Thursday, November 6, 2014

Santa Fe's 'Paint Out' Festival

 Tulips ablaze in the sun
28X24               Acrylic on panel

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few days in New Mexico in Santa Fe. I was there for a group show opening at Ventana Fine Art, and the 'Paint Out' festival. The event and show was a huge success and I sold a number of really nice pieces to happy collectors. 

The festival event offered by the arts biased town, allows artists from a number of galleries to paint in the streets through the course of the day. Visitors (of which there were many), are allowed the opportunity to see a great variety of art being created before their eyes, in insightful and creative ways.  Many collectors visited me more than once to see how my painting evolved through the course of the day.

I didn't finish it in one day. I'd made a start to painting the night before, and then worked through the festival day. I got it a long way there, but the final brush strokes were completed last week in my studio. 
Painting during the day

Go here to see more work Ventana Fine Art

Contact the gallery for more information, or a brochure.

400 Canyon Road, Santa Fe, NM 87501
Tel (505) 983-8815

 Opening night. Myself with artist friend Frank Ballam.

A few of the paintings I had on display.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

'Additions and changes' or 'Is it ever really finished?'

Campanula and jug on long table
20X47.5       Acrylic on wood

Is it ever really finished?... Well in this case I'd have to say yes. I originally painted and finished this painting in 2009, I only hung it once with a gallery in Scottsdale Arizona for a while.  I'm not sure why I didn't give it more exposure, but recently I took a look at it and felt like a change. This happens from time to time, I wouldn't say there's anything ever wrong with the old painting, it's more that my ideas and stylistic choices have changed or evolved a little and I want to incorporate some of those ideas into the old painting.

I think as artists we always want to go back and adjust or tweak works. I think of Velasquez's famous painting Las Meninas, and the adding of his red cross (the Order of Santiago) on his clothes many years later. Possibly the vainest, most unnecessary adjustment ever? But who am I to judge. Of course there are many other examples of painters revisiting works and adjusting or changing.
 Velasquez     Las Meninas

It's the curse of the artist to always want to change, add or adjust. In many ways, it's what we have trained to do. We're always looking, analyzing, critiquing; so why not cast that same gaze on an earlier finished work?

The 2009 painting before it's adjustment

You'll see from the details below, I kept the flavor of the painting in the new additions and changes. I allowed for a lot of under painting to show through, the colors of the purple/violet table reacting beautifully with the new warm table hues.

The patterning within the table cloth was kept loose and clumsy, breathing life into the table cloth. There's a risk when reworking to get too tight and careful; and much of this painting had been carefully rendered so it was important to keep things loose and fresh.