Time passes quickly and things have distracted me from this blog. The Globe closed in late 2011 so my curation of that venue ended. Also, I bought a house and began setting up my new studio space. I’ve been busy; however, most of my sharing has been via Facebook and Instagram. One of the reasons that I began this blog was to share some of my process and that’s what I’m here to do this month. I have an art opening on January 30th and will do my best to share the progress and process via images and technical descriptions. I’ll be open to questions, feedback, suggestions; I’m down to talk shop and hear any ideas you’d like to share. At this point, I’m not even sure if anybody is going to see this, so it’s an experiment.
This art show will be a good way to share how I focus on a series. I have some finished pieces, that haven’t really been seen and I’m going to use this series as the basis for my work this month. There may be another series as well, but I’m going to just see how it goes. I’ll talk more about these pieces later — That’s my owl in the photo.
Here’s my progress so far:
Jan 1 – I slept in. It was a late night at work on NYE and I went to bed after sunrise, then slept past sunset! In the evening, I made a list of finished pieces that are new and ready to show. There’s 8 from the new Volcano series and stash of figure paintings that I’m not sure about including. I also brainstormed imagery for new work and made a good list. I’d like to paint an elk, some squid and octopus, maybe some salmon.
Jan 2 – I worked my day job and planned out cuts for wooden panels and linear feet of small lumber for cradling the sides. I build my own supports and have been researching smoother surfaces and denser wood for the sides, to prevent any warpage over time. I like the 24×36 inch size and want to add some smaller sizes so there’s a good range of price points.
coming up: building, prep work, more media, images
Sometimes artwork just makes more sense when put into context! As I’m writing this, there are 15 abstract landscapes hanging at The Goodfoot and they are labeled “Abstract Landscape #3” etc. and I’ve started thinking that the typical viewer isn’t going to spend enough time with them to figure out that they are worked up from satellite photos. I think they look a bit like sixties geometric art, which is cool; however, I find it more interesting to know that they are real places that exist in Oregon.
I’ve wanted to paint versions of large scale man-made compositions, since flying home from Los Angeles years ago and photographing suburban cul-de-sac patterns as we flew north. Years later, Google brought us Google Maps and Google Earth and now we can fly everywhere, looking for pattern and composition. I started with Oregon and was drawn to the irrigation circles created by agriculture in the dryer central regions of the state. Many of the screenshots that I snapped are areas near Klamath Falls and Christmas Valley. I took notes on the locations; in retrospect, I wish that I’d copied down latitude and longitude coordinates. In the future, I’ll be more specific with my titles!
My process involved cropping the screenshots from Google Maps, printing black and white versions at 8×8 inches, and using an architect ruler to scale the 8″ size up to 24″ square. Then I just used a pencil and T-square to map the fields and roads as closely as I could. The circles were traced around vinyl records of various sizes and some other circles I had around. The painting was done in many transparent glazes, sanding in between. I used masking, stenciling and both acrylic on a brush and airbrush. My goal was to stay close to the original color scheme and light/dark values. Here’s some Google shots vs. my final paintings. Obviously the Google shots are on the left. I’ll label each one with the approximate location in Oregon. Have fun spotting differences!
I tracked down all of the locations and linked them to the captions but for some reason, they aren’t working; if you copy the caption and paste it into Google Maps, each one should take you to the location so you can browse around the surrounding areas if you like. I’d love to see some of your favorite compositions as well and if you are in the area, photos from ground level would be pretty sweet too!! Enjoy!