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!
My exhibit NORTH of HERE opened this weekend in Philadelphia. The weather cooperated pretty well, and I had a steady stream of visitors all weekend long. Thanks to everyone who showed up, and for all the good wishes coming from those who were there in spirit! Here are a few shots of the installation, minus the crowds, because I was too distracted to take any pics during the events. The exhibit will stay up until November 9. If you are in Philadelphia I hope you’ll stop by Twenty-two Gallery for a close up view of my new work..
Now it is time to shift gears. I am already mostly packed for my residency at Listhus in North Iceland. My next blog post will be from Reykjavik. The first stop on my 2 month itinerary will be a visit to The Arni Magnusson Institute for Icelandic Studies, a treasure trove of early Icelandic manuscripts. Stay tuned!
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.
Here is a pic of the small relief print, 5″x7″ that I am sending out to some of my wonderful Kickstarter supporters. I printed an edition of 40 by hand about 10 days ago, and now they are dry and ready to go. I’ll be mailing these in a day or two.
To achieve consistency in the printing of the gray clouds, that was a little printing slight of hand. I inked the plate evenly each time with the right amount of ink to achieve a rich black when rubbed down with my hand printing tool of choice, a bookbinder’s bone folder. But before printing, I printed off the clouds onto a piece of scrap white paper, and then a second time, so 2 layers of ink were removed. Then I placed the actual paper for the edition, I used Nideggen, and printed in the normal way. Only a trace of ink was left on the clouds, so those appear as a consistent gray.
Below are pics of my studio corner, with SOME work up on the walls. There are many more paintings stashed away in a folder. In the far corner is a view of the small sketches I have been using as reference images for my paintings. Many of these small sketches will be mailed out to another group of my Kickstarter patrons in a couple of weeks. I have selected a few of these to show here, just a teaser.
It bears repeating: Kickstarter is a powerful platform to help creative people reach a specific goal. It connects the artist with a world of people who are open minded, willing to make a leap of faith, and eager to support the creative process. I am over-awed at the gesture that total strangers, as well as friends and family, have made by responding to my project. In exchange I can offer these pieces of artwork, all offshoots of my creative process during this residency. As I am breaking new ground in my landscape painting, these small works have helped me to understand and interpret the forms I am fascinated by. I’m working with an enormous amount of energy and focus, thanks to this gift of time. I hope every one of my Kickstarter backers will appreciate these tokens of my sincere gratitude.