Saturday, January 24, 2015

New Studio Work

This is a collection of studio work that I have completed since finally getting some extended time following about 6 months of traveling to paint in events and teach.  I normally paint on one painting at a time, but in the last months have been starting a new one whenever one I was working on, needed a rest, consideration or I simply needed a change of scenery.  The large oils have all come to a finished state, they're never really finished, in the last couple of days.  Thanks for looking in.

Oils and pastels...

'Along the Path' - oil - 30x40

'End of Another Day' - oil - 36x48

'Light Bank' - oil - 20x30

'Stalker' - oil - 30x40

'Beaver Work' - pastel - 16x20

'Old Milk House' - pastel - 12x16

'A February Snow' - pastel - 18x24

'January Hoar Frost' - oil - 8x9.5

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!

This morning's 'over a cup of coffee' musing is somewhat of a continuation of my last blog post.  It's a New Year, a good time to reassess our lives.  I am avoiding the disappointment that resolutions inevitably bring, but I am trying to keep in the spirit of the season and am internally reviewing how the past year has felt to me.  In light of that...

Sometimes I feel like I want to rock, or even sink, the boat, with my art. You know, make some capital 'A' ... Art!  There are times when I wish it was that powerful, that it would stand up and shout annoyingly loud to be seen, to say something grating.  I don't mean in an 'artistically mastered aptitude' kind of way, but in it's raw expressive power.  To make the Art something aside from how or who I seem to be, in a public way, to others who know me.  Like the quiet, scholarly kid in school, who shows up at the talent show and kicks ass on a '68 Stratocaster ala Hendrix, and does it left handed!  To really dig deeper into the 'self' than has been done before.

Other times, I just want to find quiet, and the internal solace that making art brings to my life, and never let a painting be seen again.  To paint for my own personal expressive needs without the need to share it.

I know we don't find our voice, it finds us.  We will do what we do, no matter how hard we try not to... so all of this is moot really.  Yet I spend a lot of time wondering about this.

When standing at the easel, no matter how rebellious I might feel at that moment or on that day, no matter how much I might feel like painting something that is explosive, challenging and controversial; feel like painting something that would make my Mom call me up and ask if I'm 'OK?', I inevitably return to the peaceful kingdom side of painting.  In the end, I make 'pretty' paintings.  I am grateful that it is appreciated by viewers of it, and especially by the collectors who spend their hard earned money on it.  But I feel restless about it.

It makes me wonder what the potential in me is, or if there is, and if I have the nerve to expose it?

But, I am curious?  Are others just happy as larks doing what they've always done?  Or do you find yourself torn at times as to what painting should be saying about you?  Or finding a new voice?  Is that ever something that keeps you up at night, wondering if what you're painting is what you should be painting?  If you're one of us, and you solved it for yourself, how did you get there?

The two paintings below aren't put up here as an examples of what I'm talking about above.  I'm showing them as an example of something I did at another time, when I was thinking about this same subject.  The two paintings were painted in 2009 and weren't anything like I'd ever done before.  I painted with an empty head, with out any forethought.  I turned up the stereo and threw, smashed, scraped, and applied paint with my hands or anything else I could find at the time... exploring how the music that was playing... made me feel.  I tried to let that feeling come out of me during the painting session.  To let my emotional response to the music show in how the paint ended up looking on the canvas.

It was one hell of an exhilarating experience.  I did these two, one after the other, and could hardly believe how out of breath I was, and how 'high' I felt, tuned in to the music unlike any experience I had ever had.  I used up a lot of old, cheap paint I had laying around in boxes.  It was FUN!!! ( I even used my Francais signature... MARC )

Painted to some Lynrd Skynrd in 2009... "Skynrd" - oil - 24x30

Painted to listening to Miles Davis' 'Kind of Blue'... in 2009... "Jazz" - oil - 20x30