Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Recent Monotypes

Stream in the Woods, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper size unknown, Salmagundi Club Permanent Collection
I have been enjoying monotypes very much, and I also feel like I'm getting the hang of it.  In a way, the process reminds me of plein air painting because both require you to work fast to achieve the final image.  I remember telling myself back in college that I worked better under pressure.  Working with limited time is a challenge that can be a positive fuel to the creative process. With monotypes there is always a sense of suspense as well, because you can work on an image for x amount of time, but you still don't know how the print will turn out. Paper types, ink, etc. can effect the final product, and pulling the paper away from the plate after it's been rolled through the press can be an exhilarating experience. The image above was one of those nervous processes where I was trying different techniques to achieve mark making, and I was also trying to get a difficult image done in a shorter amount of time than usual. Nerves and hard work paid off, after printing this image, it was voted by fellow Salmagundi Club members into the club's Permanent Collection.  Now I can say I'm in public collection, and in the company of many great artists who have been part of the club's history. Hope you enjoy my latest output.
Untitled, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11 inches

Montepulciano II, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11 inches 

Montepulciano I, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11 inches
Untitled, 2015, monotype (ghost print), image 6 x 8 inches, paper 7 1/2 x 11 inches

Stream in the Woods, 2015, monotype (ghost print), image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11 inches

Montepulciano II, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11 inches 

Untitled, 2015, monotype, image 6 x 8 inches, paper 8 1/2 x 11 inches

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Paintings from Italy, Part 1

Looking Towards San Damiano, 2015, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches, Private Collection
This is the first installment of the twelve paintings I completed in Italy. This was truly a life changing experience, even though it was my second visit it opened my eyes to a different world of color when painting in oil in an outdoor setting. On the first trip, which was two years ago, I was working with watercolor, a medium that was new to me.  At that moment I was not very comfortable with it, there were a lot of things to be learned as I worked on the field. Watercolor turned out to be enjoyable, but oil paint is my thing, it's what makes me tick, and it was pure joy being able paint the Italian landscape with a medium I've very comfortable with.  The painting above was my first of the two week workshop, and I believe my most successful. I was in a great moment seeing everything so fresh and as I was working I could not believe I was painting in Italy, a dream come true.
Assisi Roofs, 2015, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12, Private Collection
The biggest challenge of this painting trip was time, I had about two and half hours, three if I was lucky, for each painting session.  As I work with plein air more I have become more detailed, making my regular painting sessions longer, about four hours on average.  Due to group lunches, dinners, and outings, time was very limited, and there was so much information I needed to capture in each painting, and most times I was not successful in finishing the paintings in one shot.  Assisi Roofs was one of those paintings, I had two sessions on site with this painting, and I still needed to do a lot of work in the studio. 
View from St. Anthony's, 2015, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches
This painting is another one of my favorites, and it was one of the most difficult the execute due to the morning heat and exposure to the sun.  It felt like I was going to pass out, but I kept trucking and was able to come up with this cool misty landscape.  The light and landscape of Italy really did effect the way I see and use color, this is perhaps the coolest (color temperature wise) green I have worked with and I really enjoy it. 
View from Cortona I, 2015, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches
The thing I enjoyed most about painting in Italy was how the morning light and the mist combined to form this cool rosy effect, especially on the horizon. The sky was not one hundred percent bright cerulean blue, it had this greyed down, yet glowing aspect.
View from Cortona II, 2015, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches
Think like Corot I kept telling myself.  Not that I know what went through his mind when he painted, or that I'm any close to being as good as he is, but keeping in mind his Italian plein air paintings helped to achieve the atmosphere and color in both paintings of the view from Cortona. 
Cortona Public Garden, 2015, oil on linen mounted on panel, 9 x 12 inches, Private Collection
In a few days I will be posting the second part to this post, including the remaining six paintings from Italy. Stay tuned!