Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June has been active

Pinch me Mixed media

      This is the painting I have completed for June. And while one painting doesn't meet my goal of creating at least two per month, I have been active in doing other things art related.

      At the beginning of June I was inspired to start oil painting again. I have everything I need, and I believed it was just a matter of making some stretchers and getting busy. Well, painting is a messy, sloppy, business. I currently rent my home and am very conscientious about not damaging the property. This includes not spilling chemicals, paint, or the other sloppy liquids associated with oil painting. I was very careful, and carefully applied paint to the canvas. I made certain not to spill, or get anything on the walls. Such precision resulted in a very stiff, stilted, and boring image. I immediately decided that this was not going to work. What to do with the canvas and the partially painted surface, you ask? I went over the image with glue, and then affixed various types of paper over the botched oil painting. On this mixed surface, I then painted with my very familiar water soluble water colors. The image worked out much better.

     I have experimented with collage before, and have had some success. I also thought mixing the paper would result in an image that has a physical texture in addition to visual texture. If you recall, some of my earlier posts descried how I was interested in building texture in the background of my figures. You can make out the lines in this image where the edges of different paper come together. I think this is heightened by the image itself, with the solid wall, the figure, and the dart board pattern. This was an interesting image to work with, and I think I will try another one. I need to focus on getting the texture and the image feeling more cohesive.

    In addition to working on this painting, the library in which I worked hosted an art exhibition June 16-18. One of the lead librarians is a researcher in Black History with a specific interest in the west and black cowboys. As part of Juneteenth, our exhibition focused on back cowboys and the Buffalo Soldiers. I helped select the paintings we exhibited, and it was this process which got me interested in pursuing oil painting again.

   My favorite painting from the exhibition is below. I like it because most people think of cowboys as being men, and this image is unusual in that it features a woman. This image challenges  preconceived notions and surprises the viewer. I think it is wonderful when art can have an impact such as this.

By Ivan Stewart  
          More information about the artist, Ivan Stewart, can be found here.

     Finally, my co-workers and I went to "Painting with a Twist" for an evening of painting. My image was different from everyone else, as I painted the image based on my own ideas rather than following along with the instructor.

  So, technically I did paint two images this month. The image we were supposed to copy can be seen below.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


      These are the paintings I have completed for May. People in Louisiana have been after me to paint an image of a cabin/shack in the woods, or on the bayou for some time. Apparently these images are very poplar down here. I have been told "they sell like hot-cakes!" So, the image on the top is a reflection of this push. 

      The second image was an attempt to play with texture and address the issue of "edge." I decided that the yellow and blue stripes in the background resemble wallpaper. But, I didn't just want to paint a wall paper wall, so I attempted to reveal a 3-d edge on the left hand side. You can get a sense on this when looking at the yellow tonal shifts from the blank canvas on the far left. I don't know how successful this idea was. I do like the idea of a 3-d edge in a 2-d painting. I may want to explore this idea further later on. 

    I'm thinking of going out sketching this weekend. It's been a while since I have gone out and done that. So, that might be a good idea. If I do, I will share some of those sketches here.