones’ visual wit and talent for making vertigo-inducing cartoon fun.

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