I'm fascinated and torn by the way paint mixes and flows and meanders and changes on paper. Torn by it because — well, because, paint on paper, what is the subject? I've been struggling with this a lot lately because lately I don't care. I don't care what the subject might be. The subject is paint. And paper. And the way paint mixes and flows and meanders and changes on paper. The subject is texture and line and accident and intent and opacity and thickness — and on and on. I've done a lot of reading about the Abstract Expressionists and I recognize their fascination with the simple and very pure pleasure of paint. I recognize it in myself — and the fascination is endless.
So, we spread out our paper and watercolors on the big table in the kitchen of our vacation home in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. My niece, Rachel, and I. She's five. And a half. This is the painting she produced off the top of her head in about ten minutes. Yesterday I asked her mom to get Rachel's permission to use it here and for a title. From my sister-in-law: "She says yes and the name is 'Virginia Beach' even though it was painted in North Carolina. Artists!"
It now hangs in my kitchen, though I haven't had a chance to frame it yet.
Note to self: Once in a while try to let it all go and paint like a five-and-a half-year-old. You might just create some magic. Rachel did.
acrylic, aluminum, ancient, appalachia, aqua, artist, ash, azure, bandana, barbed wire, binder pigment, black, blackbirds, blood, blue, brown, brushes, bones, burnt sienna, cadmium, candles, canvas, cardboard, cerulean, chaar gund, chalk, charcoal, chartreuse, chickens, chicken wire, clay, cobalt, coffee, color, crayons, creamy yellow, crimson, crows, cyan, death, decay, deposits, dioxazine, diluted, dirt, draw, dyes, earth colors, easel, eggs, emulsion, encaustic, fabric, ferric oxide, fig leaves, fossils, fresco, fuck it, glue, gold, gouache, green earth, grey, grinding slab, gum arabic, gypsum, hematite, hydrous, impasto, incense, india ink, indigo, inert pigment, irises, iron oxide, jade, jasmine, joni, kaolin, kumquat, lacquer, lemon yellow, limonite, linseed oil, magenta, marijuana, mauve, medium, mescaline, midnight blue, mineral, mosaic, mud, naked, natural, oil, olive, orange, paint, palette, paper, pastel, pen, pencil, periwinkle, photograph, pigment, pink, plant dye, pottery, purple, pylocanthacine, red, reliquary, resin, rust, scarlet, scurf, sexy, shadows, sketch, skull, skeleton, soil, soluble, solvent, soul, stain, stencil, still life, stirred, strength, sunflowers, surface, swatches, synthesis, talc, tangerines, technique, tempera, terra verte, texture, tincture, tint, tissue paper, titanium, turquoise, transparent, turpentine, umber, varnish, vermillion, violet, viridian, water, watercolor, wax, wheat paste, white, wind, wire, yellow, yellow ocher, yolk, zinc, zzzyyyaaa...
Detail of a new nest/aerie painting, or build, construction. These paintings are really built onto and out from the surface. Acrylic, paper, metal, sticks, and shadows on canvas. Interesting to work with these textures and shapes.
aerie | eyrie | aiery: the nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, built in a high
The four photos here show the same piece photographed at 2-hour intervals during the day as the progression of shadow follows the sun from east to west. This is built out from the canvas with the intentional possibility of varying shadows, which completely change the character and nature of the painting based on the light source and its direction and intensity. These photos were shot outside in the course of an afternoon, but to switch the light from left to right in the studio completely changes the structure to an even greater extent. The shadow is part of the painting, so the painting never stays the same.
Aerie I/May 2016
Acrylic, Metal, Paper, Sticks, String, Shadow on Canvas, 48" x 48"
A couple of views of a piece I've been working on for a couple of days. Actually woke up yesterday dreaming of these huge bird nests of sticks and metal and paper and wire, in silence high up in the trees. Avian province. Aeries above the world.
I've been working these two canvases for a couple or three months now and I think they're finally coming together in the way that I saw them. Layers of scrapes and scratch-outs, stops and starts, paper and paint, cardboard, metal and old screen and, for the first time, actual weeds and grasses. So the texture feels real and true. This is a very tight detail of the corner of one canvas. The working title is W. Brompton, S.W. 5.
Detail of a small portion of my new diptych on paper, Water's Edge. I'm fascinated by confluences of random stuff — the weedy mix of branches, leaves, flower petals, small darting fish and shadows that float at water's edge.
The Elegance of Weeds.
I'm always struck by the beauty of a tangle of weeds on the side of the road or in a vacant lot. Some of my favorite flowers are considered nothing more than weeds. Queen Anne's Lace. Mountain Mint. Joe-Pye Weed. Ironweed. These are photos of a work in progress. It's going to be watercolor, coffee, pencil and pen on paper.
And this page is for anything and everything else. It will function as a quasi-blog and encompass everything from works-in-progress and sketches, to articles, images, and writings that interest me. Please feel free to comment.