Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yoga pose VII on the block... Happy New Year everybody!

This will be my next one after the New Year...

It would be nice to have a mixed bag of free flowing paint and conventional color applications as I attempted to do with previous paintings. Colors should be separated (not mixed to death) and highly saturated... some areas precisely rendered, others rendered in "loose style"... in a other words, I want a contemporary look!

Note to self: "In a way, over the last year or so, I have attempted to emulate "painting in oil" using acrylics. After having explored to a certain extent possibilities in that area, I now feel compelled to go the route of mixed techniques exploiting fully the properties of acrylics at all levels. Although I don't see myself as being art gallery material for now... for the first time in 2 years with acrylics, I'm starting to see this as a remote possibility... but a possibility nonetheless."

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009... mission accomplished!

We've made some happy people once again at this time of the year. There is no real Christmas spirit without the little ones (in occurrence our 2 grand children). How little are they anyway? Well, they are so little...

... that they both fit in the cat's bed!

As for me, between Christmas and New Year, I think I will varnish the paintings from my Yoga series. Mixed techniques make for weird reflective surfaces, so varnishing has now become a necessity for aesthetic reasons more than for protection. As usual, I'm going for a satin finish...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yoga pose VI - final step... going full circle!

Instead of just using values, this time around, I decided to switch primaries to bring the figure a little more in the forefront...

Two years ago I used very little white and transparency to realize my first paintings with the acrylic medium (this was my watercolor crutch so to speak). I seem to be shifting back after having experienced opacity and accentuated textures. I think I'm in a good position to develop a hybrid technique... and have the best of both worlds! Year 2010 will be a crucial year...

Meanwhile in the basement, the Christmas arsenal is ready...

... for the whole family and especially our grand children!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my followers and supporters (direct and indirect) in this crazy pursuit of mine for the elusive master piece in visual arts! I may never attain my objective but, like many things in life, the reward is in the journey, not in the destination!

Note to self: "Going full circle: this is reminiscent of the evolution of a martial artist: a punch is just a punch, a punch is no longer just a punch, a punch is just a punch!"

Sub-note to self: "Interestingly, my last painting of 2008 featured highly saturated azo gold used both transparently and in full strength. I used ivory black ( I now use phtalo turquoise) and titanium white to obtain dark tones and highlights, respectively. The painting obtained a honorable mention. There is a lot of similarities in technique between the aforementioned painting and the one posted above... I think this is telling me something in terms of my future direction and what I need to do technically speaking to develop a distinctive pictorial vocabulary and language... all of this being in the spirit of expressionism. Being able to accommodate large formats remains important!"

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yoga pose VI - step IV... going for hyper-saturation... but not by design!

For some reason with this one, I seem to have discarded titanium white for the most part (favouring modeling paste as whitener instead) except for the creation of highlights...

If I can put a few more nuances in the midtones without losing this high color saturation effect, I will have made a step towards modernity! Trying new techniques can be scary: at the early stage, everything seems so suboptimal!

Note to self: "I suddenly see an advantage in having different sets of transparent primaries going from weak to strong, using them all in the same painting in an attempt to reduce dependency on white and get closer to my watercolors!"

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yoga pose VI step III ... Is this too much gravitas? Câline de blues!

Still preoccupied with textures, I went at it with a vengeance using a performance enhancer (no booze, just blues!), trying to break away from my usual conservatism, especially with the background...

The challenge is now to unify this composition... without unifying it! Sort of like a multicolored monochromatic painting... I need a drink!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yoga pose VI step II... pretending I'm an abstract painter!

Still bogged down with some construction work in the basement, I did nonetheless take the time for a quick second pass... with no restraints on my part.

Somewhat bewildered, I felt the need to put an acetate over the facial area to verify if I could recover the resemblance of a human face using a few brush strokes. The experiment was conclusive... I'll be able to sleep tonight!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yoga pose VI step I... wanting to add gravitas to my art... and falling once again for Newton's gravitational pull!

This week has been more the way of the construction worker (remodeling the cold room by recycling old panels and shelves- I'm an ecologist by formation!) as opposed to the way of the artist. The extra space recovered will be used for epoxy varnishing.

For my next Yoga posture, which I want to complete before Christmas, I'm still hung up on hanging hair!

