I am an artist, not a writer. My Intent is not to educate, enlighten or inspire but rather to clarify my motivations to myself. I find that when I write down the thoughts and reasons that I take certain paths, it helps me to avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Let's face it, authentic work evolves through a series of mistakes, lessons learned and options eliminated.
My last few pieces have all been the same size, 31"x 38". The size and aspect ratio greatly influences the marks that I make in an image. At this point, I am standardizing the size mainly to eliminate a variable, plus I think they will work well together in an upcoming show. I have introduced some rather strong color elements to see how they affect the surface relief and texture.
After I posted this piece I decided to try and unify the surface by lightening the background and darkening the relief areas. It is subtle but I think I like it better. I would be interested in other artists opinions. What do you think?
I have decided to stick with very little color in this piece because I am concentrating on creating a relief surface. Texture was a very strong element in my early cement pieces. Surface has always been important to me, so I have made an active decision to again emphasize texture but combine it with the polished surfaces of my more recent work. I think in my next image I might introduce more color and see where that takes me.
"Ecole" 38"x 31" polished cement & dry pigment on panel
(click to enlarge)
Here, I am trying to free myself from the constraints of formalized design and concentrate on organizing chaos. I eliminated most of the color from the equation in order to allow me to concentrate on content and its arrangement. I am relying on my innate sensibilities to make the image feel right. I try to let it flow without much intellectualizing.
"Ecotone" 31"x 38" polished cement & dry pigment on panel
(click to enlarge)
In this piece, I decided to calm it down a bit and play with a large simplified area that depended on subtle color transitions and small bits of texture for interest. My work has taught me a lot recently. I just needed to learn to pay attention. I had to recognize myself in my work and play to that realization. Half of the joy of creating authentic work is getting to sit in front of the finished piece with a cup of coffee and let it speak to you. Ahhh, good to the last drop.
I am still iced in my studio. Thank God my studio is in my home. I started this painting yesterday afternoon and finished it late today. I feel pretty good about it. Sometimes that changes after I have lived with it a few days. This was one of those pieces that almost got scrapped. I gave up on it and with nothing to lose, just started pushing pigment around with a wet paper towel. I forced myself to stop periodically and survey the damage. It is very easy to take things too far and end up with mud. All of the sudden it started to work! This painting definitely took a change of direction halfway through. Thus the title.
"Morelos" 21"x 31" polished cement &dry pigment on panel
(click to enlarge)
It is suppose to get down to 8 degrees tonight. We are having rolling power outages to conserve energy. I don't know how much good that does, because when the power is on, everybody runs the heat full blast before the power shuts down again. Anyway, I am thankful my studio stays pretty warm. My car can't make it up my inclined driveway because of the ice. It's just as well, I really don't need to be on the streets. The good news is, I have plenty of time to work. The above piece was started yesterday and finished today. I plan on starting another this afternoon.