2020. Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 in.
The work informs the work. I started the “Granite” series this spring not long after concluding “Plague Faces”. The crossover in technique is easy to see:
Plague Faces No. 17
2020. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 16 in.
I start by creating a complex surface (in both these examples largely with rollers), then use a single color to paint away everything that’s not the shape I’m foregrounding. “Negative shape” painting, a common technique. It can bring the work to a magical conclusion, but you have to have faith that it’s going to come together because in the meantime it doesn’t look like much. I liked “No. 17” a lot, and found a way very soon to go there again in “Granite I”, a totally different subject.
More fooling around with the granite sketch. Studio shot of work in progress, acrylic and ink on canvas:
Completely different approach than the last posted, but it is in line with an enduring stylistic interest of mine that comes up every so often and never really goes away. Witness this pastel from all the way back in 1999:
Pinto Mountains from Wonder Valley
1999. Pastel and charcoal on sandpaper, 14 x 10-1/8 in.
This is a view from my property, right after I acquired my studio. I was just beginning to try out ways to encompass the enormity of what I was seeing – the enormity, the simplicity, the complexity. And how it’s all happening at once, in one vast pulsating organism filled with space. Still working on it.
July 2020. Acrylic and ink on canvas, 11 x 14 in.
Still interested in the shape of the granite boulders, but not so much in their texture here. Where I’m really (always) heading is toward simultaneity. The interpenetrability of the substance and the ether.
This started with a quick contour sketch up near Stirrup Tank in Joshua Tree National Park. The umber and ochre are applied with a brayer for randomness.
I’m continuing to work with the same sketch, using different approaches. More to come.
June 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 in.
I’m inching towards a subject that’s been calling me for a long time: the stone of the Mojave Desert. Yes, those boulders of the luscious shape and provocative surface. So far it’s just those elements alone: the shape and the surface. I’m not interested in the form. So I’ve been playing around a little bit. Got a long way to go.
June 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 11 x 14 in.