In-between bouts of atmospheric river storms I was able to hit the road. Although not with the same ferocity as at home, the rain followed me. This was OK as it was a short trip and I had already envisioned only having time to do my nightly woodshedding sketches and maybe a lyra piece or two.
I was to be flying home into yet another storm! My flight was delayed most of the afternoon. I sat at the terminal becoming newly crowned crossword king.
While sending out texts to everyone to let them know that I was delayed but all right, I snapped a quick selfie.
Lately a lot of my painting have been on tan paper and 11×17. This piece is white Canson paper 5×7
Long have I been a fan of Mondrian. My library is full of many books on his work. He would arrange the orientation of some of his canvas in a diamond shape. The work was done with this in mind and it was more than merely going for an unorthodox positioning, the shape was part of the tension and release for the pieces.
I decided to challenge myself, doing my version of this. I cut down a piece of heavy tan multi-media paper to a different shape for me. It was not mere arbitrary move though, I had in mind before starting the rhythm of the piece. To facilitate further evolution, I had in mind to make this cityscape a day time scene since most of my others pulse with a nighttime luminescence.
For a longtime I have been a fan of Ron Carter. There is a new documentary Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes . It is well worth seeing. It shows a man whose lifetime devotion and joy is in serving the process. At a time that I was being pulled in all different directions, it served as the perfect reminder of what’s important.
As is always the case, all the photos used for this were taken by myself. There is no digital magic, I used traditional method of scissors and adhesive applied with a brush.
I currently have a few projects going, including a unique sized CINEFIELD® from paper I cut down myself. It’s taking slightly longer than expected as I am trying several new things. Even with all going on, I still draw & woodshed every night.
Lyra graphite sticks have become a favorite medium. It allows for painterly effects and a touch not dissimilar to that of watercolor. I am into all the mediums which I use, but my favorite two are drawing and painting. The Lyra pieces combine aspects of both of these mediums.
This was a small piece of multi medium paper. It’s close up of Jimi Hendrix. I enjoyed doing an unorthodox compositional balance in 3×5 inches
My sculptures are an acquired taste, which I am fine with. The personal appeal of then for me is in their looseness. Unlike my other visual mediums, there is a large component of improvisation to them. Materials help dictate composition.
Currently I am in middle of two projects which are taking up the lion’ share of space in my studio. I can not start a new Cinefield®. I do miss process. I knew that I could do a regular collage and it would not encroach upon other things going on space & time wise.
This is a collage, not Cinefield® because unlike the later, I did not create the base images. Rarely now do I work in the medium of collage utilizing images not from pictures which I personally took. Like my sculptures, this gave me the same pleasure derived from loose improvisation. This rare occurrence of using other’s images is akin to jazz great playing a standard, someone else’s melody providing the frame work for their voice to flow.
The piece is 7×10 inches. No digital magic just scissors & adhesive applied with a brush.
Female of the Species
It is not often that I mention things of mine available for purchase. I have teamed up with a great framer & photo lab to produce a series of extremely limited edition Cinefield® prints. The info can be found here. Once they are gone, that is it.
I have been unexpectedly tied up with various things. Even with a full tilt boogie schedule, I draw or woodshed every day. All the various mediums which have become synonymous with me I fell into by complete happenstance while exploring. Each of these things, no longer new to me, I miss if I got too long without doing (or should I say crave?). My next big project is a large painting. While I can’t start it yet, I get the same pay off emotionally/intellectually/spiritually doing Lyra pieces. Although monochrome, they have a painterly feel to them and the touch required in making them is similar. An additional plus is, if I can achieve the desired feel utilizing only one color, then when using my paints proper, it feels easier.
This is part of an ongoing series. The genesis of the project can be found here with new installments appearing throughout my blog;
I now have two printers. One is black and white and used just for text. The other is a high-grade/hi def photo printer for my visual work.
As I went to print up the first of these 8’s I forgot to toggle the switch so that it printed on regular paper in black and white. I actually liked it and so am including it here. The other black and white image was an element of chance occurrence, I lifted the paper up and the unfastened components formed the face. It’s looser than my intentional 8’s but I still liked it.
