Here are a few more paintings I have been working on, all around 16 x 20. I am still using Golden Open acrylics, which I like a lot. The colors are pure and rich, and they really do stay “open” and workable for days.
I see this group of paintings as a direct continuation of the woodcut Saga series. This acrylic painting of a mountain from early 2014… led to the creation of the woodcut Saga series…
And now I am here…
And so things are coming full circle. In this series I am working the paint layers, and cutting through in a very physical way. Another link back to the woodcuts I was making just before this trip to Iceland.
My approach to painting has changed so much in the past year. It all began at Gullkistan, where I arrived with the intention of shaking off old habits, old approaches to painting that no longer felt right. Now my printmaking is influencing my painting, and my painting and my approach to color is influencing my prints. It’s an old story, I know, the artist’s path of discovery. But for me it’s as fresh and exciting as this new day!
With last Monday a holiday, and a big snowstorm, and then some more snow, it has been a wonderful long stretch in the studio. I am trying to focus in on a few themes: the mountain, my memory of the stillness and the whiteness, the cold, transparent atmosphere. The grazing horses and the simple fence that traces the contour of the fields, the distance to the mountain.
Now there is a cold, transparent atmosphere here in Philadelphia. It seems to be keeping me in the mood to follow this train of thought.
At a standstill on some paintings recently, I began to draw. Maybe the simplicity of black and white will help me focus on the image I can see so clearly in my mind’s eye. Mountain forms and memory. It’s not an easy thing to pull an image out from inside oneself, so different from landscape painting, looking out and reflecting back. I want to step outside to re-set my eyes (and my vision) by looking at the mountains all around me, but that’s not where I am right now, so… I thought I would start doing some woodcuts and see if they get me any closer.
Here it is, 16 x 20, in its current state:
What makes printmaking so wonderful is that by taking proof prints as your cutting progresses, you create a record of its evolution. Here is an earlier state:
And a shot of the woodblock after its first inking. The scratched lines show up very well.