The Reds#49, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 9x6
Over the last year or so I have been pondering which direction to take my paintings in. I felt that I especially wanted to explore the colors and glazes that I so love to use and while I wasn't sure, I thought abstract would be a good direction in that case. I fooled around with some 4x4 squares, and just using one color; pink, red, blue green, etc and then scratching marks into the wet paint. They weren't really doing much for me though and so mostly the squares have been sitting in a pile on one of the tables in my studio all this time. I did send a few to Steven LaRose so that he could do something with them, a collaboration of sorts. Haven't seen anything from him though, so I suspect they are now sitting in a pile on one of the tables in his studio now. Heh.
Anyway, in July while I was preparing my work for the show at Carrie Haddad Gallery (the show is up until Sunday so there is still time to see it!) this caught my eye:
I had just finished this painting and since it is a 36x48 panel, I had to set it on my easel vertically (it is a Horizon Line series painting, meant to be horizontal) so that I could walk around it more easily in order to get to my desk.
So it sat like this for a few days and I couldn't stop looking at it. I kept thinking that it should be a vertical! I yearned for it to be a vertical, but in the end I left it horizontal so that it would be in keeping with the rest of the work in the show.
I knew what I was going to do next! Instead of having my usual post show meltdown, I got right back to work in the studio. The first ones I did were on gessoed paper and were small; 4x8, 6x10 or so and my intent was for them to be long verticals. This worked ok, I was interested enough (somewhat obsessed, actually) by the process and the results to keep going. And Doug was very helpful in explaining to me what he was seeing in them. Which was different and much more involved than what I thought I was doing!
Study, 4x8, Oil on Gessoed Paper
I decided that the next batch would be on panels. Um, just in case they got better (dealing with presenting and/or framing the works on paper stresses me out). As of today, I have done about 30 paintings, including a batch of about a dozen to put in an event at the local arts org. next week. None have been terrible but some are definitely much stronger than others. I am very excited about these works and have a lot of ideas about other directions in which to take them. There has also been much discussion about the orientation of the panels. My intent was that they would all be vertical "stripes" and I painted them like that, but of course many of them simply look better as horizontals. I really wanted to be completely abstract with these, but now I have decided to view them as a bridge from the older work to the new. Doug and I spent some time today discussing which way each of them should be presented. Also turns out that many of them go either way. Heh.
The Reds#48, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 9x9
Also working in a more square format (thanks Steven!) helps to make them work better as a vertical image.
Oh and much debate about titles. Oh the titles! I just couldn't bear the thought of having to come up with more titles, 30 right now, today!!! So I decided to simply title the series and number each of them.
I am posting several images here today and will put up more along with my usual posts. Will also be posting them (well, the good ones anyway;)) on my Facebook fan page.
AND. I have a mini new direction already, will post those images next time.
The Reds#55, 2009, Oil on Birch Panel, 6x9