Thursday, May 31, 2018

Hot & Humid

Yesterday was exhausting/ My studio air conditioning was malfunctioning and the temperature and humidity kept rising until I gave up around 3:30. I finally broke down and called a friend to get an HVAC technician to address the problem.

Nevertheless, I spent my day addressing a smaller 36 x 44 inch oil painting of a pool that I had in progress and also spent a good part of my afternoon working on a monotype.

The painting is based on sketches and previously failed paintings of a pool that I photographed at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts several years ago. One of the things I am conscious of at the moment is that for a number of years my paintings have gravitated towards a more representational/descriptive bent. At the moment I am reacting against that direction and working towards more emphasis on the abstract movements of paint and color. At the moment I have a wooded pool, based in observation, but transformed into a work of fiction. I think water, as depicted here, is inviting. The foreground trees are clearly creating a separation between the viewer and the potential experience. Pools are tricky. In this case there is no one else present. Whose pool is it? If we approach it uninvited, are we trespassing? I am liking the expressionistic brushwork that I think lends a poetic climate to the image. Somehow when I look at this, I feel as though I might be channeling a 19th-century impressionist from France.

The image in the monotype is in fact from Southern France. I was there a few years ago creating oil studies on paper. The scene is derived from an image I took near Auvillar. It can best be described as a nice, but quaint village.  Strangely, the nuclear power plant water cooling tower looms high over the twn and since I have never lived around one myself, its dominant presence attracted me. I am interested here in how we must coexist with the industrial in our landscapes. France is nowhere near as dark as this print. I am not sure this will be the one that I ultimately publish, but I'm going to keep working the image to see where it leads me.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018


Okay, I started this blog several years ago out of a sense of enthusiasm for my discipline of art/painting, and really I haven't done anything with it. So today I'm going to start it up again.

I am an art professor at Emory & Henry College with some pretty hefty administrative responsibilities. We graduated out in May 5th, so I've been pulling things together since then. I have had two short vacations and more to come; however, it is summer and I am not teaching classes, so it is time to get my art making back in gear. I'm going to start where I left off, with some landscape work. I have a sabbatical coming in the spring of 2019, so this is my chance to get things going. Today, I am going to start again on some monotypes and see where that leads me. I'll post the successes as soon as they happen. If they really happen, I'll link this to my website at