Cinq Cerises 6x6 Acrylic on board
Fresh off the vine! And organic too. My latest work Cinq Cerises (Five Cherries en Francais) harks back to a style of acrylic painting I did for several years previously. (Please see the archive section of the Nature/Urban page, also the Spirit page) Unlike my landscapes in oil, this work is linear oriented and much higher key in color. I double prime the board to get a nice brushy texture and do an underpainting of Ivory Black and Cad Red Light before basically dry brushing layers of color on top of that, which allows the underpainting to shine through and gives the painting a nice warm undertone. One of my former galleries liked my ink resist pieces. I like that look too, but it's very hard to control the end result. So as a compromise, I started painting on black gesso and the work evolved into what you see here.
I hope you like it... I'm planning to do more.
Bear Lake 6x6 Oil on Gessoboard
Feliz Cumpleanos Colorado! To mark the occasion, here's a painting I did today, looking down on Bear Lake which is near Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado.
Today I have a two-fer for you. One tree, two paintings. The first one painted, below, is Tree at Sunset done in oil on a smooth surface, and the second, bottom, Days of Future Passed, an acrylic was done on a textured strata. There is definitely a yin yang in the execution here. The oil to me has a softer, more naturalistic, and (forgive me) feminine feel, just like the paint. More sensitive and available to the touch of the brush. The oil paint is slower drying, and for me, the emotional content lingers and can become stickier as it sets. On the other hand the acrylic has a bolder presence. It colors have a higher chroma and harder edges, done with a quick, firm, more direct masculine application. Still I feathered some edges to take advantage of the texture. The oil feels more ethereal to me, yet with the acrylic I became much more aware of the cosmological passing of time. The Circle of Life, always creating. The day ends here, creating new beginnings elsewhere. At sunset and twilight time my mind begins to drift and I thought of the classic 1967 Moody Blues Album, and felt that it would be appropriate for the title: Days of Future Passed.
Enjoy the full album here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTnFLl5vkLY
Tree at Sunset 6x6 Oil on Gessoboard
Days of Future Passed 6x6 Acrylic on Canvas board
The Spring Creek Fire - Sheep and Little Sheep Mountains, Colorado 6x6 Oil on Gesso board
Last week on my way to New Mexico I wasn't sure what route I was going to take down there, both Highways 285 and 160 were closed due to wildfires. Fortunately 160 was reopened the afternoon before I left. This painting is a view looking west from near Walsenburg. The fire was human caused and has burned more than 108,000 acres with 132 homes destroyed and another 119 damaged. The area is north of La Veta Pass and about 15 miles southeast of the Great Sand Dunes National Park. The fire started June 27th and is now mostly contained thanks to the brave men and women battling the blaze and some much needed rain. Its one thing to watch on the nightly news, but a whole other thing to see the wildfires in person, if even from a safe distance. Thank You Firefighters!
Abiquiu Reservoir Verga 8x10 Acrylic on canvas board
Last week I went down to northern New Mexico for my birthday and stayed at a friend's earth ship house. Off the grid at 7700 feet above sea level, it was made with old tires, and has solar panels, a cistern system and a wind turbine. On 'the day' we went down to Ghost Ranch, Georgia O'Keeffe's compound, which has also been the location of many movies dating back to the mid 80s. Its gorgeous down there. Everywhere I looked I was thinking, how can I capture this vista or that scene on canvas? We stopped near Abiquiu Reservoir, a pale blue oasis in the arid landscape, where I started this painting and finished in the studio back in Denver from memory. Just hinted at in the middle ground were some burros that sauntered by while we were painting.
This is my friend Holly at Coors Field, where we had arrived early at a previous Colorado Rockies' July 4th fireworks game. Happy Independence Day!
Last week I was out painting on top of a reservoir's earthen dam which is located between Lowry Sports Park and Common Grounds golf course. Looking west (below), I captured the hazy view generated by the wildfires burning in southern Colorado. And to the south (bottom), I painted a stand of trees next to the reservoir, where I was told there was a coyote's den. There were several people walking their dogs and jogging on the trail along the top of the dam. One person approached and asked if he could watch me paint. He and his girlfriend ended up buying both paintings 'right off the easel'! Of course I had to let them dry and varnish them before they happily took them home. They were moving to a new home in Highlands Ranch and wanted something to remember one of their favorite spots in the old neighborhood. I love this spot too. Its amazing the open space and beautiful vistas we still have within the city limits!
Summer Haze 6x8 Oil on Gessoboard - Plein Air
Reservoir Trees 6x8 Oil on Canvasboard - Plein Air
Cottonwood Cotton 6x6 Acrylic on Gessoboard
Its that time of year when the male cottonwoods shed their seeds and it sometimes looks like its snowing when the wind blows. Ubiquitously collecting in little balls like giant rolling dust bunnies. My favorite is on those lazy days when they just meander aimlessly, in slow motion through the air. It is mesmerizing and always reminds me to slow down and look around, and take in the wonder of nature and to be present in that...
Four Strong Winds 12x12 Acrylic on Canvas paper
Swirling thoughts, pulling in the cardinal directions.
Airborne, feet not touching the ground. The changes of Spring. Taking my breath away.
Here, Not There 12x12 Acrylic on canvas sheet
I borrowed the title from from a painting of Barnett Newman's 'Not There - Here'. He is one of my favorite abstract expressionist / color field painters of that era. His work was explicitly composed with the intention of communicating a sense of locality, presence. Even perhaps stating that America is the epicenter of the art world, not Europe, which was still recovering from WWII. My work's title leans more towards a Be Here Now sensibility of being present and perhaps of being still and peering thru the veil of physicality to experience the metaphysical. X marks the spot...