what the…?

What would we do without changes of pace? I know i’d be an unhappy painter without them. I started one tonight that’s somewhat of a departure from recent subject matter and starting technique for me. Dove right in with a broken and somewhat random technique. I haven’t worked to much like this before. It makes the process interesting I guess. I’m hoping to bring portions of the piece up to a refined, finished state, and leave other areas rough and abstract. I’m appreciating more and more that type of work. It makes for a much more visually interesting work, which after all is what this is about isn’t it?

Who knows how it’ll end up. Here’s some process photos from tonight’s session. I’ll talk more about the subject when I post the finished piece.

My lil blondie

One of the most fulfilling things in my life is when I come home from work, walk in the door and hear a tiny little voice exclaim “daddy!” This is usually followed by that same little voice telling me all about her day in total jibberish. But I listen intently and pretend I understand exactly what she’s saying.

I figured it was about time I did a painting of her. Haven’t tried a portrait in a while. They can be a real challenge as there is no room for error with the drawing. The slightest misjudgment on a facial feature can completely change an expression or worse, make it look like a totally different person. But I wanted to try one anyway if for no other reason than that I consider myself a painter and yet I’ve never painted one of the most important things in my life.

I painted a little looser on this one. I like it when I can break out the knife and trowel on the paint. This one isn’t heading for a gallery and isn’t for sale. It’s just for me.

Wabbit…er…uh…I mean, deer tracks

Very rarely do I start with the idea for a painting and then gather reference and carry it through to completion. Usually I just see something on a “scouting outing,” think to myself, hmm, that would look cool as a painting, and go from there.

But I finished a little painting tonight that falls into the first category. I knew I wanted to do some deer tracks in snow. Some sort of interesting linear path type compositional deal. It wasn’t crystal clear but the seed was there. One day last month, after a fresh snowfall, I looked out in the yard and saw some fresh tracks. Ah ha! there’s my painting I thought! But at the moment the light wasn’t very interesting. Luckily it was a Friday which meant I didn’t have to work in the morning, and if it was clear, the raking light of the rising sun would produce some drama. Sure enough, next morning as the sun peeked over my septic mound, I was out in the snow in my PJ’s and unlaced boots with camera in hand trying to get just the right shot. Well I got some images I was happy with and decided to give it a go.

If you really look at snow, it’s anything but white. There’s pinks and blues and greens and grays, all depending on the light of course, and it’s surprising how dark the values in the shadows can be. Anyway, I like this one. It’s about light as much as subject, and has some abstract visual interest. That’s a good combination usually.