Friday, December 30, 2016

Local Color!

As you know my primary focus is drawing but i do sometimes paint. I pulled this from an old file folder - two examples of my early ventures into observational painting, a series depicting some of the old homes in our area.  It's funny,  when I think of my work in general, I usually think of a light touch, subtle color, fine gradations, etc, much like  the one below. But when I pulled this red brick from a dusty portfolio, it's strength surprised me! All that color and action - repeated rectangles and writhing branches!

This piece below, much more the kind of stuff I would usually have claimed as mine, was my first successful attempt in that painting series. It hangs fairly quietly framed on my bedroom wall.

If you are familiar with my work, I'm sure you can see why I chose these subjects in the first place. Yes, I like old architecture (our own home was built circa 1840) and I particularly enjoy drawing gnarly old trees so the combination was just my cup of tea! I suppose, with all the emphasis on the tree, I could have treated the tree alone but I do love the interaction between nature's work and man's - look at the wonderful contrast between tree and house in color, shape, texture. Then, with the addition of those subtle repetitions of branch shapes as shadows on the facade! Who could ask for more?

"Bloom where you are planted."   Latin Proverb

"Those who will not start, will never finish."   Jack Adams

"Painting is easy,  getting it right is the hard bit."   Danny Byrne

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Drawing the Ordinary

I know I've shown gloves here in the past, but a good idea is still good the second time around. At the same time, perhaps we can answer a question.

For me any drawing is fun, but some times it's ordinary things that are the most fun to draw. Now that we have winter weather, something to work with on dreary days is really welcome. I have a small basket full of well worn gloves that I've collected for just such days, in a variety to give myself a challenge - and really, that's the fun of it!

 The pair left below and the similar pair on dark paper are sets of men's ordinary  leather gloves that have been used and mis-used over the course of a few years. I think the most damage was from getting them soaked while shoveling that slushy stuff we all hate!

The top left,  done with Prismacolor pencil, is a lonely single. I was just about to call it a welder's glove - my father had once been a welder in WWII's Boston Navy Yard - but something said "No!"  Welder's gloves have long, deep cuffs to protect arms and wrists from fiery sparks. This one is heavy and stiff with short fingers and a coarse raw finish - something meant for very rough duty - perhaps to protect hands from particular sharp blows. Do you know what they are? Any Ideas? Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page.

"I choose a subject but the subject chooses me."   Frank Webb

"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work"   Richard Bach

"Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life."   Confucius

"I don't know the question, but sex is definitely the answer."   Woody Allen

Friday, December 9, 2016

Pots: Past & Present

Here is a quick post,  just trying to get one in this week!

A few pages back in a past post,  I showed you a couple drawings quite similar to this one below, except that those were highly realistic with strong color and form. (Check last year's "Old Jug and Jar) This mixed media piece is much softer with the image more a part of the support's surface, barely breaking free of the background. Still, you can see my appreciation of 3D forms as I rendered the soft reflections on the solid surface of that old stoneware bottle and the more distinct reflections in that little glass jar.  Notice how those high-lights contribute to the essential emphasis on 3D form.

That interest in form was also present more than fifty years ago when I produced this stoneware covered jar in my Bridgewater, Ma dairy-barn  studio. You can see those same reflections there on the glazed surface that help you understand the form.  Just as I then - years ago - held the clay form in my hands as it spun on the potters wheel, today I feel the form rise from the penciled surface as I observe and draw.

Whether human figure, ripe fruit, clay pot or ancient tree - I find that an awareness of form is almost always present in my work. That's a good thing - I like it!

"Form is expressed in the light tones by dark accents, in the dark tones by light accents."
 Harvey Dunn

"What tis a sketch but a moment's passion, searching for the truth"   Stephen Aitken