Thursday, August 30, 2018

Samoa Neighborhoods

One week left for the big show at the “Garden Gate” in Arcata. This piece “Samoa Neighborhood” is up with another one Samoa piece at the Redwood Artist’s Association for September. It features the house of Debbie Krug, so if you know her, she might be tickled to see it! I really liked how the house shapes were stacked up on each other, then cordoned off with a picket fence, later on a lower point cordoned off with a bit of razor wire, can’t be too careful! The washed out, dogged out tones on these old pastel houses said both “beach town” and “mill town” to me.  There’s a bit of working class dignity to the scene! Painting so many straight lines is usually something I avoid, but lately I’m trying to face my demons, because they seem to be powerful teachers!

This painting is part of a series of paintings I’m working on as I try and confront my fear of painting architecture. The pastel hued houses are from the Mill town of Samoa. My notion with this painting was to be more aware of using a focal point in the composition. In the past, people have told me that I needed to do things like “put my lightest color next to my darkest color in the focal point.” Well it recently really struck home that I need to make the focal point more tightly focused, and then make the rest less interesting and less tightly focused. I needed to really slow down and enjoy making subtle relationships happen in the focal area, so that the viewer would in turn enjoy looking at it. This feels like a big deal to me, but I’m sure it all sounds obvious to you all.

The other thing I’m finding is that as my standards for paintings rise, my productivity falls! I end up working and reworking small paintings for several days, figuring that one good painting will do much more for my career than 10 mediocre paintings... oh well, it’s a good thing I have two day jobs!

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