Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!

"Desafinado" (18x18)

Well it's just about Christmas time and I'm sitting here with a bad cold, but enjoying some family who flew in to surprise me on Friday for my birthday. Birthdays are one way to mark the passing of time, but when you're an artist, so are your paintings... I hope my work is improving as the years go by, but I certainly know my approach and knowledge of painting is changing with time...


Here are two new pieces heading for Bonner David Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona. I am still much interested in music-themed work (obviously) so I am continuing that exploration. As writers are best when they write about what they know, so too is art when artists paint subject matter they understand or have connection with...

"Instruction in Grace" (16x12)

I have been reading a book on drawing by Robert Fawcett (British 1903 - 1967) that is strongly influencing. Drawing is a broad term that applies to all stages of a painting; from rough sketch on paper to finishing strokes on canvas -- it's all rests on design (which is drawing, which is design).


Fawcett says in his book (from 1958) "The artist cannot communicate unless he understands, and the moment of understanding becomes the moment of communication." I know from my own frustrating experiences that I do best when I have understanding about something. Understanding something happens when interest develops beyond casual to passionate, and when you can convey that passion through imagery...well, then you've got something.

Hopefully that will become apparent in my paintings some day (
preferably before my next birthday) but until then, have a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Back in a Moment:

o/p (12x16)

We've always kept photo albums in my family, but I've never seen a pic of a relatives backside (let alone a naked one, thank God). Photographs are usually always from the front -- smiling, but there's something intriguing and mysterious, even beautiful on the flip side of the human body...

pencil (8x6)

These of course are just studies, but for artists they're important to do. For one, it's information they need to know to understand the whole form of human physicality and two, studies help develop an understanding of the varied types of backsides of the human body while developing shape, line & value practice as it pertains to figurative rendering...

pencil on newsprint (20x16)

The illustrator and instructional art book author, Andrew Loomis once said the back is "a tough old bird" -- memorizing it's myriad amount and function of musculature is worth going over and over again. After all, even chiropractors and surgeons are still learning the depths of the human torso...

Your average portrait painter may never render a commission from this angle, but nevertheless there's as much character & interest back here as there is in the front... if you look for it.