Transparent. Reflective. Abstract. Real. All at once.
That’s how I view quick snapshots taken while walking along York Beach, Maine last summer when the water was at least 55 degrees warmer than today. I was playing with my compact camera simply letting it do its thing–opening and closing the shutter and allowing light to come in. It’s these impulsive, unscripted images that allow for some interpretation as well as connections to other seemingly unrelated things. A Mark Rothko painting (famous for his color field approach) for instance, seems to have been inspired by a seascape such as the one I’ve posted here. This kind of simplification can be a show stopper when the rest of the online world is showing/displaying an incredible number of images every second of every day. I’m tired just thinking about it. Thought for today is simple, simplify.
Blue Divided by Blue, 1966, Mark Rothko, 1903-1970.
Here is one good reason why I like working with acrylic paints–they are forgiving. Especially when one idea seemed like a good one until a night’s sleep refocused my aesthetic and I wonder just who thought that color combo was a good idea. I am thankful that I get a second chance–with every single piece of artwork I do. I am never afraid to scrub out, gesso over, tear up, use for collage, cut up for use as mini paintings, or plain just get rid of bad painting. Sounds crazy to some of you but if you are an artist, I recommend you give this a try. You never know what you’ll find the second time around. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.
My season of being a Red Sox fan began in April, only a week or so after the Boston Bombing by terrorists. I was a bit apprehensive about going to the game but we were determined to not let horrible, emotionless, vile people change how we want to live our lives. We did nothing to deserve this act of war.
Torn from the pages of my sketchbook to celebrate the World Series win by the Boston Red Sox in 2013!
The fans seemed happy to be at the ballpark but the air was heavy with concern for what the future would bring after this horrendous event of terror on innocent people–and especially children– simply enjoying a beautiful spring day watching and cheering their friends and family at the end of the Boston Marathon route. Boston Strong images were everywhere at the Sox game and now seemed to be a precursor for what the season could bring.
The color scheme of this 12×6 piece torn from my sketchbook may seem melancholy–although I did not have this in mind when I drew it. I was exploring the design possibilities of the abstract lines and shapes distinctly found in Fenway. I have done others that have evening lighting and more intense color but I happen to like this reserved version. It is available at the Copley Society of Art on Newbury Street in Boston, MA. www.copleysociety.org
Coastal Maine with its crisp whites, deep blues and accents of reds and oranges continue to find their way into my artwork. One day it occurred to me that if Maine redesigned its state flag it could look something like this. Of course inlanders would not be happy so I’ve kept this idea to myself. One visitor to one of my outdoor show in South Portland, Maine this summer laughed out loud when he saw the title and “got” the image. A fun moment. Not a sale but just as rewarding when someone understands that my work is not representational but seeks to propose a different, uncommon way of viewing common views. I abstract elements of a landscape and reorder, repurpose and reimagine all while filtering this input through my head and heart. Whew. Amazing how humans work.
Who would have thought a stroll after a nice dinner at the Lobster Pot would have captivated my artistic eye for so long. A quick snapshot taken one hot afternoon in Provincetown, MA has been the catalyst of many of my artworks. As with many other photos I have taken, as soon as one painting is completed I have another idea to improve/change/renovate the next one. So this one, on the advice of Mary Harding curator of the George Marshall Store Gallery in York, Maine, to “paint bigger” here is one of the results. Raking Light Across at 36×36 gave me the space and opportunity to really dig in and work on the layering of color and texture. It was a blast. More to come.
Scouting out a location in a busy city such as Boston can be an intimidating process. The sheer number of possibilities for making a painting can be overwhelming to evaluate. Choosing just the right location–one with a good view, open space for setting up equipment, safe from traffic, animals, and other oddities is not easy. We found this location on a scouting trip taken with my daughter, Katie Trainor, who lives in Boston and works at Francesca’s Coffee Café on Tremont Street, right around the corner from Union Street Park. Perfect. Her knowledge of the area and my preferences was invaluable to selecting this spot. Just enough area to setup, a beautiful spring day at the pocket park, and of course, proximity to a bathroom :). Sidewalk location was just right to allow me to set up and allow neighbors to get by–and chat. A win for all. The Copley Society of Art PaintOut was one week after the Boston bombing at the Marathon so the city was still reeling. Good to know this event and sale of my painting helped a little to add to the Boston Strong fundraising effort.