Monday, December 14, 2015

"Going Bananas"

Lately I've been toying with the idea, actually more than toying, I've started to act on it, of starting a new, more focused body of work. Not that my work lacks focus, I think I clearly have some reoccurring themes, but I'm thinking of narrowing that focus a bit to see where it takes me. I'm starting to realize that I prefer the simpler compositions in my smaller works to the more complex ones in my larger pieces. I think it may be that the simpler arrangements seem more iconic, more monumental, and the arrow, so to speak, goes directly to the bullseye. With that in mind I started an 8"x10" painting of a banana placed on a miniature canoe that sits on top of a cigar box. Once the drawing was done I took it over to the copy center to have it enlarged to a 16"x20". A task that I thought would be easy but that actually drove the clerk a little crazy. It was worth it! It was great to see the sketch enlarged. Originally I was going to complete the small painting first as a kind of study but I decided to work on them simultaneously because for one thing, the colors were already mixed, and the fruit wasn't going to last too much longer. The other factor that motivated me to give this a try was the fact that I paint in an alla prima method. That means I work wet into wet. I don't glaze or scumble. The brushwork is actually quite fluid, but you have to get pretty close to see it. By enlarging the scale of my smaller pictures, I realized that I would also be enlarging my brushwork and that's something that I've been wanting to do for a while. I already have a truckload of thumbnail sketches worked out, so we'll see what happens, if this is a passing fancy, or a new direction. Stay tuned.

These I-phone photos show the transfer drawing, and then the color wash stage. The next step would be the final wet-in-wet, finishing pass, which I've already completed for the fruit (photos to come).