As I'm driving nails in 2 X 4's... I'm thinking about my next move with this one. I want to paint her fast... and spell out the honest unadulterated truth with no lies! In other words, I want to leave marks without second guessing myself (with no regrets)... and live with the consequences!

Note to self: "Should I allow myself some white lies?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yoga series... taking a breather before the next 5!

After 5 weeks of work, I've got 5 paintings under my belt with this series...

... and will be gearing up for the next 5 starting next week. The next time around, I'd like to address compositions that don't fit the square format such as this one:

If I take stock, I've learned a fair amount in the area of textures and how to build them up fairly rapidly while integrating them in the painting process (textures not separate from color application). I've also become a little less gun shy when it comes to abstracted backgrounds although 3 backgrounds from this series were the result of last resort desperate moves on my part to make things happen (I had to get angry)! The first 5 of this series were also an attempt to integrate the "half finished" with the "finished", and I've partially succeeded with 3 paintings. In the next 5, I'd like "half finished" portions of each painting to prevail... as if I'm not already challenged enough as is!

Note to self: "Imposing my own vision on reality is more and more becoming a dire need that I want to fulfill as an artist in the making... but images in my head are far from being clear!"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yoga pose V - final... I ended up finishing it like an illustrator... I think I need a break!

Looks like the image maker as opposed to the painter reappeared once again during the completion phase for this one. I got caught up in the details. Obtaining near likeness, which was not my original intent, suddenly became a goal because of the frontal view... and comments from the muse!

With this one, I've also added another one to the group of beaten up backgrounds (my indecision led to this with my last four paintings of the series!)...

Four to five layers led to this kind of granular effect, a happy accident that I can most certainly replicate in some of my future works.

With the next five Yoga paintings, I'd like to go much more fluid in my treatment of this subject matter and tip the scale towards color washes as opposed to impasto passages, the exact opposite of what I've done so far with this series.

Note to self: This one gave me troubles ... and I had to rework the figure a number of times to reach a certain level of satisfaction... this is a sign for me to take a break and distance myself from this series, at least for a week. Although I like the imagery I produced so far, my best paintings are the ones I zip through without looking back... and they are just a few!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Yoga pose V - step IV... probing deep into the world of tormented art!

This 4th step was an all out effort to make this one more compatible with the first four of the series (the powder blue background didn't catch my fancy in the final analysis) ...

I still don't have the recipe down path when it comes to palette knife painting on larger formats (I run out of paint frequently and this can be murder with acrylics!). Somehow, like a dog after a bone, I keep coming back!

I need to take a rest before applying finishing touches here and there.

Note to self: "I want to part dramatically from the reference material I use with this series (the reason why I post it!)... and I seem to be experiencing growing pain big time... in the imagination department, for now!"

Friday, December 4, 2009

Yoga pose V - step III... still working on design in my head... but non committal on canvas!

I'm still roughing it out with this third step using primarily the palette knife...

As I post this picture, I see another possibility for a beach scene... but I'm afraid this will be too ordinary... I think this is calling for drastic measures... the next step will be decisive!

Note to self: Anything tangible on the right side of the head doesn't seem to work... I need to de-emphasize the sign... this may get worst before it gets better!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Yoga pose V - step II... working gradually, hoping that somehow, it will speak to me!

Since I have no specific design in mind for this one, I'm proceeding slowly hoping that ideas will come to mind as I look at the half finished painting...

... I think I see the blurred foliage of a small bamboo tree on the right side of the head which could create the beginning of a downward slope towards the "OM" sign behind the figure... sheer mental elucubrations on my part!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Yoga pose V - step I... testing the ground for another color scheme... scary stuff!

I finally opted for "close eyes", a better choice in conjunction with the meditative "OM" sound character...

I interlocked the "OM" character with the body, an attempt to replicate lines from the shoulders and lower arms.

As usual, each times I start a new painting... it's like going to another planet!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Yoga pose V revisited... going for a typical complementary starting posture!

I've relook at the 4 paintings completed so far...

... and decided to go with a typical Yoga starting posture which would allow me to incorporate the "OM" sign.

In this way, this large canvas series becomes almost self sufficient as it includes a variety of positions including a starting one. In a way, the composition above may be even more engaging since the Yoga instructor is looking straight in the observer's eyes!

Note: I will try to interlock the sign with the body to make it more interesting...