Small Discoveries

Posted by on Jun 20, 2017 in Blog | No Comments

I’ve done a few small paintings recently and have made a few discoveries. The most important one being that even if you have no idea what you want to do in the studio, the best thing is just to actually do something, anything. I have some bigger ideas brewing, but sometimes just working small and more quickly is exactly what I need, either because of time constraints, or not wanting to commit to a bigger piece quite yet. I talked about not planning the ending in regards to my recent painting, Big Pink Cloud, but I had no plan for a beginning when I next went back into the studio, so I ended up painting a fun little landscape. I actually just liked it for what it was, so didn’t feel the need to make it into something else. While it is definitely representational, it is still looser and more “abstract” than my former ways of working.

California Hills, Acrylic on Panel, 2017, 9 x 12 inches

The next piece I did was inspired by a recent ocean shot I had taken on a trail run. This one definitely moved towards abstraction from the start. What I discovered in this painting is that I really liked the juxtaposition of the flat area of color (green “cliff”) on top of the painting. I haven’t really worked with a lot of flat areas of color –usually there are brushstrokes or gradations or something, and I am actually quite interested in the back and forth between the flat area of color and the things going on in the background.

Blue Channel, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017, 14 x 18 inches

In the next little piece I used a round-style brush rather than my usual bright-style (short, flat, square-ish) brush to create the loose lines. I’m not sure whether the style of the brush really makes any difference in the end result, however it felt a little looser as I was putting the lines down, so I will keep experimenting with it. I like the loose, drawing-like quality of the lines over the top of the other colors. I have been interested in this before, and find that I really like the quality when I can put the lines down quickly without overthinking them, however they don’t always go down the way I want them the first time. You can also see these same type of lines in the “mountains” in this painting. It’s a different type of line than the lines above in the blue water (which I also like for different reasons), which while “loose” are more controlled in end result.

Now if I can incorporate these little discoveries into my next larger piece, I might be onto something!

Dune, Acrylic on Panel, 2017, 8 x 8 inches