Monthly Archives: August 2015

Rain at South Pond & Scaling Up

IMG_2596.JPGRain at South Pond, 2014-15 – Graphite & Soft Pastel on Paper

After seeing the Japanese woodblock prints at “Van Gogh and Nature”, I searched through some earlier work and located a short series of streaky pieces on bristol vellum that remind me of Tsuchiyama: Spring Rain. I reworked this one a bit with graphite pencil and think I’ve found my springboard into a larger piece on wood panel.

It’s time to scale up —way, way up.

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Thoughts on Van Gogh and Nature at The Clark

IMG_2544.JPG  Ando Utagawa Hiroshige, Tsuchiyama: Spring Rain, 1833-34, Color woodblock, ōban yoko-e, sheet: 9-5/8 x 14-5/8 in. (24.4 x 37.1 cm)

Last week, I visited The Clark Museum in Williamstown, MA to see both Van Gogh in Nature and Whistler’s Mother. Although I’d previously seen many of the Van Goghs on exhibit —most while visiting Amsterdam in the 90s— I thought this show was rather well curated and worth visiting on many levels.

Ando Utagawa Hiroshige’s Tsuchiyama: Spring Rain, positioned near Van Gogh’s Rain Auvers, was perhaps my favorite piece —other than works by Van Gogh himself— included in the exhibit. I enjoyed seeing the art that influenced Van Gogh, mixed in amongst his pieces. Artistic influences —from literature to companions— are key to understanding both the power of the paintings and the Van Gogh’s work in the larger, historical context.

I hope to go back again, before the exhibit closes on September 13th.

  IMG_2542.JPGVan Gogh, Rain at Auvers, 1890, oil on canvas 

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Bouquet in Deep Maroon 

Bouquet in Deep Maroon, 2015 – Graphite, charcoal & soft pastel on 12″ x 14.5″ sanded cotton rag 

 As the botanical drawings grow darker, I find myself thinking more about where I left off with this train of thought years ago (the ‘Broken Flowers’ series). Flowers are complicated subject matter for me. This has always been the case, but never more so than now.

I’m wrestling with fear and the dark side of femininity. Flowers are a big part of that.

Into the unknown 

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Still Life in Shadow 

Still Life in Shadow, 2015 – Graphite pencil & soft pastel on 14″ x 11.5″ paper 

Things in the studio are shifting. I’ve moved my drawing into the dog trot to make more room for work on panel. The newer pieces are all greasy graphite and oil stick; abstracted botanicals and scribbled motion. I haven’t applied much color.

Meanwhile the botanical drawings grow darker with each passing day. I’m letting this go wild. We’ll see what comes of it.

Not much color here. My focus is elsewhere at the moment.

In progress

Posted in Botanical Drawings - 2015