Archive for July, 2007

Design Distraction

July 27, 2007

Up Color

Some of my paintings seem to be illustrations, some decorative patterns, this one seems like an exercise in graphic design.  It was supposed to capture the fluttering motion of three birds in flight, but looks more like the cover of a third grade reader published in the early seventies.  This does not mean it is ugly, just that it could look equally nice, and equally important, on the side of a van.

Today is an unusual day for me because three of my paintings were rejected by a gallery because they were not matted, and while they said they liked the paintings and would take one of them if I matted it, they could not accept visible staple holes.

This might have been their way of letting me down easy, which is fine, however it does make me question my approach to watercolor painting.  I have always liked the rough edges and staple holes.  For me they demonstrate some aspect of the works creation and allow me to compose the work the way it will be seen.  Matting seems like it removes the viewer one step away from the physicalness of the piece.

Although I sort of feel like a stubborn jerk.


The Speed of Those Gone Before

July 21, 2007

Rabbit Uplift

It is better to paint poor paintings than no paintings at all.  That is the belief that I hold and I think sometimes it shows.  However I also feel that sometimes you can learn a lot by making mistakes and just seeing what they look like. 

This is not to say I do not like this painting or that I think it is a mistake.  Rather I think this painting is OK.  It looks a little like an improvised NBA logo, but does have some nice things going on in it.  If I did not know what the NBA logo looked like this painting would be very different, and in a way that is too bad. 

It is interesting to imagine what your paintings would look like if you hadn’t seen the things you have seen.  But interesting isn’t everything.

If a Shadow Falls

July 14, 2007

Birds and Shadow

If you are painting a predominantly grey painting, and a particularly nice shadow falls across your painting what are you to do?  I chose to paint the shadow, and while this is nothing new (see 1930’s surrealist painting, at least in idea) I found the similarities between a transparent color wash and a shadow to be too interesting to ignore.

I like this painting, and while I have no plans to seek out shadows that complete my compositions, it was nice to have a little help from the sun on this one.

Fly and Fall or, How I Hate Thee Tiny Tear

July 9, 2007

Birds and Old Metal

It is hot here in Southern Oregon and I am going to try and blame the heat for this lack luster painting.  Actually I do not think this painting is all that bad, but while I was removing the staples I tore a small hole just above the left most birds head. 

I digitally filled the hole in, and I feel a little guilty with the deceptive edit.  This is the only time I have edited a painting, but it is amazing how a tiny hole (maybe 1/2″ by 1/4″) can completely alter a painting. 

I am tempted to try out some restoration skills and fix the hole, but I am not sure this painting is worth all that fuss.

A Poor Use of Radial Abstraction

July 2, 2007


This painting is for the most part a disaster. I am a color field guy, and really have no idea how to use visible brush strokes.  This is probably why I stay as far away from oil color as I can.  This painting definitely suffers from “just one more thing and then it will be good” syndrome.

I am going back to half and quarter sheets and work on fundamentals.