Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Big Big Drawings!

The Birds Will Be the First to Die - informational sketch

This is called "The Birds Will be the First to Die." I did a version of this idea a year (or more?) ago that is on my website. I don't like that version. I thought of fixing that painting but eventually decided to move on. However, living in a world where there are trees, I unexpectedly found I was able to solve my previous painting issue. I was able to get a wonderful model in an actual tree in the exact pose I wanted. Amazing what that does. I didn't have to "invent" anything which helps to make things work in an effortless way. I wasn't sure if I was going to actually turn this into a painting until I did the drawing, now I think that it has to be done. Here is a detail:

The Birds Will Be the First to Die - informational sketch detail

This was done with charcoal, black/gray/white pastel, black/white Conte crayon, pencil & acrylic gesso. It is definitely darker and moodier than the painting will be-- but I sort of like what happened so maybe that will creep in after all.

This painting was based on a brief report I heard about how bird populations in the North East are declining and it is a harbinger of what is to come for us non-birds. Birds are more vulnerable to environmental shifts, kind of a Canary-in-a-coalmine thing. I couldn't watch the full report because it scared the shit out of me. Instead I make paintings of reports like this, it keeps me sane.

Back on the Two Coasts painting, I have continued to work on it but went and did a study to work out the foliage detail. I need to simplify it and shape it a little more so it isn't a chaotic mess. Here it is:

Two Coasts - full scale study

I think I am going to put leaves framing the painting in the upper right & left hand corners. I thought I would test the idea in the drawing first. I'm still trying to find the right type of oak leaves to put in the upper right side-- some that are more curved than pointy. I went for a bike ride this week and could only find angular oak leaves. I saw some curvy oak leaves framing a scene in a Titian painting and I want to copy/steal/reference them... but now I can't figure out which painting I am remembering them being in. Aaaaahhhhh! But I bought the catalog for the Titian/Tintoretto/Veronese exhibit so I can refer back to the paintings and hopefully find it.

No comments: