I thought I’d try out the Sennelier watercolor block I discovered the other day buried in my studio. Watercolor is a medium I’m not terribly familiar with. I did maybe 10-12 large watercolor still lifes back in the late ’80s, but otherwise, I have mostly avoided it — except for small watercolor pencil drawings (paintings?) over the last few years — until just a few weeks ago.
This time, I soaked the paper pretty thoroughly, taped it down, and started to paint. Hours later, the paper was still mostly wet, and the colors were still bleeding. So, this is messier than I’m completely comfortable with, but there it is, FWIW.
I think this is the favorite of my recent paintings. I’d love to paint this loose all the time — or looser even. I don’t know why it doesn’t always seem possible. Constitutionally predisposed to tightness, I fear…
There’s a barbeque joint in downtown Austin called House Park Bar-B-Q whose motto is “Needs no teef to eat my beef.” This title is a play on that motto, and also refers back to my last painting. Hope you like!
After copying a Picasso last week, I started seeing so many things differently! Palette, shapes, composition…my copy of his painting in among my own paintings made my work pale in comparison. 🙁
OK, well, no surprise there.
I tried to return to what I had been doing before the Picasso copy and started using colors from his palette to attack this work that was already in progress. Picasso kept interfering as I struggled with thoughts of the strength of his work.
A few days and many changes later, I finally got back into the rhythm of my own vision and ended up here. FWIW.
The greatest work of an artist is the history of a painting.
The title of this painting could embody a state of grace that many people seek throughout their lives. It could symbolize the wishes that most artists aspire to obtain through their creations. Or it could represent my recent series of abstract paintings. In this case, it represents another painting in the series through which I am beginning to achieve a long sought after enchantment with my process and pleasure in the final result.
Every painting, and perhaps especially abstract paintings, start out as a journey with the destination unknown. The thrill of exploration is a great part of the goal. What can I make my colors and brushstrokes do? How do I push the paint around in interesting ways? How can I make an intriguing composition out of nothing but colored oil paint and a few shapes?
These first few works in the series are small and slow, and I’m still finding my footing, but I’m really looking forward to more and larger and more confident works. I’m thrilled to have reached this part of my journey, and excited about the rest of the trip. I hope it is a long one!
This is one of my favorite paintings from my latest series of abstracts; this one is from last weekend. These new works are very process-oriented, though of course, I do aim for a final happy outcome. This series is primarily about paint: pushing it over, around, through, beside, until I’m satisfied with the composition, shapes, colors, brushstrokes, and amount of paint. I do love the soft palette I achieved in this painting!
Of all the paintings I’ve done, this may be my favorite painting so far. I love the colors, the nice thick paint, and the general happiness of this painting. It evolved from the work I did on the last five abstract paintings. I’m really enjoying pushing thicker and slicker paint into, over, around, and through previous brushstrokes, and the wonderful color mixing that happens on the canvas. Working this way is going to be fun!
I have a few paintings from a couple years ago that never really worked, so I painted over one of them a couple months ago, but never got it to a finishing point. Last week, I reworked the painting one more time. It’s a bit rough and looks slightly different and much better from a distance, so I may either re-work it (again) or paint what I like from it in a larger more intentional work. However, some of my friends like it just like it is, so I have decided to live with it for a bit first.