Big Sky, a Basketball Court and Yellow

Large scale paintings begin on a concrete slab that was formerly a basketball court.20131006-133316.jpg

It’s windy on this high ridge, so rocks hold the canvas in place.  A garden hose is used to size the canvas.Beginning in the Basketball Court

The space – big sky, a slab of concrete, 30 yard rolls of canvases – naturally calls for paintings to scale.  When they’re brought inside, it’s surprising how large they are.image

Yellow borders the court.20131006-135203.jpg



Facet Series - About Emily detail





Following a season of exhibitions, the dominant response in the studio is indulgence.  Intense, garish colors are sought in all things – dreams, clothes, brilliantly hued foods on a plate – as well as on new canvases.  As if to get something out of my system, I gave a week over to undisciplined unwieldy creative energy, abandoning any notion of a finished product or a successful painting.  Slices of canvases follow.


I secretly love to pour color and tip canvases, lifting 90 degrees the other way, rivulets forming grids.  The many-squared patterns satisfy something in my brain that wants to feel order, especially within randomness, ever since getting scrambled from a head injury several years ago.


The studio floor is the ongoing most beautiful, ever-changing chaos of all.


Magenta can be a reach for depth, showing up often as drama, and I’ve been trying to avoid it, so of course it showed up too, and not subtly.


Red washed over a completely dry gray blue made this hash of eggplant with silvery shadows.


In this attitude, there were no failures this week.  The primaries were wheeled out as well as their brashly conjoined color wheel opposites, and laid one over the other to make welcome dark hot tones interspersed with nondescript muddy colors.  They were painted for the sheer joy of watching.






Pattern, Painting and a Pig

While painting these last few weeks, there was no concept of architecture, a wet spring snow, an old Ford grill, or a pig in a pen, but those images are all imbedded in recent memory, and have shown up on canvas.  Simple snapshots that caught my eye, as well as the more laborious and focused photographs of finished work, were all nestled together on my computer by date, and inspired this piece on visual process.


The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Pig, and Dissolution Part I


Series Sixty Six - Dissolution Resolution 68x66 copy



The Ford, the Galvanized, and detail of Linear Series – Shadow Barcode and the Ford.


Linear Series - Shadow Bar Code 50x66



And lastly, the New Yorker, the Chair and detail of the Chandelier Series – 57th and 6th



Chandelier Series - 57th and 6th detail 52x44 copy


Song Birds, Ribbons of Blackbirds and the Doppler Affect

A blizzard blew in 12 inches of snow, creating a flurry of bird activity at the songbirds first of storm

Within a short time, the dominant Red Winged Blackbirds took over the feeders, leaving the songbirds out on a blackbirds move in

We’d kept the songbirds fed all winter, and here it was, a  major winter storm, with their food source unavailable, and bitterly cold!  I wondered how much feed it would take to have enough for any bird that showed up, and scattered 30 more pounds of seed (20 pounds already out) in ten raised bed boxes, and within minutes, there were ten boxes of Red Winged boxes of bb

The sounds of their wings thrill.  They take flight all at once, the wingbeats fading in and out like the doppler affect when a train going by, a f-f-f-d-d-d-dddddddddd-d-d-f then as they disappear.IMG_1628

The Blackbirds quickly became most interested in the ground seed in boxes.  The songbirds returned and populated the feeders!
The joy of it built up until it was a sort of ecstatic energy, that ultimately led to painting, following the ribbons of movement.  IMG_1656



In the studio: Six windows of birds, six – six foot paintings (The Bird Ribbons Series) are on the walls, another storm, fresh snow, more bird seed, and a spotted dog – bird movement seen and felt.IMG_1677



Back to Tree Skeletons and Monotones

It’s shocking to be back in the Midwest.  The north wind blows through wool layers, the trees are bare and there are only the palest hues.  There’s been one hoary frost, that reminds me of winter’s beauty.

february 1, 2010 023Usually cold weather elicits a warm palette in the studio for balance, but right now, maybe just in the transition, it feels insincere.  The monotones are reflected in the studio.

IMG_1710A trip to the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, offered a quick transformation.  Walking into the building is to be enveloped within a many hued white sculpture.  As always, spending time in front of William Baziotes’ Crescent,  reaches deeply into the warmth of being.  The tag describing it, is pure nourishment for a cold February day.,

IMG_3285The next morning, a little shadow and light feels like a visual ballet.

IMG_2708The beach is the barest memory…

Vignette - Shore Bird Study 8x12



The Relationship between What is Seen, and What Happens

When I’m working in abstraction, there’s a natural move towards a color, a mark, and then a sort of conversation ensues that carries the piece to completion.  After the a day’s work, it’s common to see in the paintings what’s in the forefront for me experientially.  Until now, unless it’s referenced in a title, I’ve never recorded it.  Creating this photo journal is causing me to take a more formal look at the relationship between what is seen, and what is created.

It’s just guesswork though, who knows really where paintings come from.


jan 21  2008 053





The Warmth of the Sun

While the colors on the gulf are pale to intense blues, sand and shells, the warmth of the sun shows up.





Work Surface

While staying on the Gulf of Mexico, the studio is made from a 4×8 piece of plywood strung up outside.  IMG_0705

The Sun Drenched Series started here, and dried on a clothesline:Blog Image for Sun Drenched



The Poetry of Fish Bones

Fish bones:  stripped bare the delicate balance of life, delicately orchestrated, their perfect grace most often drifts unseen to the ocean floor.IMG_0696





Red Tide

Red Tide prevails here. The sea concocts toxins first felt in the lungs when winds blow towards shore. The ocean turns yellowish green and the birds all move from the water to the beach. Several days later, remains of the affected underworld are tossed out on the shore. The creative process begins…