Tuesday, 28 September 2010

The Virtual Paintout - September Challenge

This month's location for The Virtual Paintout blog challenge was Manhattan Island. With such massive choice in one of my favourite places on the planet, I decided to develop my theme from last month's challenge when I painted a store front window in Charlotteville, Prince Edward Island, which I had thoroughly enjoyed. I couldn't choose between three windows so I went all out and painted all of them, noticing each one was dominated by a primary colour. I love what happens when the photograph loses its registration through the various stages, and this gives the visual its allure, but also its technical challenges. Another challenge was trying to make them look like real windows and this I did (I think) by including the reflections some of which, if you look very carefully, show the blurred outline of the Google car; I think it was the Google car! What I learned from this challenge was these works should be painted on huge formats, at least 8 foot square, preferably more. Maybe one day when I get my huge studio I can develop this as a theme. (Below each painting is a small reference of the window from Google Street Maps).

"Primary RED at Kenneth Cole, Fifth Avenue, New York"
12" x 12" - Oil on Gessoed Board.

"Primary YELLOW at Bergdorf Goodman, Fifth Avenue, New York"
12" x 12" - Oil on Gessoed Board.

"Primary BLUE at Sephora, Fifth Avenue, New York"
12" x 12" - Oil on Gessoed Board.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Three Primaries Out To Dry.

No, that's not a political statement, but it might sum up how I feel about politics and the systems around them at the moment. Back to art, it's much more trustworthy.

I haven't posted here for over three weeks and that is hugely frustrating for me, but I have been working and very hard indeed on my paintings. No matter how mediocre the work that is put up on this blog, I am happy because that means that I am being productive. Productive in practicing rather than in producing work good enough to sell. I'll get there. However, I have been ultra busy painting three works for the Virtual Paintout blog challenge this month and they have to be sent in this Thursday. One is finished, and two are in their last phases, drying, before the next layer can be done. This is the very tiresome stage of the process for me and, ironically, the place where I learn the most. I have based this project not only around scenes in Manhattan, but on the primary colours themselves. They are paintings of huge windows on Fifth Avenue. I will describe how I approached this in my next blog post. For this post, I have taken out the colours and they look completely weird, and it's interesting to see which one works the best for me compositionally. I am having some sort of fun here, so ignore this if you like. I've never put up such a bleak, colourless post, but it's fun to see the Google car in the reflections even in these greyish visuals.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Quick Sketch.

I really needed to scribble this morning. I was hoping to get much more done in the way of sketching but in the middle of all of this, I felt I could only relax if I got through some domestic stuff and left this until I was more relaxed and focused. I have hopes of doing a self portrait for a blog challenge this month, and as I haven't painted or sketched faces for ages, I thought a warm up was essential. This is an understatement. I need major practice runs before I can pull of a reasonable portrait let alone a self portrait. I am putting this up because it makes me feel better. I'm very good at kidding myself this is work. This was done from a photograph.

Pencil on Cartridge Paper

8" x 8" (Approx)