Thursday, January 24, 2013

From The Sick Ward--

First Light, Fresh Snow

Truth be told, I've always disliked the type of people who are always blathering on about how sick they are, and how their cold was so much worse than yours, or their flu wasn't the ordinary flu, but the super-duper flu bug.

So I'm filled with a sense of self-loathing right now...

Honest to God-- I've had an upper respiratory, walking pneumonia with the boogy-woogy flu for almost a solid month, and man has it gotten old!  That last week it was near 60 degrees, and this morning the thermometer rests at 3 below zero hasn't helped.  But painting needs to be done, dammit!

So the picture above was done this year.  It's a scene from my old neighborhood in Cundy's Harbor, Maine.  We rented a small cottage there for about three years, and this was the view from the front lawn.  I love where I am now, but I have to admit-- it sure was pretty there.

I mentioned in my last post how I was going to glaze this in a slightly different manner in that I was changing my palette for every color pass.  That meant if I used Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson for a purple color on one go, I'd go over it with a purple made from Cobalt Blue and Cad Red on the next.  These would be very thin, transparent glazes, so it would allow both colors to shine through.  I did the same thing for all the other passages.  I had no reason to do this, other than the age old-- "why not?"  I kept in mind to keep the temperature of the colors the same.  It is possible to have a warm blue, or a cool red, and I didn't want them fighting with each other.  In some areas it worked, others not, and had to be re-painted.  But the fun was in the trying.

Outside of my opinion that maybe I keyed the whole thing down a smidge much, I'm okay with it.  I really enjoyed the color mixing challenge it presented.  Quite often, I get stuck in mixing my colors the same way, and this got me out of that rut.

River's Edge

After a few weeks of painting bright yellows and pinks, I then banged this one out.  This is another scene from my property.  We were having a "January Thaw".  In Maine, that means gray skies and fog.  As I was out stumbling around, I saw this scene.  I liked how the only spot of color was the dead marsh grass we let grow up on the river bank.  If you see this picture in person, you'll notice the trees on the right are much more subdued than what this photo shows--- but what can you do?  That's photos for you.

I've two more paintings on the easel.  One is another snow scene, and the other is an interior.  This super flu bug isn't keeping me down! 

Even though it is alot worse than anybody else's...


Friday, January 4, 2013

This Year


Well now, here we are in 2013 (pronounced Twenty-Thirteen) and how does it feel?  I'll tell you in a minute.  To me, it's always a bit of a mind-bender when Next Year becomes This Year.  But I just wanted the year to sink in a little bit before I make any kind of assessment of it.  So far?


I made a vow to Re-Use and Recycle more, so my New Year's Resolutions for this year are from 1976.  Couple of things I can cross off that list are, "Get a new Cheryl Tiegs poster", and "Learn to do the Hustle".

Now, a lot of us painters are keen on coming up with resolutions concerning their artwork.  You know, stuff like, "Take more workshops", or "Learn how to [fill in the blank]".  Not me.  I kinda feel I'm already on the road less travelled, and I want to see where it takes me this year.  I believe that staying the course can be more difficult sometimes than making changes.  While my road might have a whole lot of blind curves, I'll spend the year trying not to jump on the highway.

I've been working on a new painting already in this still blossoming year.  Regardless of what I just said about staying the course, I'm using a slightly different technique on this one.  I go on and on in these posts about my glazing technique, but let me clarify something;  To most people, glazing is done after a painting is done, and used to modify form, or highlights-- maybe even change a hue or reduce chroma.  What I do when I glaze is more like a silk screen process.  If I want a green tree, I first slap down some blue.  Over that I glaze a yellow.  Voila-- green.  Then repeat the process over and over to achieve depth.  Yeah, it's as exciting as watching paint dry.  Because mostly it is watching paint dry.  But I like the results.

The picture I'm working on I will glaze in the manner stated earlier;  Paint it, glaze over it.  But I was thinking that it would be fun to change things up a bit.  Let's see if I can explain it:  Wherever I have a passage I'm going to glaze over, I will use the same color, but made with different combinations.  So, for instance, where I have a purple made with a blue and red, I'll use a different blue and red to glaze over it.  See?  Why would I do this?

I dunno.  Seemed like a good idea at the time...


I remember December 4, 2012 very well.  It was the last day I was healthy.

Since then, I've been living with a sore throat and upper respiratory congestion that eventually got me an ambulance ride after I collapsed and passed out in my studio last week.  And since then I feel like someone has taken a dirty, scratchy gym sock and stuffed it behind my left eye, taken a red hot ember and lodged it in my throat, then crammed a brick into my lungs.  My voice has become a twitching, wheezy lamb-like bleat.  Which isn't so bad, except I have to constantly repeat myself.

  • Me: "I am gOing down to The stUDio to work on my pIcture."

          Ellen: "What?"

          Me: "GoinG to worRK.

  • Me: "I nEed to juMp on The internet and orDer that KlausSen's Linen at $1,000 a rOll".
          Ellen: "What?"

          Me:  "Nothing..."

 Happy This Year!