Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Tempest

After a trip to the Northwest, I am transfixed by the skies and the light. I decide to capture the expansiveness of the atmosphere and paint large. I push myself more and decide to work this painting using transparent layers of acrylics. I work the layers not unlike the old masters did. I find I love the large format. It frees me up. Suddenly, I am not painting a sky, a horizon or the earth. I am one and part of each element as I paint it. I am in the sky, I am feeling the earth and I hear the wind.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Another Step

This painting was a departure. I found myself working the paint with soft cloths. No brushes were used. I had such pent-up feelings inside about where my work was going and how to capture something fresh. As I worked the paint, this image arose.
It is highly influenced by the Maui cane burns. Cane fields are burned to bring down the stalks, which are then harvested. These mushroom clouds fill our pristine skies with chemicals and pesticides. They have been cited as causing respiratory problems in
the aged as well as those who are sensitive to smoke. I find when a burn happens, I cannot breathe. The toxic waste that is released into the air in "paradise" is one of the unspoken anomalies of living here.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I live on Maui, an island that is filled with atmospheric skies and views. I have always been drawn to the can fields. the light seems to dance across them and the clouds rise up over them either like veils of mist or like angry tempests. Dawn can be especially magical as the light begins to peep over the crest of the mountain. I decide to try to capture this fleeting moment. But instead, of looking at it as a literal view, I work the piece from the inside out. I work with what the dawn feels like. What the air smells like. I try to put down the fragile quality of the light at this time of day. I work the paint in layers once again and abandon brushes at one point and use just soft rags to move the paint into one layer after another. I burnish the semi-dry layers into the dry ones below to give a translucent sheen. Gradually the luminosity that I am after comes out. I call this piece, "A Patch of Blue."

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Beginning

It begins with this image. I am restless and not happy with the work I have done on a recent trip to France. Somehow the work feels contrived and stiff. I am after something deeper and more immediate. I leave the pieces aside and take up a 13 x 24 gessoed panel. I loosely mix viridian and umber and draft some basic shapes onto the panel. I let the brush move without too much control. I am after something beyond the literal view. How does one capture the emotionality of what one sees? How does one put the essence into the painting?

I begin to rub paint layers into the panel with soft clothes. I use my hands and sand and lay in many times. The image emerges as a luminous departure from my more expressionist/impressionist style. I am leaving familiar ground. I have found the trail head.
I call this painting, "Full Moon Rising." It is a new beginning.