Monday, October 25, 2010

Smoke and Dust, 9 x 12, oil on panel

I did this study for a larger 16 x 20 painting last month. So often the quick sketch turns out better. Maybe I'm trying too hard on the larger pieces? The bigger paintings are usually on linen, they take more time, and are meant to be more "serious". The relaxed feeling combined with concentration is what all the golfers talk about to hit a ball. Could golf and painting actually have something in common? Both require an enormous amount of practice and a lot of skill. So I guess it is possible. I have found that the smaller I work the better my results. Also, I have fewer expectations and the materials are not that big of an investment. Generally I'm enjoying the process a bit more and if it doesn't work, scrapping off a small loser is no big deal.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gem Way Light, 24 x 36, oil on canvas

Last week I focused on this set of row houses in Garfield. The first two visits were only to observe and make colors studies, 6 x 6 and another 9 x 12. It was interesting to watch the shadow creep down the side as the sun moved higher in the sky. Those small paintings were done as some rambunctious students waited for their school bus. It was noisy and tough to concentrate, but the light was perfect. I started this larger one, above, in my studio and returned to Gem Way to finish it on a quiet Saturday morning - no kids.

I've been living in the city for about 30 years, and painting it for about 25. It just keeps getting more interesting to me. I'm attempting to show a human presence without painting figures. There is much to be learned by seeing and experiencing the neighborhoods. So much of it calls out to be painted.