Sunday, 27 January 2019

Nova Scotia South Shore

Nova Scotia South Shore
30" x 40" - (mostly) acrylic on canvas - $600
This has been kicking around my studio since 2016. The year before that I spent a couple of weeks in the Maritimes including Nova Scotia. As we drove along the South Shore (of the Atlantic, south of Halifax, near Lunenburg) I snapped this photo, liking the composition and seeing 'painting possibilities'.
A year later I finally got around to working with it and started this way...

....but then the painting languished, against a wall, though I am not sure why. A year later in 2017, I changed the palette entirely.  And in the interim between then and now I painted an abstracted version of it.
Recently, I picked it up again and decided to finish it 'once and for all'. I felt it just really needed some more variation in the colour values and blue hues and that's what I did. NOW I am very happy with it: love the palette, loose brushwork, and addition of pastel and ink linear marks. Some details are below. Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Surface Terrain

Surface Terrain
8" x 8" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

Experimenting with texture and surface buildup, this one invites touching. 
Is it a landscape? Perhaps. Horizontal planes naturally suggest physical space and the land. The title is slightly oxymoronic. Whatever, I find this little one compelling for its palette and tactile qualities. Cheers.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

Big Idea

Big Idea
10" x 8" - acrylic on canvas - $45 (includes shipping)

The last of six small 'no-subject' abstracts. They have been challenging and fun. The next challenge will be to increase canvas size and scale up, but I will have to do this in stages I think.  

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Pink Light

Pink Light
8" x 10"-  acrylic on canvas - $45 (includes shipping)
This is my 5th small non-representational painting, working without a subject  in mind, considering only the elements. Cheers!

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Small paintings continued.....Key West

Key West
8" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - SOLD

I had such fun painting the previous small non-objective (i.e. no discernible subject matter intended) paintings I thought that I would try to keep that groove going.

Always one to push myself, I decided to work on 3 canvases arranged as a triptych, drawing the first lines and shapes over all to connect them, and then began to paint that way too. At stage 1 I loved them....


However, I quickly realized that I had created an abstract aerial-styled landscape and then I began to see all sorts of (stylized and abstracted symbolic) objects, which then began to interfere with painting in a more intuitive way. As more paint went on, I felt more restricted by the subject and my initial excitement disappeared. Ho hum



By stage 3, I only liked the far right panel and put the others aside. This one I called 'Key West' because that's what it makes me think of. More abstract than non-objective, but that's ok. It might be my favourite so far. Really love the arrangement of elements (colour, texture, shape and line) in this one and I hope you do too.  Have a good one!

Saturday, 12 January 2019

New Year, New Directions

Like many at the start of a new year, I thought about setting some art goals for 2019 and decided to try to (sometimes) work outside of my comfort zone (now that I have it back after 6 months of very limited painting due to arm and shoulder injuries, LOL). For me, that means different subject matter (figures, still life), using more (mixed) media, working smaller, working more abstractly and (of course looser) and once again taking a stab at non-representational painting.

Hot Sauce
8" x 10" - acrylic on canvas - $35
Over the years I have experimented with non-representational painting, defined (in it's simplest form) as art without any recognizable subject matter.   These attempts have usually led to frustration and impatience with myself and even greater respect for the work and talent of many non-representational painters, artists like Krista Harris and Dorothy Ganek (take a look at their work and you will understand what I mean!).  I have often thought how fabulous it would be to watch them work, layering their canvases with lines, shapes and colours and then losing those elements in their quest to create what I think are quite sublime paintings. How do they do it I wondered as I whited out another canvas. Sigh.
Balancing Act
8" x 10" - acrylic on  canvas - $35
One of the things you learn, the more you paint, is that you have to keep painting. Working is the one rule that must be followed. (See the irreverent art critic for New York Magazine Jerry Saltz, and his list of 33 Rules for Being an Artist). Stopping too early and giving up because 'it's' not working is a learned (failing) behaviour in art (and in life). I don't give up on representational painting, so why do that with non-representational art, something that looks easy (hah!). 
Inch by Inch
8" x 10" - acrylic on  canvas - $35
So, I turned off the inner-critic and tried to work 'intuitively' (wondering at the same time what that means exactly) on 3 small 8x10 canvases, sporadically over a couple of weeks. Having no subject felt like floundering in very deep water, until you realize that you really do know how to swim. Once I stopped worrying about what I was doing I began to enjoy the process, taking a break when I felt stuck. Over many days I kept layering, obliterating, adding, and I realized that I liked what I saw developing on the surface! There were definitely 'ah hah' moments as I added and eliminated, played with texture and paint application. And then they were done. Wow.

I am really happy with these little paintings and despite their size I find each quite compelling. I hope you do too. 

Have a wonderful weekend!