Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Imagine and Paint

The dog days of summer are starting to get to me. It's hard to know where these experiments are coming from, but here's another one. It's an 8" x 8," on artist's board.

I read once or twice that not having a defined style can be the mark of an immature artist. Then again, I read a few more times that an artist with several approaches is one that merely has a diversity of styles. You can probably guess where these two perspectives come from...and from where they don't.

Naturally, I like the second observation. This painting is a landscape straight from the tips of my fingers, using up paint from the tube, wondering what would happen if I didn't have a plan--kind of a challenge from an artist who usually likes to have one.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Almost Los Alamos

Just a short post today. I found this painting hiding behind some other canvasses and did a little touch up on it. I'm not sure this is finished. That mid-ground red is pretty intense. I remember when I painted the sky, I was admiring a bit of pointillist work and some contemporary Impressionists that I've been seeing in the Southwest. I probably won't continue in this manner...But, this painting expresses my feeling of driving the road up the hill to Los Alamos, New Mexico, and how awestruck I was seeing the mesas and the valley below. Almost Los Alamos, 30" x 30," oil on canvas.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Painting Texas Canyon, Arizona Rest Stop

My approach this last week was to try for some more layering and scraping, but after slathering on paint in a most haphazard, cavalier way, I decided to stop here and take a rest. 

When we traveled to New Mexico this summer, we stopped at one of the last Arizona rest stops before the long haul to Lordsburg, NM, called Texas Canyon. Sorry, I can't for the life of me tell you why it's named Texas Canyon. This is oil on artist's board, 12" x 12." 

More water damage at home,. This time it happened to our adobe walls. It's so much fun seeing the studios, homes and nature at other artists' blogs, that I thought you might enjoy seeing my environment. The following shows our home back in the early 1970s (called Home Sweet Home) before all of the additions, and the next photo is the same view today. The small window in today's photo corresponds to the window in the 1970s house. The edge of my studio (the red wall) is on the left. Over the years, soil and dips in the soil have built up around the perimeter. Water has begun to puddle along the other side of this little adobe. As I walked to the kitchen the other day, I saw a chunk of plaster on the floor and a small mound of sand flow out like sand in an hour glass. Yikes. You can see a close up showing the adobe bricks behind the old lime plaster. Now we'll have to work on patching this with the retrieved dirt, sand and some cactus pad juice for glue. What's with all of this water lately?! We had a major monsoon storm yesterday and we were outside with shovels re-directing water away from the house while it was pouring. Kinda fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Paradise Lost and Found, Plus a Palimpsest

Having gone through over a hundred prints and drawings, bleaching, drying and re-packing work in archival bags, things are settling down just a bit.

The thing about an accidental water event is that things turn up, things thought to have been lost forever. Many years ago, I was given two old books which I found recently, while cleaning up. One is Dante Alighieri's, Dante's Inferno, and the other is Milton's Paradise Lost. These books are nearly trashed, but the illustrations are spectacular. I've approximated the age of these tomes to be c. 1878-83. If you click on the title link, you can view some of the incredible illustrations by Gustave DorĂ©.

We had a great storm here yesterday. A wonderful monsoonal moment. And, this reminded me of the first illustration in Paradise Lost:

"Now storming fury rose
And clamor, such as heard in heaven till now
Was never"

Yes, that's like a sudden monsoon in Tucson.

But why the word 'palimpsest'?
One of the paintings being posted here today is of a small work that I've worked and worked, until I could work no more. I took it to the woodshed (I mean, studio!) and decided to scrape off all of the paint. I stopped half way through. I kinda liked this thing.

Catalinas Layered (5" x 7") oil on Artboard.

Mr. Artyfice
said, "Oh, that reminds me of my favorite word--palimpsest! I just love a palimpsest." Whah? Now, I was brought up with a vocabulary loving British mum. So, it's hard to surprise me with an unusual word. Gotta hand it to that Artyfice...but then, he had a foreign born mom, too.

Trust me. He doesn't talk that way all the time.

I really like the comparison to parchment rubbed/scraped and added to. Yes, that's what happened here and I hope to try this again. I wonder if this is possible because I used water miscible oil paint. Hmmm.

I finished this second painting just after Catalina Layered and thought I'd include it. Plans for a mine in the Rosemont Canyon area is still being hotly debated--more stormy weather, and this is a snapshot of the beautiful rolling hills. I hope they will remain untouched. Rosemont Sonoita (8" x 8") oil on cradled artboard.

I hope you are all staying cool and enjoying a summer full of good finds.