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   Welcome to my blog! I'll be posting thoughts about art, photos, happenings, and other things that strike me--and hopefully my readers--as interesting. And please visit my website by clicking the link to the right--thanks!

   Also please check out my second blog, The Painting Archives to see older (pre-2004) paintings for sale.


Thursday, October 09, 2008
  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.
 
Comments:
The new paintings are lovely. I especially like Chapel, Blue (?..bad memory striking) Sky and Garden.

I happened upon your video on youtube a week or two ago and have enjoyed reading about your beautiful art retreat. I'm jealous!

Anita
 
Love the new works.
Makes me want to see them in person.
They look like there is a very inviting tactile surface.
Good Job!
Joe Wakeman
 
Thanks so much, Anita and Joe...and the surface is indeed pretty tactile, built up with layers of the various materials I was using, and the acrylic medium.
 
I read your blog with great interest as I have always wanted to visit Catalonia and Barcelona. When I did my arts degree course in England I did an indepth essay exploring the work of a Catalonian artist "Antonio Tapies". Did you come across his work. Your painting of the chapel evokes a feeling of much of his work.

Will follow your blog and look at your website as your work is something for me in aspire to.
 
Carolann,
Tapies is one of my favorites! I saw some gorgeous examples of his work while in Barcelona (though his Foundation is temporarily closed.) The textures and colors of his work echo those in that city in an intriguing way. I hope you get to visit there someday.
 
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