Friday, February 26, 2010

diptych dos

A lovely prospective client that met us at Brookside in Kansas City has asked that we revisit our image "301 Main Street Diptych" (shown above). I was delighted to do so as this was one of my very favorite 2009 works.

The challenge in this piece was to make a piece in two parts where each part could stand alone as a painting but together make one cohesive work. Also, I began with two extremely different underpaintings...different both in palette and in orientation. The one on the right was horizontally striped and the one on the left was vertically striped. Each piece was brought individually to 90% completion. Then they were hung together to finish the final 10% of the process, developing rhythms and harmonies and between the two. Voila.

What I like about these two as a diptych is the way the composition in the left hand painting funnels down into the right hand painting. The brick walk on the left mates up the curb on the right, creating one strong horizontal line that travels through both.

I'm documenting the building of the new piece here, probably in two or three posts as it developes. I'm beginning with the right hand panel.

Here are the two pieces drawn out and just begun:

And here is the progression of the right hand panel from beginning to 95ish% completed. (If I was more clever I could have presented it as a little slideshow...but I'm not.) ((Also, please forgive the photo quality as I shot these indoors right on the easle.)):

Stay tuned...

Friday, February 12, 2010

newly wed (couple a day #23)

I'm sorry I forgot about you guys yesterday. Genna and I left for Miami yesterday morning and you just slipped my mind! We've made it here safely and with little trouble thus far. Last night we slept at a Holiday Inn that smelled just like the inside of an ashtray. We finished our set up today just ahead of a crazy nasty storm...excellent timing!

That's not what I'm here to tell you, though, right? Tonight I am posting my last 'couple a day' painting. I thougnt it would be appropriate to make it the only wedding couple I've ever painted (and may ever paint) since it's the eve of Valentine's Eve. This piece is from our "Inspirations" show that just wrapped up at 16 Patton in Asheville. There is a lovely little story about the couple that I'll tell you when I get home and can look it up.

See the hidden heart?

Happy Valentine's Day, all.

"Newly Wed", oil on masonite, 10" x 8", $300
available from 16 Patton Gallery, Asheville NC

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Emerging (couple a day #22)

Today's offering is another version of our "Emerging" image. This one is a biggun, though.

"Emerging", oil on linen, 36" x 48", $2200

We packed up the whole studio today to head to Miami for the Coconut Grove show. 61 pieces in tow! Wish us luck...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

On the Lawn (couple a day #21)

This little one is another of my oft' visited images. I believe I've called it "On the Lawn" each time I've made it. What I'm drawn to here is the big silhouetted tree shape up top and the great little chair that is always executed by carving in the negative shape.

Very WASPy, no?

"On the Lawn", oil on linen, 10" x 8", $300
I apologize for the yucky photo quality, this is much tastier in person.

Monday, February 8, 2010

porch sit (couple a day #20)

OK, everybody. I'm going to have to fudge a little this week. I had a call last week from my Kansas City gallery, Prairiebrooke. They are planning to feature us at their February 19th open house and need some new work. So, I've laid my couples aside and gotten to work for them (I'm photographing what I made for them tomorrow or Wed., I'll share). Prairiebrooke is a fabulous, family owned gallery...if you live in the area stop by and see Mike, Brooke, and daughter Megan.

I'm posting a couple today anywho. This is a favorite of mine that was out at a gallery for a while and has recently come home. It's underpainting free but is instead painted on a little cherry wood laminate panel. We had some flooring left over from our recently renovated library/guest room and broke it down for small paintings.

I love the color of this wood as it works perfectly for shadowed skin tones. I don't love it as my library floor, though. I've told Genna we're going to have to rip it up and make 2,000 little paintings. He loved that idea (ha ha ha).

"Porch Sit", oil on cherry, framed in black, 7" x 6", $220

Friday, February 5, 2010

cliffside (couple a day #19)

Today's couple is another tiny one. I'm too tired to chat about it, so have a great weekend!

"Cliffside", oil on linen, 7" x 5", $200

Thursday, February 4, 2010

azalea portrait & green thumb (couple a day #18)

Today's couple is actually another pair. This is a new format for me (5" x 7") and I am loving it. By the end of the day today I think I will have made twelve this week. We're trying a new frame as well...they'll be gallery wrapped oil on linen presented in a 'floating' black frame so that you see a little of the painted edges.

I'm calling them "Singletons" in my head because the shape and size work best for single figures. Yesterday I was fantasizing about a whole show of singletons, maybe 200 or so, in a beautiful, clean gallery space. I'll let you know if that actually happens.

Girly is "Azalea Portrait", oil on linen 7" x 5" $200
Fella is "Green Thumb", oil on linen, 7" x 5", $200 (sold)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

buff & beachcomber (couple a day #17)

Today's couple is another 'two-fer', a pair of 7" x 5" canvases. These are mine alone with no Genna flavor. Seeing these gives me a really clear idea of what Genna brings to the table...these are more subtle and settled without the jazz of the vibrant underpainting. I must admit that they're far easier to make! I draw on the white canvas instead of over a patterned ground then wash the drawings with color that I know will work with the final overlay of paint. It almost feels like cheating not having to wrestle the underlayers into submission!

The guy is "Buff", oil on linen, 7" x 5", $200
The gal is "Beachcomber", oil on linen, 7" x 5", $200 (or $350 for the pair)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

blending in (couple a day #16)

So, this is the piece I was telling you I was really excited about last week. You're underwhelmed aren't you? Perhaps I oversold it.

The good and the bad about pursuing the same basic style of work for an extended period is that (for me anyway) changes come slowly. I have lots of time to fully explore and expand upon the set of ideas and parameters I'm working with. Day to day I see little change in what I'm doing, but year to year I see lots. For that reason I get really excited when I'm able to recognize even a small shift in thinking in a new piece.

So what's different about this one, right? I'm not quite sure yet. I believe it has to do with the overall porousness of the edges of the forms. Working on an active, mid toned ground pushes me to use super high contrast shifts to delineate shapes. Here I think I've managed to define the figures and separate out the levels of space without 'screaming' them into place. Maybe more about that later as I organize my thoughts.

"Blending In", oil on masonite, 16" x 12", $375 (sold)
(I don't love this title and am open to suggestions)

Monday, February 1, 2010

striped newlyweds (couple a day #15)

There are two full work weeks left until Valentine's Day and I'm nearly 'coupled' out. Ten couples left to go. I have to say, though, that this has been an excellent exercise for me. It's gotten me into the habit of posting, my posting habits until now have been sporadic at best, but better than that, it makes me think more about my work. It's helpful to be forced into applying a little verbage to a purely visual medium now and again.

Any-who. Today's offering is "Striped Newlyweds". As with many of the couple paintings, the actual subject matter here is entirely static...a little upright pair of figures with a horizontal horizon and some rectangular architecture behind. All of the action here comes from the big patches of underpainting, serving as organically shaped swatches of cloud and ground. While all of the elements in the composition are fully articulated, the spice is in the many purely abstract moments allowed to blossom all around.

It looks like they're standing on a rainbow.

"Striped Newlyweds", oil on masonite, 16" x 12", $375