Viewing blog posts in February 2018
One unexpectedly nice thing about working on two sheets, is that if I screw up a picture, there’s a chance that at least one sheet might still be okay.
Even if so, most halves end up in my scrap pile. Some have to be saved though. Perhaps they’re not the pictures I intended to make, but they’re surprising. Maybe it’s because they’re so unintended. They’re not organized as I would normally have done, and seem more like snapshots, with odd this and thats poking in or cropped off. And sometimes my marks and moves are just to nice to be tossed!
Now I have a printing press in my studio, newly re-arranged workspace to fit it in, and maybe I’ll at last get to sling a little ink today. Oh man, do I ever feel the burn.
Gonna make this day count – hope you do too!
I just had to show you something other than a moody ol’ mountain picture – been so many of those lately! So, although I said I wouldn’t post this weekend, here is a one of my newer blooms, which is kinda abstract or stylized, a bit hazy and made up – or you might say it’s pretty darned nice.
A lot that was unexpected happened as I was painting this, and I still wonder how some of it did!
THERE ARE TEXTURES YOU CAN ONLY SEE IF YOU CLICK THE PICTURE!
You know, the sun does shine brightly in Norway too – but so far, it’s been supplanted by stormy weather in most of my pictures! I love the drama, and the challenge of trying to make pictures with a lot of dark on dark painting and texture. THAT’S REALLY HARD TO DO, and it’s so easy to turn a picture into a muddy mess.
So okay, that’s my excuse for going all moody so often. Now for a bit of truth too: the crystalline sunlight of Norwegian summers scares me. It has no softness in it, and I don’t know how to deal with that – – – yet!
CLICK THE PIC TO REALLY GET A GOOD LOOK AT T!
PS: I’m going to reorganize my work space, so I doubt I’ll post again until Sunday or Monday.
This peak looms large over a glacial valley I visited on a perfect, sunny day last August. I painted it, then went fishing and caught trout for dinner in the little creek clattering along just below me. What a great afternoon that was!
In case you hadn’t noticed, I have a deep affection for mountains. I grew up in fine looking country, married a Viking girl born in even better looking country and can’t think of anything I would rather make pictures of.
Here’s a closeup view so you can get a better look at things – CLICK IT to zoom in even more!
Here’s another from the edition, with maybe the best texture of all! In the detail view (below), you can better see what I mean about the quiet, entrancing tonal interplay. Honestly, I don’t even know how or why some of it happened – yet. I’ve never heard of others doing this particular kind of whacky printing, so I’ve got things to figure out!
Well now, take a look! I printed these on my old proof press, and did it using India ink – which is NOT what anyone in their right mind should use. Yet if I can figure this out, I’ll be able to paint, print – – – or mix it up! Wow, the textural possibilities are waaaaay too alluring.
I’m enchanted by the subtle tonal shifts – wasn’t expecting them to be quite this gorgeous or delicate. All I was hoping for was a wintery etherial look. I sure got it! And I have a variable edition of 15 in which every version is wonderfully unique!
Next week, I’ll have help shifting my press from my dungeon of a basement up into my studio. Just you wait until I have it where I can really mess around. Imagine what might happen!
YOU REALLY SHOULD CLICK THESE TO SEE THEIR QUIET WONDER!
Hey ya –
I keep saying it and it’s really true – sooooo much new work is coming soon. I’m buried under it up here in my studio, and I’m making even more. And I spent ALL of last week messing with the printing press in my basement. Didn’t mean to do that, but couldn’t help it. Cool things were happening!
It seems I have still more new method to investigate, and problems to solve too, but I did manage to make a small variable edition of a mountain scene. I’ll try to get some scanning done later today or tomorrow – I really want to show you some of these.
Your Buddy Bill
I really like this one, though I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because it started out as a very different picture, but the mark making became so much fun that it pretty much turned into this all on its own!
IT’S WORTH TAKING A GOOD LOOK AT – CLICK IT!
This week I’ve been trying to figure out how to use an antique proof press to print portions of my pictures, and let me tell you, trying to print using India ink is not easy or smart. But then, has any method I’ve ever fooled with been either? I’m doomed to be me!
While I sort this out – or until I give up on this round – I’ll show you more flowers. Today’s is quite simple, quickly done with no messing around. I’ll need a few basic days again soon, when all it takes to make a nice picture is making a brush move right!
This peak is high up in the Norwegian mountains of the Sogn area. Even in early summer, there are often small, turquoise-colored icebergs still floating in the lake! I pass by this very often in my roaming, and have always admired it. I particularly like how the weather frequently hangs up on that peak – there’s always a chance for drama.
I’ve done about a dozen different versions of this scene (I showed you one yesterday too). Now I’m wondering if I should shift my vantage and try for more!
I’ll have my hands too full to post tomorrow, but look for me again on Wednesday – Oh, and CLICK THE PICTURE TO GET A BETTER LOOK!
I showed you this one once before, as a crumby studio snapshot. It’s so much nicer to have a flattened picture and a nice hi-res image! We can finally see all of my quiet, intense grays and textures!
CLICK IT TO GET A REALLY FINE GOOD LOOK!
I didn’t intend to post this weekend, but while taking quick documenting snapshots of several new paintings, I realized I’d like to show ’em to you.
