The way forward

Posted on May 11, 2021

Thinking about the kinds of images I want to make. This may be an exercise in futility. I should probably just make more things. At the moment I am stalled. I have a sense that I make not-that-great stuff. In one sense it is good. I enjoy it. It usually makes me happy when I am done. I enjoy the process, though there is a little pain. That isn’t much of an issue. Why don’t we go over some of the issues.

Your stuff looks muted and muddy

I realize that my paintings rarely POP when they are framed and on the wall. The light doesn’t catch them. They are a little dark. In the past I was told that “white” can make a painting pasty and pastel. I don’t really want to make watered down images. There is also the take that using black is rarely the right move in oil paintings. So, I tend to use browns and blues to mix my own darks. I also try to mix brights in a way that focuses on pure pigments. This is supposed to be the way.

I have been drawn to the work of Andrew Salgado for quite a while. He uses pure pigments for his lights at the expense of color accuracy. He also simplifies his shapes in ways that are expressive and graphic. This may be the direction I go for a while.

Andrew Salgado in the studio
Andrew Salgado in the studio

Subject matter doesn’t seem to compel you

I have been floundering because I want to mix in some landscape elements. It is challenging for me to formulate engaging landscapes. Walking through a museum, the pastoral paintings of towns, ships, hills, and livestock tend to bore me to tears. I enjoy the marketplace images filled with people or the dramatic conquests of gods and goddesses. The intimacy of portraits or the panels filled with bodies of the dammed and faithful are almost always delightful.

Gotta find a way to bring the elements that excite me back together.