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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sunflower

This print is based on a large sunflower we had growing in our backyard a few years ago. Just as the seeds were starting to ripen, our neighbor, the happy squirrel living in the tallest tree behind our house, managed to make off with all the seeds overnight. So in honor of ingenious critters everywhere, I made this print.

Sunflower monotype, 8 x 11"
The image was created using soy based Akua inks in colors approximating the three colors used in any computer monitor or TV screen - cyan, magenta, and yellow. No other colors were added. I started with a plate inked in yellow. Then I added a layer of magenta, removing the ink where I wanted the print to be yellow or green. Lastly, I added a cool blue color, first very lightly and then a bit darker, each time removing the color where I didn't want blue in the mix. The layers of color were added to the paper by pressing the paper against the inked plate.

With all the colors overlapping, the result, in theory at least, should be black. But since the colors used were not exactly the CMY colors, and since the darker colors were applied with some texture showing, the resulting mix of all the colors is fairly dark, but definitely not black.

CMY were the only colors used for the sunflower print

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Laundry Day

In figure drawing class, we sometimes had a rather elaborate setup. This one was fun to draw.

Laundry day, charcoal, 2014, 30 x 22"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Resting

Lately, I have been working on more abstract looking paintings and prints, so it was nice to go through some of my figurative drawings from last year when I was cleaning up my studio. This drawing was done in class over a couple of days.

Even though it is not my goal as an artist to paint traditional nudes, there really is nothing like learning to draw and paint by observing human beings. To become a better artist, I could definitely use more figure drawing practice.

Resting, charcoal, 22 x 30"

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Foreshortening

To learn how to draw in perspective, or foreshortening, to learn proportions, for looking at what is actually observed instead of preconceptions, for learning about composition, and how to use dark and light in an image, figure drawing really is incredibly helpful.

Here are some of my attempts at learning the basics of foreshortening in figure drawing class. The more extreme the perspective, the more interesting to draw!

foreshortening, charcoal sketch, 2014, 18 x 24"



foreshortening, charcoal sketch, 2014, 18 x 24"

foreshortening, charcoal sketch, 2014, 24 x 18"


foreshortening, charcoal sketch, 2014, 24 x 18"

Friday, May 8, 2015

In Defense of Mankind

Visiting the Met in New York last year, I was impressed with all the medieval armor. Or possibly rather obsessed.... I wanted to spend all my time there, admiring the workmanship and beauty of the various kinds of arms and armor. It really struck me how much talent and time and energy was devoted to war games. As far as I can tell, the main thing that has changed in contemporary times is not the intense devotion to this pursuit, but the drastic decrease in aesthetic concerns.

So this woodcut is my homage to the devotion of mankind to the pursuit of ever more effective tools of war. I am not sure where it will end, so I will end with a quite by Albert Einstein:

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

In Defense of Mankind, woodcut, 20 x 16" image size

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Dripping Color

Spent most of the day cleaning my little studio so I can at least walk across it without risking injury. And I came across a large stack of old drawings. These two are from a figure drawing class about a year ago. We used charcoal and a couple of acrylic colors, one warm and one cool. To me, the pieces are somewhere between drawings and simple paintings.


charcoal and acrylics, 2014, 24 x 18"

charcoal and acrylics, 2014, 24 x 18"
 


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shells

Last summer, I did a lot of oil studies to become more familiar with the medium, since to me, using oils was at first about as intuitive as painting tiny details with house paint.

These are three small oil studies of sea shells from that time. 
Shells I, oil on canvas, 6x6"
Shells II, oil on canvas, 6x6"
Shells III, oil on canvas, 6x6"