Time to make the choices


In addition to reflecting on my use of tools for the piece this post documents*, I’ve also noted the importance that studies have taken in my process over the last few months. This piece is based on the study below.

I’ll note that this piece also incorporates a theme of recycling compositions- in this case the one associated with the stretcher that I’ll be re-using. One new element will be using the projector at later stages to create a template for shifting the grid slightly before repeating it.

Similar to another piece I recently completed, I found after I got into the painting that a rectangular container was probably not the right choice. While using some blue painter’s tape to sketch out potential canvas stretcher shapes, I stumbled into another solution which is to paint the container. Very pleased with not only the resulting compositional addition but also with the way the lighter purple around the edges of the painting wraps the edge of the stretcher and optically obfuscates the edge.

*I’ve also reflected on how the inflection points of the journey, even when I intellectualize them as choices that result in a major shift, aren’t always clean breaks.

Always tinkering

Final 2/19

Been wanting to revisit some of the characteristics and qualities I saw in an earlier work at pre-completion stage (the first images of a painting below which became this finished piece) as the studies I’ve been doing make me think color, tone and line more. Obviously going a bit more vibrant this time…

As soon as I got the drawing onto the canvas, I recognized a strong diagonal from lower left to upper right. I responded by cutting a stretcher for this one that has 2 corners that are slightly obtuse. Spent some the time on this piece working out which edge to make square to the room (middle rows in the gallery below), ended up settling on the top edge.

I decided the cartoon line needed to be a light tone which I think makes it more of a distinct compositional element. I also added a thick isolation layer which gave some underlying texture to the final applications for all the cube “faces” that for now appear orange, and decided that the tone and chroma of the oranges should vary slightly.

Pleased with the final result, which has also surfaced another challenge with shaped canvases which is photographing them. Normally, with a rectangular stretcher with square corners, I’d just shoot them in daylight, crop out the background in photo editing software, and call it good. Shaped canvases present another challenge, for which I invested in a 5000+ kelvin studio light that I’ll also use to take pictures of assemblage pieces and cubes.

Reflecting – resolving?

(Final 6/25)

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.

Scaling up and down

(final 6/25)

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.