Only the top picture is done – I think. Adding the snowstorm did the trick. The other three (below) are still in the thick of it. Bits and pieces temporarily taped in, problems to solve – the basic drill.
I’m so beating up this poor mountain I’ve been painting! Between all the sanding, scraping, soaking, wrinkling and ripping, it’s occurred to me that my method has turned geologic! That’s quite cool actually, although some of my sheets are now badly fragmented. I have some major repair and reinforcing ahead.
Am sure I’ll end up mounting these onto support sheets too – very possibly of the same brown color as the board that’s peeking through.
THERE ARE LOVELY THINGS HAPPENING IN THESE – CLICK ‘EM TO REALLY SEE!
Here’s a Friday bonus – one of my favorite owls! No posts this weekend – I’ll be back Monday – – –
Once, not so very long ago, I was stuck owls like this whacky guy. They were just before I started in on all of my cats, and do you know? – owls and cats have a lot of the same moves and mark-making in ’em!
I sometimes forget how much work I’ve done in the last five years. It’s really good to occasionally revisit some of it – I’m reminded that I’m indeed moving fast, even if it doesn’t feel like it just now.
Have the finest and most creative day!
This morning, I started the picture above by brutally scraping, sanding and crinkling my paper before ever making a mark! I even tore a ragged strip right off the bottom, then clipped another piece of paper in behind it. Why? I wondered what might happen along that overlapped edge once I flooded it with water and ink.
Now, you probably already know that I mess with wet ink like crazy. I push and scrape it around and especially like pressing it into my sheet. Wow – the effects I get are so satisfying, but I never could have imagined what happened this time! Here, watch this – the snapshot below is of just my top sheet, and now you can see the torn edge:
And this next photo is of the under sheet. The arrows show you where the torn edge of the top sheet was laying in the wet – but just look at what happened up above that edge!!!
Holy crap! Have you ever seen texture like this?
All of my pressing and pushing must have forced ink up between the sheets, where it dried. Unbelievable. Completely unexpected! CLICK THE PHOTO TO GET A GOOD, CLOSE LOOK!
I MUST figure out how to repeat, control and use this accident!
I’m also gonna pull the two sheets further apart, paste ’em together and just marvel at the incredible stroke of luck that gave me a picture with such an amazing lower portion!
Hey ya –
The photo above is of a picture I never intended, but now I’ll have to do it again for real. I should explain that, right?
It’s simple – quite a bit of the painting I do is also printed. I make my marks on one sheet, and while the ink is still really wet, I lay that sheet face down on another and rub. This transfers my marks from one sheet to the other rather imperfectly, which is half the point. I like the unpredictability of the result – – – most of the time!
So, that’s a transfer sheet in my first photo, which has been used multiple times and as you can see, plenty of ink stays put. The picture I was trying to make ended up a disaster, but this sheet began turning into a scene all on it’s own! The truth is that it photographed better than it really looks, which is far too blotchy and muddy. Yet here is the inspiration for a what could be a really good scene. I see a big old mountain top, maybe with a glacier wrapped around it. Yep, I’m probably gonna have to go for it.
I’ll keep you posted –
Your Buddy Bill
PS: here are some flower pictures that were made almost entirely via transfer painting and drawing. As you can see, the method results in very textural, irregular, sometimes blotchy, and always surprising marks!
Good Morning –
It’s kinda nice to have something simple, sweet and straight forward to show you to start our week. I forget I have work like this when I’m so wrapped up in more complicated picture making! Actually, I still have plenty of flowers to post yet, so I’ll keep scattering them in as we go along.
Make this day count! I’ll try too –
Your Buddy Bill
The picture above is strange. What happens when there are so many textures that their cacophony almost tips into chaos? Could that much visual noise instead become a buzz that settles into a captivating view? The whole world is this ripe with texture – we just block most of it out. What happens if you can’t?
What happens when I make a picture defined by grays instead of darks? How far can I push the unpredictability of collaging? I know, my brain hurts, gears grinding, but so okay.
Below is a bonus photo, of another picture that might not be headed to the scrap pile after all. It wasn’t working (and still may not be), but right now I’m thinking it’s still breathing!
There won’t be a post tomorrow or Monday – I’ll be out of the studio.
Have the finest weekend –
Your Buddy Bill
Clearly, I’ve plowed head long onto a whole new level of sensibility and picture making, and I’m having a ridiculously difficult time assessing what works and what doesn’t. And why do the passages I like the most now confuse whoever I show them to? Either I need to take things further, or I must figure out how to help everyone catch on. Looks like slow going ahead.
Here are quick snapshots of two that kept me confused yesterday. My moves, marks and textures are all over the place in this first one. How did some of them even happen? I honestly don’t know, and isn’t that just a little unsettling? The more you look at it, the less sense this picture makes, yet it still manages to hold together, barely. Okaaaaay, what does that mean?
CLICK IT TO GET A BETTER LOOK AND SEE WHAT YOU THINK!
This next one is simply odd, just drowning in texture, yet at the same time so vague. I’m really trying to tickle in a waterfall and a little side rivulet too. I want all that texture to mean something and still be tantalizingly suggestive. Can I fill this picture with movement and definition you almost can’t catch? How do I do everything my gut says I should when it isn’t telling me how?