Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tapper's Cove complete

I've just finished this painting tonight.  I hoped I'd have it ready to go to the framer with eight (!) others but it will have to wait for the next batch - or a buyer who would like it unframed.  My studio walls are quite bare now - a  good complaint I'm sure, but one that puts pressure on me to produce more.

The water is a myriad of colours of reflected light from above as well as the glow of pale rocks sitting on the ocean floor even if the photograph doesn't do justice to the colours and values here.  The clarity of the water never ceases to amaze me and I should count myself lucky to live in a place where pollution is more the rarity than the norm. The turquoise blues really are that rich in real life and often the water looks tropical instead of being the Atlantic Ocean.  As always, the photograph does not provide justice to viewing a piece in person.

There may be a few tweaks, especially in the forefront timbers of the wharf, before the painting is signed off and ready to go but for now I'm letting it sit.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's in a name?

Some paintings seem to name themselves, while we struggle with others forever before finally slapping something, anything on them to differentiate them from the last one painted.

So how important is a title to a painting?  Its pretty important for both artist and viewer.  For the artist it becomes a part of the piece, describing an emotion, a place, a memory and it serves well as a reference point in inventory.  How many "Red & Blue"  or "Untitled # 8"'s can you have without having a clue what they are visually in the future?  Its a gallery nightmare to have untitled paintings in stock.

For the viewer it becomes a direction signal into the process and placement of the painting to help them understand the piece more, even though they will create their own story around it.

Titles for most paintings fall into place at around the halfway mark, when the direction of the piece is known and coming together more clearly.  Sometimes a title comes first, then a painting to represent it, but that's less the norm.  And then there are those orphans who end up as completed works but with no name attached to them.  Those are the challenges to name without reverting to 'Untitled' again.

Painting titles  range from sentimental phrases to obscure references with meaning only to the artist. Whatever the association, its helpful to have something that gives the viewer a direction without revealing too much of the thought process and allows them to create their own thinking around the image.

The above painting, Metamorphosis, is 24" x 36" on gallery canvas.   The image isn't wonderful, taken early in the morning withe sunlight filtering across it through the blinds.  But the colour is fairly true and the final image will be taken in better light soon.

It is quite abstract, but still represents water.  I used a palette knife to apply thick layers of oil paint and to give texture and a split of hot colour to contrast the blues.

Why is it called Metamorphosis?  I'll let you create your own story around that...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Honey jar

Nothing I turned my hand to this weekend in painting worked out well on a large scale, so I've abandoned the bigger piece and tried my hand at a small painting. 

When I was in Manitoba last month, I had an hour or so between meetings and took advantage to walk through the Forks Market and found a stall selling unpasteurized honey.  They had brought a glass sided box of bees and honeycomb on display so you could watch the honey making action.  Not being a bug person, I stayed clear of that.  But I thanked the bees and the beekeeper for the honey and brought a small jar back with me.

Honey is a very useful substance besides adding to tea or putting on toast.  Unpasteurized honey has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and has been used for centuries to soothe sore throats and coughs. its is also believed to assist in relieving allergies by eating a tablespoon a day and is good for topical use in treating sores and ulcers in individuals who have diabetes, as well as treating mild burns.

5 x 7 in oil