Showing posts from October, 2018

Aqueduct Painting

Yesterday we installed this painting at the Utilities Department building in Bloomington. It is part of an exhibition of five 'water-themed' paintings that I will have on view there through next August. If you are in Bloomington and have the chance, please stop by and see them!

Aqueduct Painting is 54"x64", oil on canvas. I finished it this past Saturday, adjusting the female figure's right hand, and turning a fan on it so it would be at least somewhat dry. Most of the painting was made with palette knives and somewhat thick paint. I found it enjoyable and exciting to work this way, especially in the area of the water. For me, the paint surface has a richness and power that I like very much.

The image was built up over the course of about 7 months. I spent a lot of time looking at the painting, to decide what to do next. The figures and the aqueduct were there from the beginning, but I developed the landscape elements later on. At first the figures had no ration…

Self Portrait

This is a self portrait that I drew about a week ago. It was the first one I had done in almost two years. The drawing is in pen, in my 8 1/2"x 11" sketchbook. I wanted to think about where I am now, and to engage and energize that thought process through making a drawing.

Now I am painting in a small studio space. Thinking about what I might do next, as I work on a large painting that is due in two weeks.

The drawing reminds me of a self portrait that I drew years ago, in my freshman year of college, thirty four years ago. Both images have a dark background, with a close-up view of the head. A few angular, impatient marks that are trying to find the shape of my glasses, on the right side of the drawing, remind me of marks I made in that past drawing, trying to draw the similarly shaped but larger wire framed glasses that I wore then.

That drawing I made in college was in pencil, in my 18"x 24" sketch pad. At 18 years old I was full of thoughts, feelings, and a se…

Sketches for Water-Themed Paintings

When I heard about the opportunity to show water-themed artwork for the city, there wasn’t too much time before the submission deadline to prepare. I would need to speed up my process to do this project. I had been painting mostly medium size portraits, and working on them on and off over the course of years. For this show three 40” square paintings, with relatively complicated subject matter, would need to go from start to finish in about two months.
My first concern was that the studio in which I was working at the time was especially humid, even for Bloomington, and it was taking a long time for my oil paintings to dry. Right before I started on this series I had been working on a painting that, two weeks after my last application of paint, was still completely wet to the touch and hazardous to move. Turning a fan on it full time eventually helped, but that kind of time frame wasn’t going to work for these paintings, so I decided to paint them in acrylic.
I bought the supplies and…

Water Themed Artwork Exhibition

These are the three paintings I made this past summer for a special show opportunity here in Bloomington. Artists were invited to submit proposals to show water-themed artwork at the Utilities building on Miller Drive, to celebrate Bloomington’s bicentennial.
My paintings emphasize the human element in Bloomington’s water supply and maintenance system. Employees at a water treatment facility in town are portrayed, in a monumental, classical format, engaged in everyday workplace tasks.
In each painting it appears as if the figure is standing in an interior space with a large window. The insides of the water processing facilities that I toured do not actually look like this. Walls, structures, and details of the interior spaces are replaced by landscape views set against a large, open sky.
In the first painting, an employee is examining a water sample delivered to the facility by a resident, along with paperwork identifying the sample. Bloomington residents can have their water teste…