Thursday, April 16, 2009


I did more painting this afternoon and I think this one is done.
This is part of a series (I've yet to tell Dad I need a bunch more casts - uh oh). It's one of the more subdued ones, a quiet transfer of energy, including an entire rainbow of undertones, but just hinted in the underlayers. The next one I want to do is similar in composition, but will have more of a rush of energy - more bright colors and less regard for the forms on the canvas. This one has colors contained within the bounds of sculpted elements on the canvas.

If there's any more to do on it, it will only be some small integration of brighter over-strokes of color here and there.

I took a long look from a good distance (about 45 feet?) From far away, it looks like it's too subtle, but from a normal viewing distance (about 10 feet) it looks understated, but discernible and most of all, balanced. It's signed and ready to dry for the upcoming show. It's just very hard to know when you're done a lot of the time.

As I mentioned before, I'm painting outdoors. The lighting and air quality can't be beat. Here's a view from a bench at the edge of the yard. I'm hanging the paintings off the front steps and have a chair and work table set up about 10 feet away.

Next up?
I'm eager to get going on the "Forming and Shedding Allegiances" piece, but also want to repaint a couple of previously exhibited paintings that I'm just not happy with - "Opening" and "Re-Entry". Those are very large and I have a show in a smaller space coming up in June, so I'll focus on the medium to small pieces for now.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Middle phase

Worked on Intercedence again. Mid-tones and some of the final blue. It's not quite done at this point. I'm still working out the arms and third level of circles from the top character. I was surprised that much of the paint from last week had dried substantially, but it loosened when I started working on it.

The dark blue I use for "background" is a special mix of colors I work up in large quantities. It's kind of the background field of energy through which we all move. I work in the background colors with a kind of cross-hatch brush stroke. There will be more over-painting after that to refine and integrate the colors. It's really the best way to pull out bright spots and work over some of the rough areas. It's a slow build-up of layers. It's evolving.

I was hoping that the lower area around the lower face would have a glowing lower edge above the billowy areas at the bottom. This took some work. I kept going for way too much light and finally darkened it enough to make the edge glow.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let Spring Painting Begin!

Well, yesterday it was finally warm enough on a day I had off from other work to bring a canvas outdoors to paint. It's better than working with the not quite balanced light downstairs in my studio space. These are just the first few layers of color. I always work in light-to-dark stages. In the interim, it looks absolutely hideous, but the bright colors eventually just peep out from the dark blue base color.

This one finally has a title I can live with, "Intercedence of the Guiding Soul". It shows a subject being worked on by another, with hands cupping the subject's head. The idea is a depiction of an elder or spirit guide (guardian angel, whatever term you want to use) pouring as much energy into the person as possible, bringing a more centered energy into their field. This influx of higher energy floods the person being worked on, causing the cloudy, more chaotic energy to surge up momentarily as it flushes out.

I started with the light blue of the etheric body, then started to add the more clear colors of the concentric spheres of the guiding soul's aura, gold, violet, pink (with green) and red to reflect the chakras being guided into a more balanced state.

The areas along the top will show the same range of colors as well as tinges of the bright blue as the upflow of old energies from the being below is recognized by the guiding soul, then released upward at the same time the other colors spill down.

This is what Wendy often refers to as "the ugly baby stage" when it's not quite formed, but you can tell where it's going. You can get an idea of how the finished painting will look at the bottom center of this last image.

The casts on this canvas are my Dad for the head and hands of the guiding soul and my head for the subject below. It's the first in a string of images showing someone's transformation on the path of becoming a shaman.

Remember, I welcome all comments and questions, so as always, feel free!