Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday's teeny little piece of the current puzzle.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Sunday snippet . . . No parking, now!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Saturday's snippet of the current work . . .

Friday, March 28, 2008

The new work is taking shape on the board and I thought it would be fun to once again, post snippets of the piece in progress. So, time to post a puzzle piece!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A note today to acknowledge the 'opening' of the Artist Registry for Ornithological Researchers . . . . . . a project that has been in the works for several years and one in which I am pleased to be a part of.

Along with many, many other fine wildlife artists, several of my works are represented in the Science Art Exhibit within the site, as well as within the major listing of participating artists. It is quite an interesting site, so click on the above link and take a look.

Later today, I will be at work on the next piece for the bridge show!

Monday, March 24, 2008

The new work, completed about twenty minutes ago and 15" high by 11" wide.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Link to Link

How things change and, how they stay the same!

I took a journey out to Luray, Virginia today, to 'track' (OK, so the pun is intended here!), yes to track down a special pair of bridges.

As I have mentioned before in earlier posts here, the exhibition of my drawings this summer, 'Unknown Bridges', will hang in conjunction with a large scale exhibition of the black and white photos of O. Winston Link. I have talked about Link before and the fact that I have admired his work for many, many years (for more information on Link and his work, you can go over to my Unknown Bridges blog page and click on the link to the Link pages in the links listing there). In any event, I have found out from the Woodson Museum, that one of my favorite photos of Link's will be a part of that exhibition. That photo was taken in Luray some 55 or more years ago and I decided that it would be fun to see if I could find that spot, get some reference material and see if I could develop a work based upon the scene that Link captured so long ago.

Interestingly enough, I found the spot with no trouble at all and was able to gather some excellent material on this Easter Sunday afternoon. As you can see from this shot below, there has not been too much change over the years, the major change being the replacement of the vehicle bridge and some trees that have grown up along Hawksbill Creek.

It will be fun now, to play around with the material I gathered today and see what I might be able to come up with for the exhibition. It will also be interesting to see how many who attend the two month long hanging of both exhibitions in Wausau, will be able to make the connections.

Ah, what we artists go through for our reference!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Today's work . . . working while having spent an incredible afternoon listening to the Metropolitan Opera's broadcast of Tristan und Isolde. Now there is a marathon songfest!

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Funny Thing Happened . . . .

. . . . On the way to the drawing board today. I had second thoughts!

Oh, not second thoughts about the work as a whole, but about a bird in particular.

As originally sketched out, the bird that occurred in the lower part of the work, in front of the electric shed with its wings spread wide, began to disturb me as I have been working on the piece this week.

I thought a lot about it yesterday after finishing up the day's work and again, took a look before I went to bed last night and then once again this morning when I first walked into the studio to review yesterday's work. And, as often will happen while in the midst of a piece, I realized that I just did not like the placement of that particular bird. It began to distract me as I worked areas around it and the more I looked at the overall image and compositional elements, I liked that darn bird less and less.

So, with cautious approach and kneaded eraser in hand, I wiped out that bothersome bird and replaced that fifth animal element with . . .

. . . a smaller, more distant bird more central in the image.

It became very apparent to me, once I had done this, the composition worked much better and the movement that the birds are going to create will also be more supportive of everything else that is going on. With the major thrust of the piece being that circular movement coming in from the left, meeting up with the strong vertical and downward thrust of the extreme right side, all seems very well now!

Sometimes, it just takes a second and even a third look at a composition, even while working on it, to determine if all the elements are working. So, here is today's addition . . .

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Some BIG curves and some small nuts and bolts!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Some more construction has taken place.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A new work . . . and the mists swirl!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Luck of the Irish

To all who are . . . and to all who are for only this one day each year . . .

Sunday, March 16, 2008

As the headlong rush continues to the June 28th opening of 'Unknown Bridges' at the Woodson Art Museum, I am about to embark on the next two or three works for that exhibition. With a mid May shipping date for the work to be arriving in Wausau, I have just about two months ahead of me to complete the final five works, with a total of 28 going to the exhibition.

This little montage of thumbnail images of parts of some of the bridges that will be showing up in the next works, is a little preview of things to come. I'm not going to give away too much of the detail, but thought it would be fun to post these choice cuts today and see if my readers will be able to identify where all these parts will, ultimately, fit into the upcoming drawings.

I will say, though, that these four shots represent reference gathered in three different cities in two different years, in two different states, in two different time zones, in two different seasons! Let the fun begin.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Done! Image size is 14 3/4" x 13 3/4".

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I am, fianlly, seeing light at the end of this tunnel! I will put in an hour or two this evening, after dinner, and then I believe this one will finish up tomorrow. But, as I said the other day, I will not be putting money on that bet.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday's work . . .

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Busy watching branches and larger tree limbs flying around yesterday during the high winds that buffeted the suburbs of DC so did not accomplish much in the way of work. At least I did not lose power, as many thousands did in the area. In any event, here is the work, so far. More darkening taking place, more detail in the building in the background and more layering of soft greys in the foreground. This one is turning out to be a 'killer', but I really like the composition so much and the abstract forms that I am taking my time with it. Should be done by mid week, but I won't take money bets on that!

Friday, March 07, 2008

A few more bricks!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Following up on a title from a posting several days ago, the 'devil' continues to be in the details.

