30 April 2015


Ford, 2015. Graphite & oil on wood panel, 48x48".

One of my great pleasures in the studio is working amid a suite of images -the preliminary and exploratory works that flows into an ultimate composition. Many of these smaller studies are never exhibited, and rarely with larger scale or more substantial paintings. However, in addition to helping me  figure out what I want to do, they create an immersive environment for creation. The images within this post are all part of the investigation for "Ford" and have been part of my field of vision in the studio over recent months.

This Trio of Sky Notes helped me to derive a simple palette and techniques to combine drawing and painting in subject matter as ethereal as the sky.

With the Great Blue Heron drawings and paintings, I became better acquainted with the form and stature of this large and elegant wading bird. Repeating the form in multiple studies is also part of an ongoing experiment with combined media.

Ford (detail, circa 36x26")

Finding a convincing and compelling pose for the human figure was another step in composition. In this case I actually scaled down from the studies to incorporate a very small version (circa three inches) in the painting.

Ford (detail, circa 8x10")

What a wonderful opportunity I have here to share the scope of the work in its course and digressions over the past several months. Enjoy!

18 April 2015

Face Value

Small Profile, 2015. Graphite, oil & collage on art board, 10x8".

The first assembly of the Thursday Artists' Working Group met in my studio in December of 2009. We have since shared countless afternoons generating, discussing and celebrating art. We have also exhibited together, mounting our most recent show Atelier III on 3 April 2015. For each exhibition we have chosen a common object or element to address in our various media and styles. This year we chose self-portraits.

For Atelier III I embraced the challenge of self-portraiture for the first time in many years. This provided opportunities to regard myself in the mirror, observe signs of aging, and reveal what I saw with my current process and skills. At times I was preoccupied with the logistics of holding a pose, managing light and materials in the studio. But I was, nevertheless, presented with a distinctive means to contemplate my image and image-making.

As time goes on, I seem to care less and less about how I look. That is to say, I care less about my appearance. Now I care so much more about how I look actively: my perception of others, the immediate and wider world, my place within it. I want to see honestly, respectfully, compassionately.

Unflinching, 2015. Graphite on paper, 10x8".
Gray S-P, 2015. Graphite & chalk on paper, 10x8".
Backlit, 2015. Graphite & oil on art board, 10x8". 

There is a peculiar severity to my face in concentration. This is not the cheerful or tender countenance I wish to offer others. And yet this is the way I look when I am looking, a searching gaze. These studies, like all of my work, are essentially artifacts of a process -and not just the process of a day, an hour or season- but the life-long process of learning to see clearly.