My show is up on the walls at the gallery. A years work, thirty one pieces in total. Come and celebrate with us on February 7th from 5 to 9 at GalleryOne on Pearl Street in Ellensburg, Washington.
I’ve been working out this idea for a while and finally got the under painting pretty close. Then it started peeling off between the gesso and primer. I had to just take the whole thing off.
Redid the whole thing in about 2-3 days. Now to let it dry and start the next layers.
Karen, at Gard Vintners called me up the other day and said I could set up anytime. We hadn’t talked for 6 months at least and had never set a date for a show at their nice wine and music place in Ellensburg. I had two days to pull it together and hang a show of about 25 pieces. Looking through my older work, some enamel paintings and oil pastel drawings from the 1980s seemed to fit with some of the newer acrylics. They all had to be taken apart, cleaned up and reassembled. The glass and surfaces were really dirty, but with some cleaning the colors popped and I could see what I was going after almost 40 years ago. There is a continuity to these two eras, something that ties my work together that is only knowable after this many years.
I’ve been working on fine tuning my technique for figures and portraits. In this painting of my friend Chelsea, I used something similar to the Venetian Technique with a complete tonal underpainting in an earth red. In this case Terre Rosa and Venetian Red but with no white,
just the white ground showing through the scumbled drawing. In this way I had the time to really work on the drawing without the complexity of the color. After that was completed and dry I could work over it keeping the shirt a looser more painterly style with solid strokes of opaque paint while tightening up on the face. This technique seems to suit my temperament right now, it can be as tight or loose as I want to go while getting the placement and tonal structure correct first to create the illusion that I’m after.
The website is coming together, but I’m having a little difficulty keeping track of all the pieces. It’s a balance of the diligent work of the technical and the looseness of the artistic. While this painting energy is here I’ll try to ride the wave and keep it going, doing a new painting just about everyday. The technique is settling in, it’s an event, a few key strokes that evolve into the image. They must stay a mystery, with a certain level of control and craft to get them to work along with a big dose of uncertainty and randomness.
I got out to the studio today, excited to paint. Yesterday, a few friends came out and I showed them what I was working on… and everything worked. The ink flowed the and as we watched it created an image that begged our interpretation. Not today. After the initial strokes came off the brush they just sat there, so of course I had to start fiddling with it. Several hours later, the mud was too much to bare and I just walked away.
In April 2017 I started using Sumi and Chinese black calligraphic ink to do some experiments for a new series of paintings. After a few simple tests I realized that the medium of ink in water had such a rich world of possibilities that I needed to explore it further.