It's difficult to decide when you really start being an artist, but I started studying art in high school, majored in it in college, then continued with my MFA. I've been out of school and creating since 2010, so that's a solid eight years of professional artist time for sure. During that time I've noticed a handful of recurring patterns and forms. One of them is roughly funnel shaped, like a "V". I thin about the shape differently as I'm creating it. Sometimes is the valley between mountains, a cross section of a canyon, a would, or, more abstractly, as a void between two solid masses. The form doesn't usually make it into my final pieces. It usually stays in sketches and under paintings. This piece, Engulf, is probably the best example of this form in a finished piece. Even this example is not exact - the funnel usually closes at the bottom.
Today I was going through some photos for inspiration. I found a lot of recent digital photos to use in my Artifacts series, but I wanted something for my Parks Project. I went through some of the prints I have from my old film camera and found this one from Arches National Monument. (Sorry for the quality, this is literally a crappy scan of the print from my 3-in-1 printer.) There's that form again. I took this picture at least 16 years ago. It's interesting how things get stuck in the subconscious. I plan to paint this at some point. Who knows, maybe this shape will make it into a finished piece.
I've put several more layers on the next piece in my Artifacts series, tentatively titled Remnant No. 2. Right now I'm in the process of sanding it down so that the pattern is visible again. Unfortunately I put way too much paint on it. I'm four hours into sanding it and maybe, MAYBE, halfway done. But I took lots of pretty pictures as I went.
I've been busy in the studio over the last couple weeks. I started off doing some house keeping. Montaña de Oro State Park No. 1 is officially complete. I put several coats of varnish on it. The only thing left to do is to get a good picture of it.
I also stretched a new medium sized canvas and did these three smaller ones using one of my drop cloths. My plan is to do some small botanical studies on them, similar to Sequoia National Forest No. 1. I want the surface to be really smooth for the studies, though, which requires lots of layers of acrylic medium.
As I was going through my drop cloths and waiting for paint to dry, I found a bunch of small canvases that I made a couple years ago and decided to do something with them. I did some small pours over them using the same container of paint. After I did one more, I added some new color to it for the next pour, one right after another. It was a fun exercise, and I was surprised by how bright my colors stayed.
Once they were dry I put another layer on a few of them. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, but they sure were fun to make.
Painting and Drawing