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Archives for November, 2008

Up for Approval

Across from my normal sitting place in our dining room (which is really our living/kitchen/common room) are some paintings –Frippery, 36 x 40″ oil on canvas,  Condon Library (far left), and Heppner Courthouse, both 12 x 16 inches, oil on board.

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Photo Morandi I

Birgit’s post and subsequent discussion on Giorgio Morandi has inspired me to try my hand at the same subject using photography. Not with the goal of trying to create an imitation Morandi, but more as an exploration for myself of some of the same ideas I see and enjoy in his paintings. I don’t claim these are necessarily Morandi’s ideas, but I think the process will certainly help me understand his work better. Essentially, I am taking up again the concept of studio as laboratory.

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Times Plus

Winter has come early and I’ve tried to stay busy in an effort to ward off hibernation.

I may have already mentioned some of my hobby horse notions, such as trying to do something aesthetic with the unique circumstance of two times and plus two both equaling four. I’m not entirely sure what this may have to do with art, but I have modeled it often enough in an effort to make it fit in somehow.

The new version was inspired by some plexiglass that I came across in florescent orange/red. If I look around long enough I’m bound to find a French curve or triangle in this material in a drawer somewhere. I’ve always associated that look with things technical and graphic and the scrap led me back to the plus/times hobby horse.

The key to this project has been the notion of a plus sign that can rotate freely or that will be placed twixt addition and multiplication. I’ve tried placing the plus sign on a little motor or in a generated breeze so that it might spin. I tried adopting a shower knob/handle set into an ersatz tiled wall that included the twos. Such nonsense. Somewhere along the line the equals four part of the equation was dropped.

So now it’s an exercise in plastic with a puff ball (operator?) in high density poliethelene set askance. I might end up with nothing more than a set of twos on the wall. Any comments?

Giorgio Morandi – early work

The Met has a special exhibition dedicated to Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964), an Italian painter who specialized in still life. Upon learning of my trip to NYC,  my artist friend Nancy Plum recommended that I take a look. She added that Morandi, not terribly well-known in the US, is a ‘painter’s painter’.

Upon entering the exhibition, my attention was captivated by two Natura Morta, both painted in  1918. This picture, copied from the web, has a reasonably faithful likeness:

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Corners of the City — Some text about some painting

The Jolly Roger Bar, 12th and Madison. Oil on board, 12 x 16″

As you know, I’ve been painting around Portland, here and there, returning often to sites to note what else is there, what I may have missed, what more is available for turning into paint.

These paintings have a certain “feel” to them — a style that fits with the record of my visits. I work on-site and then tweak and fiddle in the studio. I also find myself making larger, stranger, studio-begot contributions to the sets of pieces.

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I have mentioned the Intermuseum Conservation Association in the past. They have a website entitled the Art Materials Information and Education Network (AMIEN.org) that contains a number of forums touching on the material side of things. I plan to drop in from time to time as I have questions of my own. Note: they are having what appear to be spam issues and are taking no new registrations for now. But That will surely change for the better.

learning to paint water

First, I tried painting this body of water:

However, the waves looked like worms. I painted over my worms more… »