Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Recent Monotypes

Moonrise III, 2017, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, sheet 11 x 8 1/2 inches 

It has been a crazy two months, lost of things, both good and bad happening one right after the other.  This has halted my production, but I'm now getting back to work and hopefully I will tie some loose ends and have some paintings finished in the coming weeks.  In the meantime I'm sharing the last set of monotypes I was able to make towards the end of September, which was the last time I was able to attend the monthly Salmagundi Monotype Parties.  Stay tuned for more work.   
 Cae la Noche, 2017, monotype, image 8 x 6 inches, sheet 11 x 8 1/2 inches 


Campo y Rio, 2017, monotype, image 6 1/2 x 9 7/8 inches, sheet 9 3/8 x 12 3/4 inches


Moonrise III, 2017, monotype (ghost print), image 8 x 6 inches, sheet 11 x 8 1/2 inches


Cae la Noche, 2017, monotype (ghost print), image 8 x 6 inches, sheet 11 x 8 1/2 inches


Campo y Rio, 2017, monotype (ghost print), image 6 1/2 x 9 7/8 inches, sheet 9 3/8 x 12 3/4 inches

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Images from Saturday's Workshop


Last Saturday I taught a workshop at Kremer Pigments titled In Pursuit of Nature: Landscape Painting and the Traditional Palette.  The focus of the workshop was to expose students to the process of oil paint making and using a limited color palette to mix the necessary colors for a landscape painting.  An overview of different oil types and their purpose was discussed along with painting demos on technique.  It was a fun class to teach and I'm looking forward to more in the future.      
 Yellow Ochre being mixed into a paste before mulling.

Yellow Ochre after mulling.
 
 Red Ochre in the process of being mulled.

 Ivory Black being mixed into a paste before mulling.

 Limited color palette freshly made and ready to go.

 Students begin to use the oil paint they made. 



 A demo on how to make a painting putty using egg, chalk, and stand oil. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

In Pursuit of Nature

First layer of paint on demonstration painting
 
This coming Saturday, October 28, 2017, I will be teaching a workshop at Kremer Pigments NYC titled In Pursuit of Nature: Landscape Painting and the Traditional Palette.  The workshop will focus mainly on the use of a limited earth color palette, some call it a dead palette, and others a traditional palette.  Regardless of the name, the idea is to push four colors to their maximum potential.  This limited color palette is made up of Yellow Ochre, Red Ochre, Ivory Black, and Titanium White.  We will be grinding the oil paint from scratch using the pigments available at Kremer.  Some basic painting techniques will be covered and we will look at some landscape painters throughout history.  

To help visualize some of the ideas and techniques I began working on a landscape painting using this limited palette.  The only slight difference is that I substituted Burnt Sienna for the Red Ochre...I just happen to love Burnt Sienna.  The second image above shows stage two of this painting, color has been added to the sky area using a mixture of Ivory Black and Titanium White.  Some of the rosy tones in the faint clouds are made up of Burnt Sienna and Titanium White.  

Here I have covered some of the trees and grassy areas with Yellow Ochre and Ivory Black, a mixture that creates a deep green.  The sky has been worked on further using the same colors as before.   

Here I'm pushing the greens more while at the same time trying to figure how to make the composition more interesting.  At this point the main focus is to push the colors and make them read like green and blue when placed next to each other.  

In this image I have covered most of the surface and have developed the tones more.  Some of the smaller trees in the middle ground have been covered but they will reappear in the final stages of the painting.  Since I took this photo the painting has developed more and it feels different.    
Close up of bottom left portion of the painting, showing different tones make with the four colors.

I will be working on this piece during the workshop and using it as demonstration.  If you are in NYC and interested in this workshop you can call Kremer Pigments at 212.219.23.94 to sign up.  Spaces are limited since we are getting close to the date.  All materials will be provided, all you need is your creativity and they excitement to make paint and put it to use.  

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Back at it Again!


It's been a busy summer, it feels like I have barely been around, which means that trying to get work done was hard to accomplish.  But now that summer is done, at least in the calendar, monotype sessions at Salmagundi Club are back in session.  Last night was the first time we all gathered to make some magic happen on our copper plates and it's almost as if I had not missed a beat.

Look at that shinny copper plate!  I purchased this plate in Barcelona when I visited earlier this month, I was not looking for a copper plate, I was only looking for cool watercolor books, maybe leather bound, and this guy basically jumped off the shelve to come home with me.  It's a great size, 6 1/2 x 9 7/8 inches, perfect proportions for landscapes.  I think I will get a lot of use out of this one. 

The first image to go on my new copper plate...I'm really loving this size, can't wait to see what sort of things I make with this one. 

Moving on to a familiar size, my 6 x 8 inch plates...

None of the landscapes from tonight were planned out ahead of time, as it has been been process recently I'm coming up with compositions as I go along, letting the ink and reflections on the plate guide me.  All of the sudden a moon appeared on my second plate and I went along with it.  

Plates two and three done and ready for the press.  The a-ha moment when sometimes you are pleasantly surprised, and others the final print shows you all your mistakes and you just have to live with it.  I will post images of these prints in the next couple of days. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Single Fare 4: The Show

 My set of three MetroCards hanging 

Last week was the opening of Single Fare 4, a show that has gained a lot of popularity over the years.  There were thousands of cards submitted, not only nationally but from across the world.  With all these great pieces of art hanging on the walls with big crowds trying to get a glimpse of each tiny painting, I was grateful that not only were my three pieces hanging together, but they were also hung at eye level towards the beginning of one of the walls.  I was equally pleased when I found out that the all three had sold at the beginning of the night.  Thank you Single Fare team for the hanging my trees where you did and for all your hard work.  Below are some images of the show.  

