Recent Small Works

While this blog was laying fallow, I continued producing a number of small works, which were featured over at Every Day Original. Let's catch you up, shall we?

"Taraxa" 6" x 8" oil on canvas Original sold

"Taraxa" 6" x 8" oil on canvas
Original sold

"Taraxa" is the last of a series of four small paintings, each with a seasonal motif, and I can't decide if it is my favorite, or "Arctis".

While working on it, I took a few in-progress shots which I posted over at Instagram. You can check them out here by clicking this link and then working backwards.

While I still do post up other things over at EDO like last month's still life painting, increasingly I'm zeroing in on smaller black-and-white pieces, as they seem to have had the best response there.

In that sense, EDO functions a bit as an idea lab. Much earlier in the year I posted a figure study which I mentioned was for a larger painting, but as yet that painting hasn't been started. Some of the other pieces I've done I also envisioned as being potentially preparatory for larger paintings, and as I look for holes in the schedule to do more uncommissioned studio works, I will continue to simply put ideas down.

"Drown" 4" x 6" oil on canvas Sold

"Drown" 4" x 6" oil on canvas

The thing is, as I spend more time simply putting down concepts, two things will happen: I will generate more personal concepts, and I will create a larger gap between the number I put down and the number that become fully-realized paintings. In fact, I know a number of these concepts will not ever be paintings, because the amount of time I spend doing these personal works only allows a couple of slots per year currently, on a larger scale.

There is almost a sense in which by putting down these concepts, I am ensuring they don't get painted, but that's not the correct way to look at it. Since I do so few of these as full-realized works per year, they don't get painted anyway. But, before, the ideas would never even see the light of day in any form; they would just stay in my head or disappear even from there. Now, at least, I'm getting these visions out into the world in some form, and maybe I'll double back and further develop a couple along the way.

"Glossai Pyros II study" 3.5" x 5" acrylic and graphite on paper  Available at Every Day Original

"Glossai Pyros II study" 3.5" x 5" acrylic and graphite on paper
Available at Every Day Original

For this month's offering, available today, we have a different approach. This study for "Glossai Pyros II" was actually done earlier this year, while concepting what would become the larger painting. In this case, I just Googled some sleeping babies and used one to make this small study.

Convinced by the overall concept, I then went out and created the full painting. Of note of course is that the pose is totally different. There are a few reasons for this.

First, I wasn't going to straight-up use someone else's photo for a full painting, even if I'd have changed the lighting and context entirely. Second, I didn't want to fake the lighting, as it was key to selling the vision. And third, once you commit to using your own reference of an infant, you have to understand that the odds that that infant will assume or hold any particular pose are about none. I worked with the infant I used for awhile as she was quite tolerant, and I also greatly enjoyed that she was holding onto the string-light LED I used to create the lighting. There are aspects of this pose that I do prefer but as it was not a possibility, I am content to have created this alternate vision and put it out into the world, and that it spurred me on to create the larger painting at all.