For the past month my “linear” painting method, i.e. coming up with an idea and following through with it until I’m finished, has given way to “starting up and mopping up”: I’ve generally been finishing pieces begun long ago or coming up with new ideas and just getting them sketched on paper before another new idea pops up. But then, inspiration cannot be forced or doled out in a regular fashion, so an artist must take advantage of “high yield” times to compensate for the inevitable “dry spells”. This results in a far better end-product as well.
The two-panel painting of Anacapa Island, which I’d started a couple of months ago, was finally completed a few weeks back, and is shown here flanked by two of my older pieces, “Mozambique Channel” and “Au Au”.
Last month I began a painting at the Southern Utah University S.T.E.A.M.fest simply entitled “Idaho”, and finally finished it a couple of weeks ago.
An idea for a follow-up piece entered my head and what began as a doodle on graph paper is well on its way to becoming a big painting. (Just how big, I don’t know, but big.)
Finally, I have been commissioned, by the same gentleman who purchased the little painting of Louisiana that I painted at the S.T.E.A.M.fest, to paint a BIG piece of some detail of the Gulf Coast, and to make it quite psychedelic.
Well, just south of the city of Lake Charles, Louisiana, is a bayou/lake/lagoon which, when repeated many times over, is inherently “groovy”. The color scheme is not entirely set yet, as are a few minor aspects of the general layout, but you can see the general evolution of the piece –
And, as seems to be normal now… Crystal Peak and Wheeler Peak from Sevier Lake again… One of these days I’ll get it jjjuuusssttt right, and you can see that I’m getting closer.
I also began to dabble into pure abstraction earlier this month, with the result looking somewhat like the surface of Pluto, but that’s for another post.
For folks in the United States, have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
For those folks in the Southern Hemisphere, ain’t late spring just great?
And may you, personally, stay safe and happy!
Just over a week ago, while recovering from surgery, I received an invitation to participate in Southern Utah University’s annual S.T.E.M. festival, which highlights Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This year they added “arts” to the acronym. As it turns out, I was the only artist there, and the 3500-or-so k-8 schoolkids who attended over the event’s two days seemed both tickled and mystified by my technique.
On such short notice, in my rather “loopy” state of mind, I managed to
make a display of my general technique.
Over the course of the event I managed to start four paintings and essentially finish two of them, though they require a bit of touching up in the quiet of my studio, “Dancing Cubas” and “Louisiana II”
Meanwhile, “Sevier Lake Again” and “Idaho” are still in their starting phases.
Once each piece is finished I’ll put ’em on jfwoa.com for you and everybody to see!
Happy Halloween and everything else!
I’ll be doing another live demo on Friday, September 29, in front of the Stone Path Massage and Energy Center here in downtown Cedar City.
It’s the last “Final Friday” of this year’s Cedar City Art Walk, so don’t miss it! As I’ve written before, summer here in Cedar City, Utah, is about six months long, so a nice evening in the upper seventies is in order, but in late September the wind picks up, especially around sunset, so I might have to move from the sidewalk to the porch, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Many of my paintings are still on display inside Stone Path, so feel free to come on in and browse and have some wonderful free refreshments too!
A Picture-Perfect Province
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is home to both its smallest province, Prince Edward Island, a.k.a. “P.E.I.” (in its entirety), and its biggest, Quebec (or at least some of its shoreline and a few islands). While not a terribly picturesque shape by itself, P.E.I. when paired with with the nearby Quebecois “Ile Madeleine”, makes a very dramatic and organic form of implied-line beyond its shores, and a little geometric repetition makes an intriguing shape.
An unrushed, organic growth of color was only proper for the organic shape, and over the course of a few days the composition took on a life of its own, happily disconnected from any sort of ridged deliberateness.
This (poorly-lit, sorry) photo of the finished piece was taken wile the paint was still drying. 24″x24″ on 1.5″-deep “gallery wrap” canvas.
(It’s destined for a black “floater frame”)
A Local Lake
Miraculously spared by the huge “Brian Head Fire” of June, Panguich Lake and its unusual shoreline inlet area, deserves a little graphic adoration.
In contrast to all my previous work, I decided to use a linen canvas and to use the shapes of Art Deco as my theme, while arranging them using my 21st-century style.
First, a double-mirroring if the lake shore itself was made.
Then some vine-like structure was added.
Finally, some leaf-ish shapes and swoopy border decoration was added.
A friend tells me that it looks like Nineteenth-century wallpaper. Well, that’s not exactly what I was trying to achieve, but it’s really not very far from it! The “down-to-earth” effect,plus a combination of both axial and rotational symmetries is clear, and THAT is what I was trying to convey. 18″x24″ on linen canvas.
A Little Fond Farewell
A casual friend of mine had to move suddenly. Her husband accepted a position in a city on the other side of the country. The thing is, she’s from the other side of the world, Japan to be precise. Actually, her hometown is a village on the northern end of the island of Honshu, and she is quite familiar with the island of Hokkaido. While I’ll list the painting as “sold”, I gifted her “Hokkaido Camilia”, which she had seen on jfwoa.com and actually told some of her friends about. She thanked me in Japanese. I’m going to miss you, Kaz!
DON’T MISS MY LAST LIVE PAINTING DEMONSTRATION OF THE YEAR — The weather here is still great so come on and enjoy the unique wealth of beauty that is southwest Utah! I’d love to chat and give some insider travel tips!
COME SEE ME PAINT LIVE! I’ll be doing a demo on Friday, 28 July, in front of the Stone Path Massage and Energy Center, downtown Cedar City, Utah.
