When we visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) we were fortunate to see an exhibition by German modernist painters. It was a delight to see the work of a particular favourite, Anselm Kiefer. These paintings are BIG. “Big paintings” are a particular hallmark of modernist art. I’m talking about physically big paintings, and not the quality of the work, though in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, those two things were often conflated.
Seeing these paintings kicked off a desire to make large paintings ,again. When I was a student in the 1980s I created some very large paintings. Big Red, below, is 8 feet tall by 4 feet wide. The piece was created entirely of bits of paper and spills of acrylic paint. These paintings had no backing and you can imagine what a nightmare they were to hang.
When I began to paint in encaustic, my work became smaller in size. In Progress, 2013, encaustic on panel is about 40 x 30 inches.
This week I finished this egg tempera painting. It is bigger than the sketchbook, and alterbook works I’ve been showing you, but nowhere near as large as In Progress.
One more thing. A loyal reader, Regine, commented that the altered book paintings I posted last week made her think of quilting. I don’t quilt, but I’ve long recognized that my work has an affinity with quilting. Here are two collage paintings from the 1990s that show a strong link to piecing quilts.
You know what’s funny? Size doesn’t matter with digital work at all, at least not in the three dimensional way. If you have enough pixels you can see the work any size you want. Think of an iMax screen and your cellphone screen.
Because I do visual art, and write, it occurred to me to consider painting book covers. I’ve come to realize that many illustrators are amazing artists. They know things we didn’t learn in fine art school. Above, you see some of my illustration attempts. Many of these pieces lean heavily on the work of other artists. Most are at least modified by my ineptitude.
Like many creatives, I set up way to many learning projects each year. Learning to be an illustrater didn’t get as much time as it needed, but hey, my learning time isn’t over.
In 2015 I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Tab A with S-pen. I particularly wanted this model because the tablet had Wacom pressure sensitivity built in.Which means you can write/draw natural way. Lines are darker/lighter and thicker/thinner depending on how much pressure you apply, just as they are with traditional mediums.
Above you can see a selection of drawings and paintings I’ve created using this tablet and Infinite Painter Software.
You know what I noticed about these pieces? Overall they are less * serious* and more playful. I was, mostly, just messing around, and trying things out. What fun! Not fun in the ha-ha! way but fun in the completely engrossed way of searching and discovering.