Once I worked through (came to grips with?) the importance of the “cartoon”ing line in these pieces I decided I really did want to have a red painting (yes, it’s partly the old saw). I reused the composition sketch for a prior piece (top left) that got recycled and the study in the top row. It was hard to move on from the painting when it was in the stage at the end of teh second row- guess I’ll need to revisit that.
Not surprising that the cartooning line turned out yellow-ish since that chroma is in the underpainting. Quite pleased with the way the line plays off the fairly narrow tonal range in this one.
Well, I thought this was going to be the last painting that I started as part of the body of work- at least paintings- that I would be calling a series. There are a number of non-commercial reasons I’ve felt the need to… close this chapter, and reflect on what I learned from these paintings that I should take forward to the next body of work. My thoughts on painting have been in no small measure about the drawing system I’ve used to generate compositions, which is a strategy but not a subject (right?).
Producing the physical cubes has also helped me think about spatial relationships, gravity and light source.
And of course, color! Clearly the latter is something present as an important element (how can it not be to a formalist?), which begs the question can or should it be more clearly a subject.
The piece in the upper left was a very early effort in the series that was abandoned, and the upper right corner held interest for me ever since it was done. This one started from a transparency and tone map as well- that element of making paintings is likely to continue as it allows me more editing control to counter-balance the automatic nature of the drawing.
After having thought this piece was done in March, and sitting with it for several weeks, I began revisiting the edges of the cubes. I realized, in the process of revisiting “cartoon”ing lines on another piece I will be reworking that the paintings are not only more successful in terms of intent with a more clear outline on the cubes (they have a more clear lineage to my visual influences), they need the line conceptually to emphasize their duality as drawings and paintings and compositionally it calms them down more.
When I began this one, I wanted to revisit some of the peculiarities of smaller cubes but many many more of them, on a surface that’s human scale- below will be 40″ x 60″ when complete (so, let’s scale up as we scale down, or vice versa).
Quite happy with the chroma choice for atmosphere (especially in the areas where it shows through among the mass of cubes), and I tried to punch up the sheen on the cubes with heavy varnishing, and work in some subtlety so the finished piece has appeal at 2′ in addition to 12′. The “highlight” chroma(s) seems to have worked also.
After sitting with this one for a few months I also came back in with a heavy (in weight) but subtle (in tone/chroma) cartooning line.
This one was/is based on the study in the first image- I thought I had finished it in August of 2020 originally. It’s the one I was working on when I took the image that lives in the main post to this site. It was a happy moment in this series to realize stopping the compositions at the edge of the canvas is arbitrary and has a cropping effect that wasn’t adding to the work (and that conversely, a grouping of cubes/shapes implies dimension more strongly if you can see its outer “edge”).
I did this piece on muslin, which is a surface that I really love.