Dina Brodsky
 
 Alonsa Guevara

 Adam Cross


 Riko Colin Chock

 Anders Fernbach


Melinda Whitmore

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Metro Card Paintings, The Finale

Tree at Daylight, 2017, oil on metro card, 3 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches

My three paintings for Single Fare 4 are completed and submitted.  It was fun working on them and they served as a good way of working out ideas and approach for other paintings.  For starters I'm working mostly from imagination these days, and it works for me when only dealing with it in drawings or monotypes.  Color is a whole different thing, you can't fake it, everything has to fall into place and look natural.  When work began on these metro cards I hoped I could achieve what I have with my works on paper in color.  
Tree at Dusk, 2017, oil on metro card, 3 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches

In the beginning I wanted do a good job with these in hopes to stand out from the crowd of talented artists who will be exhibiting, but soon as I had all three cards on the easel and began work they started to come alive.  Ideas started coming and it was more about challenging myself and meeting my expectations and vision.
Tree at Moonlight, 2017, oil on metro card, 3 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches

The biggest challenge was to paint my very first night-scape, or nocturne, and as it turns out it was not as hard as I thought!  With this painting I'm ready to develop a new group of paintings I've had brewing in my mind but never had the nerve to start.  I think it's time to make paintings of all those dark, moody monotypes.
Single Fare 4 opens on Saturday Sept. 16, 5 - 10pm. at Highline Stages - 441 West 14th St. NYC.
Exhibition will be on view Sunday Sept. 17, 12 - 6pm., hope you all can make it.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Recent Paintings

Autumn Sunset, 2017, oil on linen mounted on panel, 12 x 12 inches 

Painting has been slow recently, mostly because I've been stuck on a rut about trying to figure out the purpose of my work.  To say that I'm bored with it sounds terrible, but at this point I need a new direction, I need to figure out what's the next step but nothing comes to mind.  I'm not pushing it too much, it will come to me as I keep working.  The only thing that I can say is that by looking at the paintings completed this year I can see growth when it comes to execution.  I hate the word realism, or when people say "oh looks like a photo," that is not my intent because photos are flat.  I do see a more detailed way of handling the paint, and the funny thing is that I'm not striving for detail.  I'm actually moving around more paint than before, sometimes blobing and sculpting it.  The paint application seems to be getting thicker, this is due to my switch to hog bristle brushes which I am loving.    
By the Lake, Prospect Park, 2017, oil on linen, 10 x 15 inches 

Another little change has been the introduction of Cobalt Blue to my palette.  I've used this color in the past, I'm not new to it, but never to this extent.  Also, Ultramarine Blue has been my go to color for everything.  I'm using it in mixtures to achieve my darks, slowly moving away from using black which I only used sparingly to begin with.  
Overcast Day at Hyland, 2017, oil on linen mounted on panel, 14 x 11 inches 

I have been looking at the Impressionists more, their color sensibility and paint handling seems to speak more to me than earlier landscape schools.  Don't get me wrong, I love Constable, Corot, and painters from the Barbizon school but the Impressionists have that modern element that is still relevant to contemporary painters.  
Spring in Goodwin, 2017, oil on linen mounted on panel, 11 x 14 inches 

Speaking of Impressionist, earlier this spring I was able to catch the Alfred Sisley exhibition at the Bruce Museum in Connecticut.  His work left my friend Charles and I banging our heads against the wall saying "damn this guy!"  The show was inspiring for us both, which I believe has directed me into this new way of seeing and using color.  
Summer Reflections, Prospect Park, 2017, oil on linen, 10 x 15 inches 

Funny, here I am talking about looking for a new direction in my work and it seems I have already found it, I just didn't realize it! I just needed to write about it for it to become clear.  Color, color, color, that's what I need to focus on more.  I think we are on to something...back to the easel! 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Metro Card Paintings

Work is underway on three metro card paintings for Single Fare 4, an open exhibition using NYC Metro Cards as the "canvas" for the art.  The concept was created by artists Michael Kagan and Jean-Pierre Roy back in 2010, and since then the popularity of the exhibition has grown.  Over the years important artists have part taken on the event, which brings an element of whimsy and fun to an over stuffy art world.  
I created three little drawings for Single Fare 2: Please Swipe Again, and I must day I was not prepared for the incredible work that was exhibited that year.  What do you make in such a tiny little space?  I was not sure back then and so I did quick little sketches of subway riders.  This time I'm trying my hardest to stand out because on year two I felt I fell flat on my face.    
I'm making three landscapes, (what else would I make?) on the metro cards, and my approach is similar to my monotypes.  I covered the cards with a mixture of burnt umber and burnt sienna and began to wipe out areas, just as I would with an inked copper plate.  This will serve as the underpainting, which will eventually get covered with color. 
I don't have anything specific in mind yet, I'm just feeling my way through it and I'm just going to have fun.  Although the pressure is on because I'm off to a late start, the images are due in less than two weeks and I just started last night...yikes! 
I've known about the show for a while and I was not intending to submit any work, I feel like I'm running around complaining I have no time, and this would have been one of those things that would have added unwanted pressure.  Besides, you can't find metro cards lying around the floors of subways stations anymore.  A few years back the MTA began charging for the metro card every time you had to get a new one.  The idea is to save money on the little plastic cards, while keeping the stations clean because people used to just throw them on the floor after they were used.  Now you keep your card and refill it.  I think it was a smart move, but it did make it a little difficult to find metro cards for this exhibition. 
Thankfully my friend Kyle came through and gave me three metro cards he was not going to use.  He even gessoed them and had them attached to a plexiglass for easy painting.  Thank you Kyle, I guess I can't back down now!


Here's a short video of the beginning stages for all three metro cards.  This is the first time I'm working on multiple paintings at once, who knows maybe I'll make a habit of it.