Saturday, August 18, 2007
Peter Williams' residency at the Santa Fe Art institute this summer provided an opportunity to see some juicy new paintings of abstracted figures. Drawing upon the victims of our current war for inspiration, Peter has found a poignant and logical progression into his new body of work. This is great contemporary portraiture. These heads which might at first look to be from another dimension are actually very, very real.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Bright colors vibrate against each other, shocking the eye at first. Then the composition reveals that the paintings are almost symmetrical, like a body the legs and arms balance on each side with unique surprises in the middle. Using the number fourteen to build ideas, it is impossible to make a completely symmetrical painting. An asymmetrical area in the center of the composition suggests the beginning of a new idea. The compositions are fourteen, four and five eighth inch bars across that change color at different vertical heights. By limiting the process to seven colors, fourteen bars across, and pursuing all possibilities, plentiful creative ideas come to fruition. New composition possibilities continue to present themselves with time and experience in this format.
Based in the flattest of flat modernist philosophy, the canvas is stretched directly to the wall from the floor to the ceiling, installed as two dimensional as possible. When canvases are hung together as an instillation, each painting is separated by white areas of canvas to be seen as an individual among the other compositions with the same basic structure. Additionally, Each bar of color stops an eighth of an inch before the next color for separation. Separation of colors helps the eye to comprehend the color, space provides accessibility. Much like in music the space or rests between the notes are crucial to the understanding on the notes themselves.
In an installation setting the paintings have a dialog with each other creating a contemplative environment. Some ideas relate and some are completely different from the next. Distance from the work is crucial to the viewing of installations.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
This new painting is oil on canvas, standing seven and a half feet tall by six feet wide. While painting, I often take the option to do things that I have never done before. This is my first effort at a quartering the canvas horizontally.
It's exhausting to stand and view, I prefer to lay down on the floor and take a long, slow look. There is a lot more happening with this quarterly divided canvas. The repetitive and the random clash more dramatically.
The paintings are installed flat against the wall to appear as two dimensional as possible. Stretched canvases encroach too much on space, also I don't want any confusion that these might be three dimensional.
These photos are taken with my new camera. I think it's working out nicely.
Friday, March 30, 2007
Thursday, March 29, 2007
During the last weekend in April we are having a studio tour in Los Alamos. Maria and I designed the website but I have to say Maria did most of the work. Maria wrote an excellent opening statement for the index of the site.
If you want to come to New Mexico this would be a good time. We are planning to clear out the rooms of our place to install paintings throughout. If you can't make it, I will document the installation with a good camera.
Friday, February 23, 2007
89 1/2" x 65" each
oil on canvas
I've made forty paintings so far this month, thirty-six small paintings and four large. The creative process takes place in the small work then is edited into the large format. Each painting informs the next as the compositions evolve with new ways to access space within the fourteen stripe, vertical composition. Horizontal boxes and bands are filtering through the recent compositions. Repetitive vs. random patterns are distinguishing the new work from last year's paintings. Specific areas of warm and cool colors get closer in temperature giving a painting an overall warm or cool atmosphere.
The large scale paintings are intended to absorb the viewer into the color and composition. The series will be presented as an installation. The room will change with the temperature of the painting. There are fourteen finished paintings in the large series and more to come. I am showing the first installation of this work at my studio in Los Alamos the last weekend of April. I will eventually need a larger space to show the full installation.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Stone City Stragglers is a group of young musicians who still have their health but choose to play country music. Sad, slow, sometimes not so sad but mature. The new album is catchy rock with a bit of old-timey flavor and it involves a high level of musicianship. Bret Figura is the best drummer I have heard in a long time. The guitarist Phil Lazarri a sensitive, tasteful player mixes many string textures with singer/ guitarist Brent James laid back style. The new album, "It's Never Too late To Mend" includes fourteen strong songs but my favorite is an instrumental song called "the Uprising" a spaghetti-western style song with an intense string arrangement at the end contributed by Jeff Bella. This six piece group is from the Joliet, Illinois area. You can catch them regularly playing shows at the Chicago Street Pub in Joliet and in other venues in Chicago.