Thursday, August 18, 2011

Middle stages of 2 paintings

A removed stage of beach painting.  Oil on canvas 24" x 36"

Middle stages of beach painting.  Oil of canvas, 24" x 36"
In some ways the time since my last posting has been art making nothing land.  In others it has been very busy.  Almost all my spare time has been taken up with organizing my archive of works so that we can finish the new web site I have found scanned and enhanced dozens of bad photographs of early work.  I now have hundreds documented, but have no record of large part of my earlier work, especially paintings I did prior to 1995. 
I did make also make some progress on the beach painting I have been working on.  The pictures show some of the progress and changes that I have made.   The changes are huge, because the first incarnation wasn’t working.  I am much happier with my current direction.  I was starting to get away from my core, and into something resembling graphic arts.
 I am now at the stage of blocking in the colors.  In some ways it is the most difficult stage, because the whole thing looks messy and nasty, but it is also the stage in which the basic drawing is perfected, and the tonality of the whole painting is established.  On a large painting like this it is also very boring.  Before my last posting I had also made some progress on the painting of Fisherman’s wharf.  I am at much the same stage on this painting as well. 
Middle stages of Fisheram's wharf painting - Oil on canvas "18" x 24

At the sales end of the process, the exhibition at the McGuffey center in Charlottesville is finished.  I didn’t sell anything, but at this stage that was not to purpose.  It was a chance for exposure to a higher art market.   I had a moment when picking the paintings up.  They said that we were to pick up our paintings from 5:00 pm.  So I thought that I was safe arriving at 6:10 after a 1 hour and 20 minute drive from work.  A got there to find the whole building locked up.  To my relief,  one of the studio artists was working in his outside studio, and had keys.  Fortune was smiling on me.  I didn't sell anything but at this stage that was not to purpose, I did receive a request to use my material for promotions though, which was a plus.  We will see what comes of that.  These couple of days off, I had better get some painting done before a get myself into an artist’s block again.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Administration work ... so boring but important.

Fly away home.  oil on linen, 10" x 8"
This painting was one of the first in my current series.  The text is mostly hidden and make a connection between the rime "Lady but fly away home" and my connections with immigration.

I soooo want to be painting. Instead I am still organizing pictures into a data base, with all the information about each one that you would ever want to know. There is a purpose in all of this. We are working on a new web site. The old one has been up forever because it was so hard to revise. This one will be much easier. But in order to do it, we have to be able to keep track of pictures. The final naming format I came up with is as follows.
  • m is for the level of quality ranging from an artist's exercise, to a masterful work.
  • 201103 is the year and month the work was completed in.
  • n0165 is the unique file number assigned to the painting. The zero enables me to have exactly the same number of characters in each file name. That way I can easily divide a list of file names on a spread sheet into its constituent parts, and sort by any one of them. With drop downs on the spread sheet I can also generate a file name for a new work without making any mistakes.
  • ool a code for the medium. In this case it stands for oil paint on a stretched linen canvas. Using a search and replace, I can convert this into a number so that it will easily be imported into the Access database table.
  • -e lets me know what the size of the digital image is. In this case the largest dimension is 1800 pixels.
  • 008x010 gives us the dimensions in inches. Once again the zeros maintain the right number of characters. This painting is 8 inches high by 10 inches wide. With 3 digits I think I am safe even with a 60 foot backdrop.
  • lanr has to parts that stand for the type and subject of the painting. Here it stands for a landscape of a natural setting, other than costal or urbane. It works in the same way as the code for the medium.
  • -tr stands for the style used. In this case it means "texted realism" which is my current "thing"
  • 0 tells me what stage in the painting this picture was taken. Here 0 means that the picture was completed. It enables me to have a consistent completion number as I may have varying numbers of pictures taken while the work is in progress. You may have noticed that I post progressive pictures now and then. In future if an article gets published about the piece I can easily identify the stages for each painting.
Coming up with all of this has been a pain because each time I changed the nomenclature, I had to rename all the pictures .....geeeeerrrrrrr!!!!!!
I have gotten some painting in. I have been making steady progress on the painting of Fisherman's wharf that I am doing for the Oil Painter of America competition early next year. So it has not been all work and no play. I will post a picture of the progress on my next posting.