Thursday, August 28, 2008

Layer by Layer

I continue working on the landscape above, a job that doesn't feel much like work. Slowly I keep building the painting each layer at a time, trying to keep a loose touch as I go along. Sometimes is hard for me not to start tightening things up, but I have been forcing myself to go the opposite way. This painting still needs a few more things here and there but I'm not rushing it. Why rush fun things right? Last Saturday I payed the Met a visit searching for inspiration and knowledge. My goal was to study Corot's landscape sketches, and I was able to find more than that. I saw some amazing small & large landscapes, by mostly French painters, and what they had to show me has been of great importance in this new learning experience. I've been bit the the landscape bug y'all! I think I will be doing more.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Keeping it Fresh

I'm beginning to see how important it is to keep my eyes fresh as I work. I usually work on a painting at a time, I can't deal with multiple pieces at once, it confuses me. But I see how important it is to work on something different or stay away from a work for a while. Looking at things with fresh eyes helps me see where the painting is going and what lacks. I'm staying away from the landscape for a couple of days and in the meantime I started working on this still life. There's also a third piece I'm working on, but I will talk about that on another time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Working the Landscape

It almost seems like fall is here, as a cool breeze creeps through the windows of my studio at nights. I love painting in the fall and winter; hibernation seems to keep me more focused. I have been working on the landscape painting above in the past few days. There's some progress but I feel it needs more work. I'm after a Titian landscape I guess, meaning I will keep pushing this painting for a while. Working on a landscape is doing wonders for me since I'm not intentionally trying to recreate the smooth reflective surfaces of onions and tomatoes. This is forcing me to think in terms of paint and learning how to push it around more. The goal for this piece is to keep it painterly and let the texture of the different layers of paint recreate, on their own, the many layers of vegetation in this landscape.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Finally at Peace

It took too long I realize it! After a year and a half I finally settle into my home. Since my move into this place, early in 2007, things were always difficult. The "studio" took on different forms and corners in the apartment. Live happens and there were many reasons why I never found peace in this space. I realize now maybe this is why I haven't been painting as much.
Things are slowly falling into place and I decided to take matters on my hands and reconfigured my studio the way I wanted. Not because I wanted to take my roommate into consideration, or because someone else thought I should paint on some designated area. It was all about me. Last week I moved furniture around, leaving me with the perfect painting space I've had so far.
The most emotional part was on Saturday morning, as I started putting up my inspiration wall. Centuries of art history printed on postcards I've been collecting during museum visits were hung on the walls. These postcards had been up in my previous working spaces, hovering over me every night as I painted, offering me answers to many painting questions. I brought them out of their box so that they could watch over me once again. It was the missing link; the inspiration I was lacking all this time. Now I feel at home and with a renewed sense for painting.

Friday, August 08, 2008

No Break

Time to get serious, I say to myself. After finishing Red Onion I'm moving on, with no break in between, to another painting. This new piece is a landscape on panel, something different than the usual onions and tomatoes. It will be a challenging piece since the last time I painted a landscape was in 2001. I'm hoping I don't mess this one up, it will be a shame and a waste of a nice panel.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Painting: Red Onion

Red Onion, 2008, oil on canvas, 8 x 7 inches
Every artist, at any point in their career, has been inspired or deeply touched by another artist’s work. My list of heroes is long, running the gamut from 17th century Italian painting to Abstract Expressionism, but no one has touched me more than Stephen Brown. I had the honor of being his student during three semesters at the Hartford Art School, an experience which still rewards my journey as a painter.
With this small painting, I tried to keep Stephen’s instructions on the use of color, about using warms and cools. This may be a subject touched upon by many visual artists but he had a way of creating beautiful rich images by placing colors of different temperatures next to each other. The red onion is also a direct quote to one of his paintings of the same subject. It seems like I keep chasing his level of skill and vision, although I realize I have long ways to go. With this onion I say “Thank you Stephen.”

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Caravaggion Stolen

Caravaggio, 1573-1602, The Taking of Christ (or, The Kiss of Judas), Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art
The New York Times reported today that a painting by Caravaggio was stolen from the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Ukraine. On Thursday morning of last week, museum staff found the painting had been cut off from its frame. The museum was closed on Wednesday, giving the thieves enough time, from Tuesday evening to the early hours of Thursday, to break in and leave with the 17th century masterpiece.
Artinfo.com reports "Police indicated that the thieves had entered through a window and, because they removed the pane of glass rather than smash it, did not set off the outdated alarm system. They reportedly escaped through the museum’s roof. Reports indicate that police had been urging the museum to update its alarm system, but that the idea was rejected on financial grounds."
For years it has been debated whether the work was a signature Caravaggio or a copy by one of the master's students. Another version, and perhaps the more popular of the two, survives at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.