Tuesday, June 18, 2013

White House Ruins VIII

1.107 White House Ruins VIII. I've been trying for years to simplify this scene without losing the sense of scale between the houses and the cliff face. I've used extreme detail that distracted from the sense that the houses a fitted to the cliff face and I've painted a blocky trichrome abstraction that flattened the scene and made for a confused perspective. Here I think I've come the closest of all of my eight attempts to capturing what it is that draws me to this subject. The deep gouge in the cliff that swallows up the houses in shadow and then extends upward narrowing to a crack between two sandstone faces that seem to be pressed together to shelter the anasazi that lived in these now ruined houses. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Arch Rock

1.106 Arch Rock. Each year after I've finished with the planning and preparations and packaging and the actual festival of Artsplosure I find it difficult to settle back into painting regularly. One reason may be that I'm always rethinking my style after Artsplosure. Most times my favorite paintings seem to be ignored by my visitors and others that I hadn't thought so highly of really connect with a lot of people. So I struggle with painting something I like versus something that is popular. The result it usually months without painting until I finally come up with a different style. 
This year my style finally connected the way that I hoped it would. My favorite paintings were noticed and not just by people who appreciated the desert landscape but by people who appreciated them as art too. This was encouraging and I was determined to start painting again right away so that I could continue to develop this style.
I started this painting a few weeks ago but have been stuck for a long time over what to do with the shadows. I felt like the white space at the bottom of the painting was too vast. So I tried over and over in my head to add some kind of accent to that space. In the end I realized that just as I like to have large featureless dark areas in my paintings so should I allow large white areas. I'll have to revisit this over the coming weeks to see if I still feel the same way...