Progression of Celebration Painting

I came back to this painting today with the thought of just finishing it up a bit. It was early. I brought some beautiful tulips we had at home. With the thought of doing some warm up drawings first, I found some big pieces of paper. Using a stick from Calistoga I sketched with walnut ink which is a warm brown color. The drawings came out nice and loose.

Here is one of about 5 or 6 warm ups I did. On this one, after the photograph was made, I added another stroke to make the box-like shape more strong.

Two of my favorites.

Here I’m getting ready to paint with these really great new acrylics that act like oil paint.

You can blend, even erase paint when it is dry and the end result doesn’t look like plastic.

Using a stick and walnut ink I sketched in the tulips.  I saw a smilie face. Shall I erase it or try turning the canvas horizontally?

click on images to see more detail

After hanging the painting horizontally, I brought it together with some paint. Dated May 30th, this painting is titled Celebration. Besides celebrating the fact that I have been cancer free for a year, the painting is about celebrating the birthdays of two very good friends. Make that three friends 🙂

WordPress Blogger From England Influences California Blogger

click on images to see  larger versions

We are going backwards here. The top image is the last one painted. This is the first painting I’ve done in over a year. Here is your official notification Terry,  I’ve been following Terry’s just another painter blog. Gail, get me to this point, also. This little series of 6″ x 8″ images started out with me going to to a friend’s house and making collages. I didn’t know what I was doing – no inspiration. I came home with nothing. The next morning at 5 am I was tearing up magazines. Abstract eight – Shadow was born. That reminded me of a photograph I had taken showing the shadow of a sculpture in my apartment. Early morning sun hit the stone sculpture in a way that created a soft realistic shadow of a nude.

Painting About The Three Gorges Dam – China


Fragments, Fadings and Feelings

Mills College Art Museum

When I was in China the abstract beauty of calligraphy intrigued me. I bought some children’s textbooks on how to write Chinese script. For centuries the children have learned how to write by copying characters within boxes in order to understand their structure and proportions.

I started to copy the lessons.  Soon my strokes freed themselves from the grid. The “correct” version of the letters was replaced by the “wrong” solution.  Using sumi ink, wax and acrylic paint on xuan paper I put down marks. The shapes and colors mixed and spread into new compositions and brushstrokes. The biomorphic forms of nature took over.

As I painted I thought of the world’s largest hydroelectric dam on the Yangtze River. The Three Gorges Dam transformed the river into a deep reservoir flooding farmland, cities, villages and archaeological sites. People were relocated to new structures of mass produced design, buildings with slick, cold, white tile.

Today’s mass production and permanency of materials is replacing an intuitive expression of life. These paintings are made of materials that are vulnerable to the effects of weathering and our touch. The sun will fade some of the brilliant colors into muddy earth tones.  Fragile paper will tear. But the way xuan paper transmits light, the way people carried out their everyday life on the Yangtze. These memories will stay in my heart.

Intuitive Collisions, An Artists’ Book – California 1999

When I started making Artists’ Books I thought people have been making books for years and anyway, I’m a painter. What can I do that would be different? I decided to make a big book. Each page is made up of two oil paintings on canvas, stretcher bars included. Metal prongs hold them together. What is Intuitive Collisions about? My father was a financier, an industrialist and I was an artist. Our minds couldn’t have been farther apart. We ended up taking early morning walks together. He would talk to me about building a bridge or how the stock market was doing.  I would be looking at how the fog masked out the vineyard leaving only the trees to see. By the end of the walk, we’d be happy to have spent some time with each other. I think we understood each other a little bit better, too.

Intuitive Collisions  1999

Oil, transfers, acrylic on canvas, stretcher bars, wood joiners,

prong type glides, metal hinges

14″ x 29″ x 9″     58 inches open book