Coming back to line

(Final 7/18)

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.

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.

Using more drawn marks

(final 2/8)

My oldest has one of my earlier pieces in this series up in her room, which has some elements I’ve wanted to revisit.

Since the process begins with drawing and is “about” making decisions, it feels… right to let some of the process of painting over abide in juxtaposition with areas that remain almost original.

Making choices about past… choices

All of the works below are created from previously completed paintings (see if you can spot them here and here). Beyond the obvious relationship to working with the physical cubes, and despite the fact that they are being presented as compositions, they seem to me to ground choice as prime in a way that the other paintings don’t (not that this difference makes these stronger, just… different).

I am intrigued by the way overlapping some the cubes implies they exist in some other space, together, but which is not defined (the white of the wall). I hope I’ll get the opportunity to show them all together so I can see how the ones composed with cubes from multiple sources look in the same space with ones that all came from the same original source.

Loosen up, man

(final 11/16)

Still in love with burlap as a substrate. I’m also liking the narrow, portrait orientation that the dimensions of the material I have on hand lends itself to. Like many “studies” which sit around for a bit before I revisit them, this piece begins from the first image below in the context of above (particularly this piece).

Also found myself updating my game plan as the red captured my attention and the piece clearly didn’t need to follow my stated path above to be successful.

Untitled, acrylic on burlap, 29″x48″, 2020


(final 6/23)

As I was working on the final stages of this piece, I solicited some input from George McKim, who offered a few suggestions in the form of edits to the image I sent him (the first image below). I hadn’t really paid attention before then to how both of our drawing/compositional strategies often had cubes in common. I suggested that his edits made me think we should try to work through the process of collaborating, and so the piece below began, in my studio.

George also made a video of how the first stage of his input has taken shape. Last image below is the most current state.