Saturday, September 02, 2006

This is a journey of sorts from one frame of mind to another and the colors and moods that guided me. I describe three paintings and their process.

"Anticipation" (image above) 36x24 oil on canvas, dated, Sept. 1998 part of my "Passion Series" *
was actually a breakthrough piece for me. I had been
painting my "Victorian Series" for months, spending hours on
modulating the colors. I paint a lot from photos. My goal with the
"Victorian Series" was to put in as many colors in the skin tone as I
could. Looking at a photo or life long enough a lot of colors begin
to show themselves that normally go unnoticed. Modulating many
colors I became frustrated and board after finishing 10 or so of
them. I had a canvas that I had painted a dark blue and decided that
maybe it would be ok to just play.....and not modulate at all. I
found a picture that I liked, studied the colors, filled my brush a
fresh for each stroke and applied them to my canvas. I have not
modulated since. I continued painting with this color palette naming
the series "The Passion Series". I still tried to fit every color in
the rainbow on my palette as I do to this day adding small nuances
wherever I can. I would add here too that the series before "The
Passion Series" was "Hawaiian Legacy" which is predominantly done in
sepia, tones.

Another example of moving forward is "Girl On Phthalo Green" 36x48 oil on canvas, dated Oct. 2000 and part of my "Cosmopolitan Series" *
I became tired of the palette of blues and fell in love with phthalo
green for a time. I guess I still love it. This painting was
greatly influenced by Modgliani. When I was in high school, many
years ago, my mother asked me to copy a Modigliani for her house. I
painted a 60x72 piece for her in corals. I never forgot that
painting nor Modigliani. When I feel truly inspired paintings are
done quickly and the brushstrokes are done wildly. I am in heaven
during these times. I painted this in perhaps 3 hours over another
painting I did not like.

"The Power Within Me" 48x36 oil and gold liner on canvas dated
August 2002 is part of my "African Series" *
This painting is part of my "African Series". I used phthalo green
along with my beloved full palette in this series. I painted this
quickly as well. It almost feels like a fever, it just flows. I
attribute that to doing my homework so to speak. All those years of
modulating and painting in sepia tones, my constant drawing in
graphite gives me a base of understanding. I put down colors as I
feel them, almost in a dance and it is most certainly trance like. I
use a lot of paint and use big brushes. I work from darks to light.
I save the lights and small brushes until I am pretty sure that I am
happy with the painting in general. It is always tempting to use
small brushes and add some highlight but I remind myself that that
would probably ruin the painting and make it appear tedious.
Sometimes they don't work, but I just think, "So What!" I can always
paint over it, that is the gift of doing oils. I think sometimes
there is more freedom in oils than there is in drawing and most
certainly watercolors. Painting on large canvas' is also very free.
When I paint small I become locked up and back to where I started
when I modulated colors. When we draw on paper we try to tell
ourselves that it is 'just paper' to try to set ourselves free from
worry about the end results, but oils make a better friend to me.

In all of my paintings emotion plays the strongest part. This is
the part that takes the longest. If anything must be right it is the
emotion felt by the image, so that they can breath. Sometimes I
cannot get that part and it is so frustrating to me that I cannot
sleep at night. It becomes the only thing I think about. I choose
to paint mostly women because I am one and because I think they are

* Where to find the images of the paintings listed on my website:

"Passion Series" posted on my website #1
"Cosmopolitan Series" posted on my website #1
"African Series" posted on my website #4

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