Monday, December 31, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Missed by one day . . . a White Christmas. Woke to a bit of snowfall this morning and nice to see some of it as not a flake fell against my window pane last winter. Astute observers might detect some similarities between this photo and a recent posting! Merry Day After.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A bit shy of 12" x 9", this one finished up yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A broader view of the entire composition as it stood after studio time yesterday. Day off today, time to do a bit of Christmas shopping.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Proof that I actually have been at work during the week since my last posting . . . case in point . . . I guess two plus days worth of work on this so far. Yes, I don't normally consider 'pets' as subject matter for a work, the occasional friend's dog or such aside, but my neighbor's cat often spends time in my back patio/garden watching for chipmunks or field mice and I can't resist the odd photo - just in case something should trigger inspiration (one never knows from whence that may come) - and so here we go!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fritz Thaulow - Redux

Following upon yesterday's posting about my 'discovery' of Frits Thaulow and his marvelous paintings, I wanted to post a few more of my favorite works after doing further study on line yesterday afternoon. Not only could he paint water . . . but to my eye he was also a master at snow and pure landscape and interior views and giving the mundane a breath of impact and importance which speaks greatly to me and my way of attempting to pursue my creative leanings. 

His design concepts and compositional ideas were, to me, stunning . . . often simple in structure but extremely appealing in his use of strong or unusual visual angles, extremes of light and shadow and compelling subject placement. This was a man whose works distinctly encompassed the use of all the tried and true elements of compositional design, which I have often talked about here, and yet did that in a way that one feels they are simply looking upon the scenes of every day life, composed as they happened and without forethought or planning or manipulation . . . snapshots of reality. 

In these following pairs of works, I've just, again, touched the very tip of the iceberg that was a tremendous body of work that Thaulow produced during his painting years. Of particular favorable note to my eye are the first two pairings of snow scenes which not only cast a shiver as I look at them, but embody those strong points mentioned above of the use of interesting angular composition and focus upon the rather mundane and easily overlooked. The image to the right especially rings in my ears because it is a perfect example of what I often try to focus upon when constructing an idea for a new work . . . looking at the ordinary with a fresh eye, giving strength and character to subjects that are easily overlooked or taken for granted. It is a simple scene, painted with minimal palette and minimal information yet has strength and interest . . . beautifully subtle in detail yet, to my mind, overflowing with emotion.

In the next paring below the snow scenes are two more of my favorite works in this little assemblage. I am so taken with the structure and idea of the left hand work, the ship on the sea with its wonderful angular movement and the great chop of the sea; I can just about feel the tilt of the deck beneath my feet and the spray of salt across my face. What a wonderful, compelling and unique compositional structure. Thaulow's use of light and shadow in the right hand, night scene also strike deeply with me and that spark of light in the lantern absolutely brings me into the work and the deft handling of bits of reflected and direct light throughout the work, move me around it and keep my attention.

I could find many words to speak about the other images I've selected here but will leave it for your enjoyment at this point. I know I shall continue to explore more about Thaulow as time passes because his work has really dug deeply and taken hold. And, at the bottom of this posting, I've uploaded my finished 'The Old Well House', which was completed yesterday. I hope it embodies some of the character of what I find so appealing about Thaulow's work, but that too, I shall leave to the viewer to decide.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Frits Thaulow - Norwegian of Note

 Before work begins later, I wanted to offer a little aside on a 'discovery' I made this morning prompted by a posting on Facebook about an artist whom I had no previous knowledge of, late 19th Century Norwegian, Frits Thaulow. This man knew how to paint water! 

Even though I am not a painter, I often derive much from the study of paintings and painters; many of my best artist friends are painters and I relish spending time in their studios, talking 'shop' or critiquing each others' works or just digging into all facets of art talk. Spending time in museums and seeing special exhibitions also add much to my thought processes when composing my own works and formulating ideas about design and structure in sketching out new ideas. Leaving myself open to any and all outside influences makes me a better artist I think and often, as it did this morning, opens my eyes to things that I never would have considered. 

After seeing the posting of one single image of Thaulow's work on Facebook, I was eager to see more and after doing a Google search, discovered, to my joy, an entire 'world' of water in this man's brilliant work. Born in 1847, he lived to 1906 and his life spanned a very interesting period in art for sure. He painted much while living in Norway but spent the last decade and a half of his life in France where he was no doubt continued to be influenced by the late Impressionist period, though it is obvious that even while still painting in Norway, his style was very commensurate with that of the likes of Monet and Surat in France. When I looked carefully at his brush work (several details of which are spotlighted at the bottom of this posting, so click on them to open a larger version) I saw a great resemblance to that of Monet for certain; the rather quick stabs of color and noodly brush work, the bold contrasts of color swirls which assembled themselves into a wonderful feeling of depth and translucence.

I've gathered together here just a smidgeon of his greater body of images available on line, so do your own search to see what treasures lay in store for the looking. Click on the framed image below to see a larger version of this collage of some of my favorites of Thaulow's. I have further reading and exploration to do, for sure,  on this new found addition to my list of favorite artists.

Monday, December 10, 2012

After studio work time today, this is where things stand on the current work on the board . . .

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Installment three of the current work, I believe the well house is pretty much done at this point. Lots of noodling left though . . . 

Friday, December 07, 2012

As work begins today . . .

Thursday, December 06, 2012

As noted yesterday, there are things brewing in the studio, so . . . let it snow, let it snow, let it . . . 
I decided to take advantage of the fact that we are in the beginnings of winter (even though the outdoor temps tell me it is more like early spring!) and do something that would add a chill to the studio air. Digging through reference from a snowy day drive in the country several winters ago, I settled on working up an idea based upon a dozen or so shots taken at this farm, combining things into, I hope, a pleasing composition. You might think snow is an easy thing to delineate in pencil . . . remains to be seen! Subtlety is the name of this game.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Sunday, December 02, 2012

On this first weekend in December, and with 22 shopping days till Christmas, why not think seriously about shopping 'SMALL' . . . small meaning local, neighborhood, independent. And, how much more local and independent can you get than an artist, craftsperson, sculptor or other creative soul? Supporting those of us who make by hand keeps the creative soul prospering, adding much needed beauty to the world through their own personal ideas and thoughts. Even a small purchase from a creative 'maker' this Holiday season will go a long way in that support and continue to help nurture the creative souls among us. Socks are great, but an original work of art sitting on a shelf, hanging on the wall or enjoying the sunshine in a garden adds so much more beauty and emotion to your surroundings.