Sunday, October 12, 2014

Painting studies

An Afternoon at the Beach
8 x 10

Red Suit
8 x 10
Autumn is in full colour, but I'm still thinking of summertime in my studio.  (If I avoid the windows and just look out the skylights, I can fool myself quite nicely.)

I've been doing a lot of small paintings, thinking that they might make interesting larger works down the road.  While these stand on their own and look great in plein air frames, the thought of how I could make them into something big and multi layered makes them into much more important to me than their size suggests.

Ken Howard in his wonderful book "A Personal Perspective" said that he doesn't feel like he's really painting "unless there's a six-foot canvas on the easel".  I've been working up to that size and finally feel like I've got the stamina and ideas to fill one.  At the moment, there's a 48 x 62" on the studio wall - a beach scene - that has had me thinking and layering since the end of June.  It's still not ready to show to anyone, but it is getting richer and more interesting with each alteration.

I think this is a natural progression for many painters: once they are fast and proficient at a certain size or style of painting, they throw a challenge in their paths to keep themselves motivated and struggling.  Nothing is so dull as "proficiency".  It's much more interesting to see someone take risks,

So these little paintings are the seeds of my next challenge, and I'm excited to see how they germinate and grow.

Happy painting!

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