Archives for the month of: October, 2010

wave XIII

Every so often I paint waves. It’s kind of a release from the other paintings. They’re done in the same way and still fall into the category of semi-abstract. They are painted to sell, and are smaller, around 16″ x 20″. The first group of them made it into a tiny deli in downtown Portsmouth and then later made their home in a massage pallor, coincidentally, called Waves . It wasn’t until showcasing on eBay that they sold and had a small following. Keeping up the task of painting waves was not exactly easy. It quickly turned into a job and I felt like getting back to the really creative, imaginative stuff.

This painting always reminds me of the last day of school or the last day of work, when the unknown beckons and a hopeful new world is becoming a reality. I wanted to get across the overwhelming rush of afternoon light as it floods the space and sends your eye far into the distance, where you can only see white.

I remember painting this in 2006 and I was having a blissful year, not really because of anything astounding, but because I felt peaceful and had no want for anything. The irony is that when I realized this kind of nirvana was taking place, I immediately wanted it to last forever.

filter/stylize/glowing edges

After manipulating the image with ‘glowing edges’, I kind of liked the result and tried it with a few others, but the effect didn’t come out as well as this one. It reminds me of folk art on acid. What would be great is if something like this could be done with neon lights or fiber optics, as an installation.

This one was not accepted to an art association in the state I live in and I’ve been feeling vulnerable these days because of it. “Rejection helps”’ someone told me a while ago.

The little being is bathing in an algae filled aquarium under the water in what could be another aquarium. I wanted to add certain details that had a lot of meaning to me. It was a very personal piece I offered.

42" x 32" oil, wax, thread

When finishing up, I added a smile to its face. What was important to me, was to have this creature happy in its underwater world. I broke off a lot of wax on the wall of the image to let bright light come through. Being unemployed at the time, I probably wanted to believe that somewhere there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

Here is another painting like the one below. The hues are in the same range, but this time, other objects are painted in to tell a story. These pieces of work are not really abstract and far from being pure abstract, yet the surface of them is broken up enough to make them semi.

“In the Tailor Shop” series started with this sketch in 2003. I experimented with this piece quite a bit and it took me about six months to finish. The way I paint these are a little different than the other series. The dresses are gone over more with shading and highlighting to get a somewhat realistic view and the melted wax is brushed over a completed oil painting.


"dress" 44" x 50"


I wanted the dress to pop, appearing more lifelike. The intent came from the feeling of being objectified. The dummy is used and displayed. I tried to stay within the theme and coloring, yet that veered into different colored dresses and all kinds of situations.

What has stayed the same with each of the ‘Tailor’ images is that part of the dress remains sketched, unfinished and painted with loose brushstrokes. This particular one, I brought out the strong black lines just as the sketch, keeping it a bold contrast against the orange.

There was an old mill building I used to work in that had a strange effect on me. I felt a past era in this space, somewhere around the late 1930’s and 40’s. The room was long with rows of desks to one side next to large windows which I imagined ships to be docked. Unfamiliar memories flooded my mind when I’d walk into this space. When I started to put the painting together, I felt at the time, like a factory worker devising my dreams and my escape from someone’s “system”.

"bleedthrough it"

Sometimes the intent is driving really fast in your mind and you have to put it down as fast as you can. With this idea of the figure giving itself  into the world around it, I wanted to get lots of static, I wanted to have a kind of blurry, dreamy feel, so it would  appear soft and glowing.

As for the finished piece, the figure turned into a more literal image, but the background fell into place with soft hues merging into one another. How ever the wax dripped and whatever the thickness the gesso got, I accepted it and molded it into place with the rest of the texture.

The idea was to get the sheets to lift off because of an impending storm. There were lots of forced errors with this one that worked out in the end, as far as melted wax and oils thinned out with turpentine.

Hoping to get the feeling of being out of control, I let the background grow in dark swirling hues contrasting just random bright spots of white wax.

Using oil pastels to create really stark imagery for what I thought would translate well into an abstract painting,  turned out to be quite different after all. The body in the sheets concept is within all of these.