January, 2008

Jan 08

Neither hide, nor trumpet it

At a public painting demonstration last year I was asked how much thought do I put into the placement of my signature? It was a good question. The answer: more than you might think.

At first glace it would appear to be a throw-away consideration: we’ve been signing our names since elementary school; so what’s the big deal? However, I frequently wince at the sight of an over-wrought and poorly placed artist’s signature. Awkward looking signatures are often a microcosm of the art itself: an idea not fully considered and presented effectively, a somewhat confused statement, from start to finish. Given time to study and practice, structural kinks can be worked out, but the signature remains an important often overlooked or under-addressed consideration.

Being a skilled visual communicator can be a passion, but unless viewers of your art recognize our authorship by name our art is a hobby, not a profession. My name is my ‘brand’ and as such it hails the viewer’s attention to my unique communication skills and point of view. An artist’s signature should announce a confident and consistent style and avoid becoming a ‘flashing marquee’ of conspicuous size, color, and placement.

Neither hide your name, nor trumpet it above the composition it takes credit for. In other words, be wise and find a balance. The artist’s signature shouldn’t compete with the artwork; it should complete it.

Examine more of my artwork at Brad Faegre Fine Art

Jan 08

A second run-up to the Canyon’s Rim

Sunday mornings I usually go to my studio to leisurely organize and straighten up the place while listening to Harry Shearer’s, Le Show on KCRW. I’m usually through with my ‘housework’ and preparing to paint something by the time Ian Masters’ Background Briefing/ Live from the Left Coast airs on KPFK at 11.

This past Sunday I spotted this little ‘study aid’ pinned to the wall. I had created it for a previous blog in order to show the early stages of composing a painting. Now I was tempted to throw the rough ‘notation’ away, but instead I placed it back on my easel and enjoyed a second interpretation of a favorite subject: desert canyon lands.

The close-up at the end shows how looking past the subject to the painting surface reveals a complex field of colorful marks and shapes that is a pleasing world in and of itself.

Examine more of my artwork at Brad Faegre Fine Art

Jan 08

Building a composition with contrasting shapes

This scene came about after I spotted an unfinished acrylic painting in my studio the other day. The acrylic began its life a couple summers ago, late one afternoon at Mono Lake. My friend, Dave Michaels, and I had chosen the Lake as our second painting location for the day. With the tall Sierra Mountain Range against our left shoulder, the sun was soon threatening to set behind the mountains and with it our painting light. Dave and I worked quickly that evening!When I get around to finishing that acrylic painting I will share it and a snapshot of us at work. However this different view of Mono Lake, just finished, will have to do.

On black pastel board I composed contrasting shapes of vertical trees against the long horizontals of lake shore and distant mountains to express a feeling, acquired over several decades, about this open and beautiful place on the eastern spine of the Sierras.Note in the detail how the foreground vegetation creates a rhythm through shape and placement.

Examine more of my artwork at Brad Faegre Fine Art