new paintings from CAN residency
I have posted a web album with my new small paintings in mixed media on paper that were done during my residency at the Centre D'Art i Natura
in Catalonia last month. To see my new work, please click here
These paintings were made on various types of mixed media and watercolor paper, with a combination of watercolor, gouache, acrylics, powdered pastel, colored pencil, powdered graphite, acrylic medium and clear gesso. I used many of the same tools to apply these materials that I use at home with my oils--palette knife, brayer, rags, brushes and squeegees. I thoroughly enjoyed using this new media, but find that now I am home again, I have immediately returned to oils, at least for now.
The painting above, Chapel
, (9" square) comes out of the experience of spending time inside a small and simple ancient stone church near the village where I was staying, where sections of bright blue have been painted over the roughly plastered walls. Though quite abstract, most of the work that I did at CAN is a fairly direct response to aspects of my experience there. In this way it is a bit different from most of my work, which rises as much from the painting process as from definable memories or imagery. There was still plenty of process-oriented painting going on for me at CAN, but it was more obvious to me the exact impressions or memories that were shaping the final result. I noticed in titling the paintings, I could almost always make a clear connection between the work and something that I had experienced.
For me, this is the refreshing aspect of travel as an artist...taking in what is new, intriguing, visually startling and using this material initially at its face value. Blue walls, a red door, rough slate cliffs, weathered surfaces, the ruins of an old barn, the lines of meandering old paths, graffiti in Barcelona..all of these images and more are important in my paintings from CAN, however abstractly I depict them. (I suspect this is more a matter of how I think of the paintings than how they actually appear, given the abstraction involved.) Over time, if I can go by past experience, these images will become integrated into the main body of my work. I can still see influences in my current oil paintings that came out of my first visit to CAN in 2001, for example. If this visit was anything like the last one (and my feeling is that it was actually quite a bit deeper) my time at CAN will continue to feed my work for a long time ahead.