Monday, March 28, 2011

Mackworth Reads

Mackworth Reads. Acrylic on wood, approx. 4" x 12".  Another work on a length of oak floorboard.  Was in a shite store the other day and saw two very old books with those raised "rib" things on their spines. Would have bought one but both were deteriorating badly. This pic came from that, as well as a couple of 19th century ambrotypes I got lucky and found. I painted this without a prelim--using a brush and black acrylic--just as an exercise.  I sometimes find myself excessively planning my pics out--especially right before a show.  This was an off-the-cuff quick sketch that was relaxing to draw and I liked well enough to finish with color.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sant' Antonio Da Padova

Sant' Antonio Da Padova. Oil on panel, 11" x14".  Done probably 8 years ago.  Looking at it compared to the saint works done this past year made me think about why and how artist's styles change. 
Much of the change in my works has come from switching media. I painted these oils while considering myself a watercolorist.  Basically used the same techniques; a brush and ink outline filled in with thin washes of oil paint made transparent with medium. Now, after working for a few years with matte acrylics, and seeing what other artists do, my saint paintings show more brushstroke, seem a bit abstract, and have fewer colors.

A photo of my Great Grandfather's face, taken circa 1900 or so, was the model for this version of St. Anthony.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Skeptikal Cat

Skeptikal Cat. Acrylic on wood, approx. 4 1/4" x 5". Private collection. This little guy is painted on a plank of oak flooring.  Found a bunch of them in the alley, and they've provided  happily workable surfaces. As far as the subject--I saw a weird looking cat drawn by Lyonel Feininger in his Kin-Der-Kids comic strip, and the cat was saying "I'm a bald skeptik". That cracked me up, and I painted this guy the next day.  Is there anything else behind it? 

When folks ask me questions about my work, my common response is a shoulder shrug and an "I dunno".  It's not that I'm necessarily inarticulate, just that all the thinking done about my work is internal and most often pictorial.  Once the work's finished I'm onto the next and don't think about why I maybe did the previous.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Repeating History II (or III)

The Musician. Watercolor, 4 3/4" in diameter.  Was cleaning my studio this morning, and found yet another old, underbite (underbit?) goblin. Different nose again, but definitely a cousin to the others  Only guessing, but  maybe painted this in '93 or so?  Definitely was done at Eaglecrest.  Never got into the habit of dating my work. Last week at the gallery a nice lady asked me why no dates, but I don't have an answer. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Goblin and his Raven Creep through the Town

Goblin and His Raven Creep Through the Town. Mixed media on wood, 5" x 7", private collection.This little guy's face shows up several times in slightly different ways in my old sketchbooks.  But the inspiration for this pic hit when I was looking at the works of a great artist/illustrator named Herman Vogel.  I got inspired by his weird, German townscapes and ogre-faces. And I'm wanting this bird to be a Raven, but I don't think it's big enough or black enough.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

San Pascual

Acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12", private collection. 

Painted this at suggestion of Sheila, when I dropped off some work at Creator Mundi.  I looked at lots of different retablos and holy cards.  The Italian versions portrayed him as serious--the Hispanic retablos were mixed, some showing him cheerful, serious in others.  Mine's a bit Friar Tuck-ish, and appears content to be cooking. 
Making something--art, food, whatever--seems to have that effect. 
People able to work with their hands on something they love have been given a great gift.
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