'details' including some fancy grill work, a tiny little pigeon and a few bricks here and there. And then there is a bit more of the over layering taking place now, darkening things up, giving some dimension to various pieces of metal and moving things forward and back. I am also starting to flesh out the abstract forms that will make up the major emphasis of this work.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

OK, as promised, here are the very beginnings of the current work, a couple of days worth of effort so far. Yes, there does not look like much progress but I have been laying in value changes to get some inkling of moving things forward and back as well as beginning to lay in some 'washes' of soft grey which will be over layered as the work progresses and things begin to darken up. When all is said and done, there is going to be very little of the bristol board white showing through in this one.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Some time ago, I had a request to post the reference material that I use to work up my ideas for a particular work, I guess in order to show how I take the basic material and work it into my compositional style.

I have mulled over this request for a bit, finally deciding that I would, today, post some of the shots taken in Chicago for the work that is currently on the board, and which I will post the beginnings of tomorrow.

As most artists would attest to, I think, reference is very personal 'stuff'. It is that which we make into our own by pulling out what we want, zeroing in on the things that spark our creative juices and often, help us to see things that others might have missed.

I have often been traveling with artist friends either here in my own backyard, or as far away as the plains of the Serengeti in northern Tanzania. We might stop and look at a particular scene or landscape or group of animals and invariably we all find different sparks and different focuses that draw our attention and possibly, make us want to jot down a notation about the light or the way a shadow falls or the 'mood' that seems to be created before our eyes, and make some quick sketches and take a photograph or two. And then again, some might just sit and wonder, 'what on earth is he seeing out there?'

And in that group of three or four artists, it would also be an invariable result that if you looked later on, at the notes and ideas and sketches and photos that were made by each individual, you would find totally different spots of focus and totally different things that caught each one's eye. Reference becomes a very personal thing at that point, as we all see things differently, and often, might feel that we have taken away THE most important aspect of that particular scene to be used later on in the studio. We want to make the best of what we have seen, and occasionally might even feel that we can 'top' our fellow artist friends because we have not only zeroed in on the 'best' and most important aspect of what we were looking at, hoping maybe that the others have missed it, but have found the perfect image to work from and really don't care to share that singular view.

The funny thing is that at that very moment of creative inspiration, the other three artists might just be standing in their studios, recalling a slightly different angle of view from your angle of view and remembering a slightly different tinge of light and shadow than you had seen, studying their sketches and reference notes that have focused on that other tree, that other zebra, that other aspect of the hill in the distance, and all the while feeling the same, personal ownership of that similar reference material!

And so that brings me to . . . somewhat reluctantly, sharing these images today. Not that I am that worried or concerned that someone else is going to grab up this material and do some bang up work of art from it, after all these are just quick photo shots to capture angles and aspects and the feel of this particular bridge, which in the end, might only be meaningful to me. But as mentioned above this 'stuff' is personal and the means by which my creative thoughts and ideas are often rounded out and given air.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The Devil is in the Details

I have had a request to post a closeup of the major subject matter of the most recent work to come off my drawing board, that being Mr. Flash and the bicycle. So, Sandi, this is for you!

This is a relatively small area of the actual drawing and, when opened to its larger image, shows more than double the actual size on the original, but I think this will give you a bit of a better look at that area. Yes, the image is a bit on the blurry side and the details in the bicycle are actually not that tight in reality anyway.

Even though my work appears quite tight and true and extremely defined, which in many areas of a finished work it truly is . . . like the impressionists did, I do take a bit of liberty on occasion and forgo being so 'noodly' as to show every little nuance and detail, especially in an area that in the end, is quite small. The 'end' is to have all the component parts of the composition work together, form a pleasing image and have an overall well balanced, blended, cohesive effect.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

'The Waiting Game'

No, I have not been hibernating this past week, though with the end of February chill still in the air it might have been nice to have done just that! I have been working on this piece, which was a surprise for my good friend and fine, fine artist, Paula Waterman. This is a portrait of one of her dogs, Flash, and of course, will be one of the works going to the bridge show at the Woodson this summer. I did not post in progress images, as it was a surprise for her and she was indeed, surprised, when I delivered the finished work yesterday. The image size is 10" x 13".

Over the course of the next month, I will be posting all the newly completed works for the summer show on the Unknown Bridges blog, so check over there once a week or so to see the final six works that will, ultimately, make up the 28 piece exhibition.

The museum and I have been in conversation in the last couple of weeks and it looks like I will be going up to Wausau at the end of June for the opening weekend. There will be a reception for museum members and special guests on the evening of June 27th and then the public opening on Saturday, the 28th. On that day, I will be doing a drawing workshop in conjunction with the museum and then on Sunday the 29th, I will be presenting a lecture on design elements and composition in art.

As those who have been long time readers of this blog will know, working out a well balanced composition is, for me, often the most fun and best part of being an artist. I am very excited about the prospect of sharing my joy in the 'art' of making art with others and look forward to revising a lecture I presented some years ago on the very same topic when I did a residency at a museum outside of New York City. Having the opportunity to talk to those who may not have an awareness of why a good piece of art is a good piece of art, and what exactly to look for when seeing art hanging in museums or galleries, will be a fun task!