Faits Accomplis!

The final two Organic Compositions having been completed [Above, VI, and Below, VII], I am already on to new projects, including a Christmas commission. Even so, it has always been my habit to look back and wonder about finished pieces, so I have also been asking myself what I have learned from this series, what influence it will have on future work. Certainly, producing this many similarly-themed and similarly-structured works in a short span of time made them so simple to paint that the last piece took no more than 40 minutes to finish, divided over two sessions.

To be honest, however, I am not exactly sure what the lasting influence of the series may be, though Claire de Lune [Below], completed alongside Organic Composition VII, might provide a bit of insight. This painting began as a follow-up to my Venetian-inspired portrait of Nik, but somehow it was never finished. It is unlike me to let a canvas sit for months in the corner, and I cannot even remember what led me to lose interest in it. I finally placed it with my stack of blank canvases, to be painted over and used for something else. Then, one morning as I regarded one of my Organic Compositions in-the-works, it caught my eye from the stack. I knew that it should be completed, and in a different way than I had anticipated, more in line of my newest series, yet with the glow of a Medieval stained-glass window and the remaining sense of legend and history which so often marks my work. Such is the magic of making art. . . there is a fine mix of experimentation, "magic", skill, deliberation, daydreams, philosophy, and promise in each piece, and so many pleasant surprises in the process!

[On yet another note, I would like to mention my most recent interview on the Huntsville Art Blog. In it, Little Green Store manager and Huntsville Alliance for Arts Education Director for Research, Advocacy, and Policy Tracey Chaplin discusses the importance of art to communities and many other interesting points. For the full interview, click here.


Organic Compositions III-V

It has been precisely one month
since I posted the first two pieces in the "Organic Composition" series. . . now, as November begins, five works have been completed [Above, we have Composition III, Below, Compositions IV and V respectively] and the final two are already in progress. Seeing the first five hanging together on the wall captivates me; some are very smooth and refined, some are quite raw, all are related, and yet each shows a slight tweak, a new development, a different ambiance. The vividness of these paintings is very much lost in these photos, as are the carefully placed traces of gold, silver, or copper paint that give some of them, especially the gray-scale piece, an unusual glow in various lighting conditions. I generally avoid metallic paints so as not to make my pieces look "cheap", but with this series, I have found subtle ways to use them to enhance certain aspects of the compositions.

In a sense, the series comprises a collection of thorough abstract color studies, but each continues to have a basis in basic scenes and landscapes as well: III was designed while looking at some of the Historic mansions of Madison, AL (particularly the fencing, wrought iron work, and vibrant foliage), and IV and V were sketched out during one of my many walks around the campus of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Of course, the pieces are not meant to depict these things specifically, and I myself have infused atmospheres and textures into them that make them entirely new dreamscapes. At any rate, I find that the best way to look at them (and indeed, much of art in general) is not to worry about whether or not there is any specific concrete object to be seen in them. . . I often purposely leave "objects" obscure, after all. One should simply quiet one's internal monologue about the paintings, open oneself up, and let the images and colors do the talking. . .