a good read. Pleased to have written this article on my precess and thinking and graciously asked by Skip Lawrence.
A follow-up to your question to me on Saturday at Carlsons’ Gallery — who is your favorite artist (did you say, Diebenkorn?) and why?
‘As we discussed, it is so hard to pick a favorite. Diebenkorn always remains in my training in the top 5. His studies are evocative and one can feel the powerful and intentional stroke and movement of the artist across the canvas.
His creative, keen eye with composition and design are always evident; especially with positive and negative space; each equally important. I have copied this artist and fall inside his process each time I understand more and more and see these lessons are expressed in my work.’
…also curious about your procedure. Do you begin with a photo or a view outdoors or another image, or do you complete a painting and then find a name for it (as in expressionist abstraction)?
‘A view outdoors (‘driving through paintings’), field sketching and then photograph to start. The sketchbook is the essential tool of the artist; where the powerful notions and feeling about the space become so evident. As a matter of fact, that is what one does when they are ‘plein air’: gathering evidence.’ The photograph is an initial guide of remembering. Choosing the appropriate drawing/painting tool in studio is key. Then, I consider the design elements and which may take priority: shape, value, color, texture, line, edges, space etc. ‘Names’ come early in the process; usually in the beginning. I usually have music in the studio too. (a bit loud). Every painting is an abstract; even one that may be more depictive. It is a pendulum; all depends on the thoughts, feelings and intention swirling around me in studio.’
Anyway, I greatly enjoyed looking at your work — I spent a quiet hour at the gallery on Sunday. I’ll let you know when the review appears and send you a link.
‘Thanks Stephen. I really appreciate your time and energy.
Working with a subject that I found in two different locations; one on Highway 20 near Gold bar, the other in the amazing (up and coming) small town of Tieton, Wa. A discovery of these disparate parts; creating a process that kept carrying me through an enjoyable process. Where I began, where I ended had to do with working the key design elements, the tools of the artist.
Shape: pattern, form, mass, object, subject matter
Value: light and dark, tone and tint
Space: the illusion of three dimensional depth and two dimensional flatness
Edges: blurred and sharp, lost and found
Color: hue, intensity, temperature
Texture: surface variation
Line: mark making, drawing
And as I worked, design principles became the organizing aesthetic ideas that guided my use of elements in a work of art:
Dominance: emphasis, focal point
Movement: rhythm, direction, gesture, transition, intervals
Variety: contrast, conflict, tension, size
Unity: harmony, balance
By no means is this process scripted. However, my ‘final’ outcomes did get me where I wanted to land.
Skagit Valley, Washington: views with a charcoal and paper; plein air.
value + shape + texture + line + edges + space = powerful expressive works.