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Archive for February 26th, 2010

This is a new painting I’ve been working on for the last couple of days.  It’s a 14″ by 18′” piece on ragboard and fits well in my Archaeology series.  The upper and lower sections of this piece are painted in two different styles, with the upper being painted by adding layers of paint ( what I call my obsessionist style) and the lower painted in a predominately transparent fashion but with quite a bit of opaque touches.

Shown at the top, I wanted to show the lower section of this piece in a little more detail, to give a better idea of how this section is put together.  It’s  a chance for me to paint spontaneously, but in detail.  I  start at one corner and bounce all over the section, basically using my brush to draw the small items.  As I’m moving along, I’m constantlly weighing each new artifact against those around it then against the section as whole.  This weighing process has to do with color and shape, not what the item actually is.  I don’t really think about what the items will be in these pieces.  I prefer to let them take shape as the piece progresses although I do fall back on a number of recurring artifacts.  Some of these are the peace symbol, my initial, a shoe, a mask of some sort, books and a few others.  This particular piece also has a self-reference in the form of a small painting.

This is only the second piece in this series that has the upper section painted in this way,  showing the simplified  roots of the tree and having the sky painted with multiple layers of rough strokes.  So far I am liking the contrast between the top and bottom.  I may lighten the foliage of the tree and adjust a few parts of the sky but I’m not sure yet.  This is at a point where it requires a little time to sit and be taken in, almost with a peripheral view.  With paintings like this, with a lot of detail and action in the color and forms, I find that I need to see it but not focus on it completely to get the best overall feel for it.  That’s the real test.

So, with this piece, we’ll see over the next several days in the studio.

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