Saturday, January 5, 2019

getting underway

As I settled into my new home and my new studio last fall, I took advantage of the opportunity also to seek freshness in my painting. Acting instinctively, I returned to the early days of my cold wax work, recalling the basic techniques and attitudes. The image at the left shows one of my more successful creations (20"x 24"). I love the softness and the color transitions that took place.  It was the result of a largely organic process, which also pleased me.

Once I felt comfortable with my materials and processes, I looked for a way to move forward into something more reflective of my own self, of my own intention and approach in making art. My first attempt was to ground my work in representations of actual objects, to give myself a shape from which to abstract. I chose to represent ollas, which seem iconic of southern Arizona.

The choice was a good one. Using old boards already layered with various hues of oil paint and cold wax, I ignored what was already there, drew in various large "container" shapes, and proceeded from there, still conscious of orienting myself to specific cold wax techniques, reinforcing them. It was a bit like taking a refresher course. The piece represented at right, 24" x 24", is one of the four that grew out of this effort. I enjoyed working with a limited palette of brown and white, with touches of blue here and there. But, in retrospect, I did not take full compositional advantage of the vessel shape, and that is something that I want to explore in my next group of paintings.

I was still finishing the last of the "olla" series, when I had some new insights that coincided with the winter solstice, interestingly enough. But I will save that story for another post.

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