This morning I started this new painting. I used Burnt Siena as a wash very loosely and Van Dyke Brown defining the trees only very slightly. Blocks of color in reds, oranges greens and blues, mixed on the palette and straight onto the surface too. The image is developing and the next session will be interesting. I'll be fine tuning the vision and balancing the composition until I'm satisfied. I want the trees in this work to thin out at the top and let the background define them. It's as if the background and the trees are one. That's the plan, but the result may be something different depending on what I feel works best in the end.
Tonight I worked on this new oil on paper. It's a study for a landscape with three trees. Keeping the subject very simple I am playing around with combinations of color. Primarily using the brown color mixing it with other colors as I go. Not feeling precious about it, which is what I need right now. Just feeling my way into it all. The shape of the trees are becoming more abstract these days. They need to be so as the world I'm creating is an invention too. All elements within the painting hopefully all marry and look like they exist in no other place other than in this composition. This painting relates to the Three Tree Series of monotypes I'm working on presently.
Tonight I worked on a small oil on paper. It's a study and very loose in approach. I'm feeling my way into a subject that has me preoccupied at the present moment. The main subject is trees.
Also I wanted to see if I could still paint with my sore hand in a cast. As I recently injured it, I just wanted to test the right hand and assess whether I could handle a small scale work. I can say it was ok. I little bit stiff and awkward, but I managed ok. I'm happy I had a go.
In this new work I wanted to start with the color brown as the sketch and let that color mix in with all the other ones. Brown is not a color I play with much in the last few years. I seemed to eliminate it completely from my palette. It was intentional. I wanted to keep the works more vibrant in chroma and key.
I like the result in this study and look forward to bringing the browns back into the works. All colors in this work have been tinted with a bit of brown either on the palette or on the painting surface. This work also relates to the Three Tree series of monotypes I've been working on recently.
Today I really felt like painting. It wasn't easy, but I enjoyed the challenge. I say challenge because about 3 weeks ago I had an accident at work and damaged my right hand. Still waiting for an MRI to be certain whether it's ligament damage. A fracture was ruled out after a second x-ray. So I've had my working hand in a plaster cast and been warned not to use it. Apparently the Scaphoid bone is a very delicate area and can take several months to heal. In some cases, an operation needs to be performed. I hope none is the case with my hand.
By the way, I'm using the bad hand to tap away writing this blog (I'm so bad !)
So today I felt like painting. Just one of those moments that come and call me to action. I helps when the studio is reasonably tidy and things around just seem to be at hand. I started painting on a small board I had laying around for a long time. It had a sketch done in oils of an idea that went nowhere months ago. It was a bird-like shape with something shaped like a nest. Don't know why I abandoned that, but at least today it seemed a good idea to play with it and see what I could dream up.
Recently, I have started working on a series with trees. I have also used the tree as subject over the years. This morning I was thinking about the tree and how it has so many meanings throughout history. What it means to me today maybe different to you the reader. To some it is completely invisible and doesn't register any meaning. To some it is all about color, to others it's about saving the planet.
To me the tree today was about the garden of Eden. It's a story from the Christian Bible, where Eve ate the apple from the tree of knowledge. She was tempted by Satan to question God and challenge his reasons for denying both Adam and Eve to eat from it.
For me this is a great story to inspire something to paint about. And the thing I liked most was painting the whole painting in my left hand. It's the Devil's hand and my challenge was to create a painting depicting a strange world. It's a picture of a rage or wrath, just as the peaceful garden becomes a raging inferno of wind and energy in reds, oranges and yellows. The expulsion has begun !
The painting is a study and I hope to paint some more along the theme. With the left hand if need be, the Devil's hand :p
Started working on a new series of monotypes tonight. I felt like playing around with the idea of 3 trees. I am working of a very small scale - about 21cm x 18 cm (half an A4). The first few were a frantic paced exercise to attack the surface and break the anxiety of staring at a blank surface for too long. It's a great way to put down marks without too much thinking or fear. Preciousness needs to be pushed away from the session.
The smaller scale is always hard to negotiate at first. The big brush comes out and I realise that it needs the touch of a smaller brush to define the subject of the tree or landscape. It was what I decided on and the next few monotypes started to emerge as speaking a language I could relate to tonight. More energy, more confidence and a new world created.
I think the tree is a subject that I'm attracted to. I seem to depict it in some form over and over again. What does it mean to me ? I don't think I can answer that tonight. Let's leave that for another time. Im happy with the small scale as long as the monotypes are as bold and energetic as the large scale works 50cm x 70cm. I think they are so far. These works tonight are definitely monotypes. I purposely wiped any after image or ghost ink from the Perspex plate. I consciously want to reinvent tonight and not be influenced by the residue of the subject. In saying that, I did rub the ink around the plate, but not wipe it clean completely. With the wiped plate, I picked out shapes I could see and used that to guide the brushing of the ink. That's how the trees were formed.
I think this may become a major series. 3 trees. It may be the beginning of an abstract style of work. I'm not sure yet. I know that I need to merge my paintings closer to the monotypes. Perhaps use much less color and focus on the subject at hand.
Artist living and working in Melbourne, Australia. Paintings, works on paper. Mostly creates monotypes and monoprints