Thursday, May 10, 2012

Four Elements - Fire

 The Burn - SOLD
6 x 12

The four elements, Earth, Air, Water and Fire are classic and open to much interpretation.  I am toying with an idea for my own interpretation of them, using Newfoundland themes.  Of course on this island, all elements are very much in abundance, so there is a lot of room for experimentation.

There are some common sights in the province that spark off ideas for this little series of four pieces. They usually depict small slices of life in Newfoundland that spring from activities which encompass each element.

The first that came to mind was fire.  On the island, fire is a common heat source, but a woodstove burning was too mundane.  During the winter and early spring, especially after cutting wood, the limbs and boughs are heaped up and burned to make space when clearing ground - a burn.  This painting is in the woods on my property, the wet boughs sending up a plume of white/ochre smoke into the still air as the fire crackles underneath.  The embers of this type of fire is where I produce my own charcoal.

This is in oil on a 6 x 12 stretched canvas.  The smoke and fire still need work on them and another session should do it.  I have a number of ideas to populate the remaining three elements but haven't decided on specifics yet.  Ideas are always welcome.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Available for purchase on my website

“Why do cats sleep so much? Perhaps they've been trusted with some major cosmic task, an essential law of physics - such as: if there are less than 5 million cats sleeping at any one time the world will stop spinning. So that when you look at them and think, "what a lazy, good-for-nothing animal," they are, in fact, working very, very hard.”
― Kate Atkinson

I am guilty of over tinkering the self portrait in the previous post.  After frustration and hateful adjustments, I conceded defeat and wiped the portrait from existence.  And I don't feel bad about it all.  I captured a moment in time and now its gone as moments do.  I will try again. We learn from each mistake and each failure.

What I have learned and continue to learn is to trust my gut feeling in painting.  I have learned that the first strokes, put down fresh and without thinking too much are the best ones.   I have learned that adjustments are very tricky and seldom add to a piece.

So despite what I learn and know, I will continue to make mistakes and kick myself for them.  I will continue to solicit advice and input from other painters and continue to ignore that and let the little voice in my head fool me into taking yet another step towards the precipice.  But I will continue to try.

So replacing the portrait on the same canvas is this snoozing cat.  Still in oils, loose and I WILL NOT make any adjustments.  10" x 10" canvas panel