I am always seeking models for the series as it continues to be ongoing. When I am not the one taking the photos, they are done specifically for me (as opposed to found images). There’s no digital magic just my trusty scissors and adhesive applied with brush.
I do not often paint large pieces. There’s a completely different physicality involved. The way I have always worked, when I see a piece in my head before starting out, included in this vision/conception is its size. If I envision it small, it’s not merely a matter of using larger paper to make it big. I can only make a thing as I saw it in my head.
With Victory I saw it big.
I enjoy the challenge of leaving my comfort zone. Most of my paintings are 11×17, this one would be 20×30. I have a large wooden easel. It has heavy brass machinery. I pull on a loop below the ledge upon which the canvas sits to raise or lower it on the wooden axis. There is a wooden crossbar on the bottom which connects the two front legs of the large tripod.
While painting the lower section of the piece, I sit on a stool leaning forward. My feet rest on the crossbar. It feels as if I am on a ship, brush in hand. Seas calm, seas stormy, call me Ishmael.
When I started this Cinefield® I had decided to stretch myself as I had no deadlines. I work no digital magic on my pieces, but the photos I use are of course kept on my computer. Being a little under quarter of the way done with the piece my computer of seven years gave up the ghost.
I wanted to research what best option was for new one as unlike last time i bought one, I had concrete ideas of what I was going to use it for and what I did not need it to do. The research was the first delay. Once I determined what I wanted, it would take about two months for them to make it for me. I cleaned up the paper chad snowdrifts, switched to painting and some of my other visual projects.
As I was not merely sitting on my hands waiting, I did not mind. My third delay, the computer showed up and upon getting it set up, my equally old printer died. The amount of work she had done for me (ships & printers are always referred to in feminine form) made it not so shocking. I had already been looking at new printers anyways. Knowing ahead of time what I wanted and needed made the wait for a new one shorter.
The printer I got is geared towards photo film too. I bought few different types to experiment with while working to finally finish this piece. I was curious if I would be prevented from getting the flush edged fit as happens with my pocket printer mini-cinis. That film is akin to instamatic camera film, this is not, so I am able get the flush fit.
Aside from trying for more diverse color palette a few things made this piece different. The components consists of the paper on the old printer I always used, new printer with different type paper and three types photographic paper also from new printer. It was very different for me too in that I have never put down a Cinefield® for more than a day or so. The extended time away from it was totally new experience for me.
As is always the case, all the images are from photos I personally took. I use my tiny trusty scissors and adhesive applied with glue. The piece is 11×17 inches.
I had been in the middle of a full sized Cinefield® when my computer of six years gave up the ghost. This rendered my needed printer into an expensive paper weight. I switched to doing a painting. This is 11×14 watercolor & tan paper.
errata thought on the elderly: In media & especially television, a shorthand for “old people” they often will reference big band music (usually Duke Ellington or Benny Goodman). A few Rolling Stones albums just hit their 50th anniversary mark. If you do the math, an “old” person was not swinging their gal arround on the dancefloor to “Take the A Train” but rather Hendrix’s electro lament for a decades turmoil & new found freedoms.
Lyra water soluble graphite sticks have become one of my favorite mediums. That with a brush and pocket pad and i can do painterly pieces even when sitting at a cafe table. And I need not sprawl out taking over the table. I am also able to maintain discretion as I would hate to be like one of those people stateside who feel it necessary to go to Starbucks to show everyone that they are “writing”.
Aside from fully realized works, i continue to woodshed, hands, feet, whatever is in front of me. It is akin to a musician practicing scales. Both Renoir and Matisse when in the twilight of their years said something along the lines of it being a shame that they did not have a few more years left as they both felt that they were finally starting to get it. Coltrane before and after a concert or recording session would still put in time practicing. This has been my overall approach too. Regardless of how my day is spent, an hour or two at night woodshedding.
I do not go for the outwardly dramatic thing in my sketching. I let the organic truth of whatever the thing is create the emotion. A sort of raw reportage without any preconceived agenda. All pieces are either 3×5 pocket pad or 4×4 pocket pad. My 3×5 pad has circled the globe with me more ties than I can count and is always besides my bed or in my pocket during the day no matter where I am in the world.