What can I say ‘cept “it’s been a bad month”?
A physical injury, followed by a death in the family, followed by a car crash (I’m OK but the car is now scrap metal) put a partial damper on my artistic endeavors this past month, although by no means stopped them.
Anacapa Island – Surf’s Up !
Before tragedy struck, I’d bought some new paints and canvasses. With my upcoming demonstrations in mind, I decided to stop in mid-progress and will finish this/these “on the sidewalk” as it were: I’ll have only three hours to paint for the public, so finishing something already in progress would seem to be proper approach. These are the two halves of one piece, “Anacapa Island”, the least-visited of California‘s “Channel Islands”. (I featured sketches in my previous newsletter.) I think that wave crests and ocean currents will complete the work. Feel free to watch me work on Friday,28 July , from 5PM to 8PM in front of the Stone Path Massage and Energy Center on Center Street here in Cedar City.
The “Brian Head Fire”
While the village of Brian Head itself was , thankfully, spared, the biggest biggest wildfire in America raged for about three weeks straight, only twenty miles from here. As of mid-July some remnants are still burning. The scale of the smoke plume was hard to capture in a picture, but this photo, which I took on 23 June, does a fair job. (I think that it looks like a small atomic bomb was dropped there!) While the subject of the photo is tragic in nature, the image is pretty stunning.
Baja – Rainbow Peninsula
During my sidewalk demo in June I started this two-panel piece. During the allotted time I was able to make an eye-catching composition, but TOO eye-catching! Over the past couple of weeks I managed to both calm it down and evolve it into a true composition. The only analysis I’ll give is that while the poster-like colors give it a very “pop” initial feel, there are enough subtleties integrated into it that it’s worthy of display. (And, of course, it’s not a reference tool, so the two panels can be arranged for any aesthetic.)
Crystal & Wheeler Peaks
Also before things went sour for me, I trekked up to the shore of Sevier Lake again. I’m still chasing that “photo-op” of Crystal Peak at sunrise, glowing bright pink, with Wheeler Peak directly behind it. This time around I got the perspective just right, but while not genuinely overcast, the colors were not nearly as bright as they could have been. I guess I’ll just try again.
Again, my paintings are on display at the Stone Path Massage and Energy Center, and will be through the end of September, so if you’re in town (possibly for the Shakespear Festival or on your way to Bryce Canyon or Zion National Parks), stop in and take a look. I’ll be giving a demo outside on the final Friday of June, July, August, and September there, too, painting and signing prints, as part of the 2017 Cedar City Art Walk.
Stop on by – I’d LOVE to see you!
Come see my art – It’s on display!
I’m very proud to be a participant in this year’s Cedar City Art Walk.
The 2017 Art Walk has been extended through September, so much of my art will be on display for four months straight (June through September, plus a couple weeks prior) at Stone Path Massage & Energy Center here in Cedar City. I’ll be giving a demonstration of my painting method there on the final Friday of each month (June 30, July 28, August 25, and September 25).
The 2017 Cedar City Art Walk coincides with the annual Utah Shakespeare Festival, and Stone Path is located on Center Street (University Blvd.) directly across the street from Randall Theater, a superb, slightly bigger, reconstruction of The Globe Theater. In other words, each is “conveniently located” near the other. Incedentally, Stone Path is midway between S.U.M.A. (Southern Utah Art Museum, at Southern Utah University, and the Artisan’s Gallery, both hubs of activity on Final Fridays – A prominent location!
So come to the most scenic area in the U.S.A. – The arts are all around you in town, enjoy world-class and world-renowned performances of classic Shakespeare plays, visit any of the five National Parks just a day-trip from here, and stop in to Stone Path Massage & Energy Center to see my paintings on display!
Two very different islands with the same name…
“Necker” is the name shared by two islands half a world away, one in Hawaii’s “leeward islands”, the other in the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea.
I’d been sketching ideas for a painting of the Hawaiian island, then stumbled across its namesake, and slowly arrived at a good way to show both. I’d begun painting when I found out that the Caribbean “Necker” is actually Sir Richard Branson’s own private island!
The two islands are shown here at the same scale, repeated nine times. The use of plenty of “interference paint” and heavy brush-strokes on the islands results in very different coloration as lighting and viewing angles shift.
From a distance, the composition hints at a seaside flower, while closer viewing has it resemble some sort of ocean-dwelling invertibrate. Only upon close scrutiny do the contrasts between sandy and rocky landforms and ever-changing sea currents present themselves.
Yet another California island is in the works…
California’s “Channel Islands” are still on my mind, and I decided to challenge myself by making a composition from the shape of Anacapa Island, part of the National Park. It is one of the more oddly-shaped islands I’ve ever tried to portray, and after toying with the idea of making a “nautilus” design I decided to just make some photocopies of the island’s outline and play around with them. So far, so good, I guess…
The other-worldliness of The Great Basin
Last weekend I went up to Sevier Lake (pronounced “severe”) to snap some photos of Crystal Peak with Wheeler Peak right behind it. Crystal Peak is a knob of quartz sandstone about thirty miles west of Severe Lake. For just a minute or two after sunrise it glows bright pink, really bizarre. Wheeler peak is more than eighty miles away and is a 13000′, perennially snowcapped monster (home of Nevada’s only glacier, too). My first morning caught the colors, but my perspective was a little off, with all but the very craggy tip of Wheeler Peak obscured by a hill in The Confusion Range. The next morning I hiked to the proper viewpoint, but the morning was overcast and colorless! Oh well, there’s always next time: I live here so I can go there again.