Friday, August 1, 2014

The Berkshires
acrylic on 200# cotton rag paper
As the summer moves into its mid season position in these parts, I have l intentionally limited my palette to a few basic colors. The predominance of green hues are everywhere and some variations in between. I take my oil pastels out into the field and capture my composition and then upon my return to the studio, finish it as a painting with acrylics. Its kind of a semi-plein air of sorts. I hope to compile more of these on location field works each day. Light changes, weather changes, and foliage does as well. It proves interesting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

As the summer has come, so has a different feel to the land that I observe daily. I notice in this area where I live a predominance of green hues, interwove into umber and ochre. The skies are rarely true blue, like the skies of the west, but here they are rather thick with atmosphere and haze at times. I notice that I have toned down my palette for this time of year. as the long days and warm nights have given me a more naturalistic feel to my painting the earth and its backdrops. This painting is from a sketch I did just up the road from my studio, and I go there often to scribble subjects for paintings I will do later. 
Berkshire Landscape
11 x 14" 
acrylic on treated canvas paper
©7/14 r potak

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The thing I love most about landscapes, is that they change, morph, and are in a constant state of flux. Not the physical land, but rather the life and mood they exhibit. Like a person, they have personalities. They appear in many different moods, .. some happy, some meditative, some angry, or sullen and everything in between. They are limitless sources for an artist from which to take note and express those qualities. Its free for the picking and it occurs in any season. All you have to do is tune in, take note, listen and look,.. and especially .. see. The seeing is the most important part. The look just points you in the right direction, but then you have to see. With a little patience, the land will reveal its true inner self to you.  The essence of what it is saying. It does speaks. You just have to listen. 
12 x12" acrylic on 200 lb archival paper
© 5/14 russ potak 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sometimes its a feel, or a sense of place and other times it a mood, or reaction to some colors or shapes. Other times its pure experimentation. A dream, a mood, a feel, or just pure and free creating. But its almost never ever,  a true and correct representation. I have no interest in that whatsoever, except with the medium of photography.  In this instance I was surfing the web and found some photos  of Malibu State Park, and right away, I felt some inspired moments by observing some of the features in the land. I went with that, and a feel for  what I was seeing. The rest just evolved. This is usually how I like to work best. Just letting things happen. No nets, no plans, no expectations. Free to explore the subject and the medium. 
Painting inspired by Malibu State Park
12 x 12"
acrylic on 200 lb cotton press paper
©5/13/14 russ potak

Friday, January 31, 2014

This painting fall in line better with what and how I want to say. The overall work is loose but not to the point of pure abstract. The mind still can grab on to some identifying features and shapes. I employed the lights and darks throughout to maintain drama with lighting. High contrast, yet soft in places. I call this "Restaurant Interior' Its 11 x 14", acrylic on 200# archival paper. ©2014 rpotak 

Friday, January 17, 2014

People ask me how long it takes me to do a painting. I know what they mean, but to that question there is no timely answer. The question does not relate to art. Maybe making a ceramic bowl or quilt, or something in the craft arena it would, but in the arts, as with dance, music, theater, painting, etc. it has no relevancy.  Time has no meaning in the creation of art. Art exists, when it is done.
 I personally respond to that question, with, "My art takes as long to make as it does to say what I need to say, and  not even I know the answer to that" ~ russ potak

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I am starting to grow weary of the same old, same old. I'm referring to painting.  I feel that there is a "been there done that kind of feeling lately".  I think I have reached a point where I need to launch out with more to say than mere subjectivity. I find subjects in and of themselves starting to bore me. Although, there is good news in this for me.  A new approach. To paint, because I love to paint. To do. The mere act of painting is the thing. Not so much simply just the subject anymore, but rather the inner most expression of the overall painting. The excitement that spawns from the paint wandering in an exploratory manner seeking to uncover more that just a good representation.  The subject being merely the vehicle.  I feel I am growing weary of representational renderings in paint. I therefor, am striking out in this new year, with a  more determined attempt to explore, to uncover and reveal things about my process. Things that I use to  relegate to the back seat in favor of painting a scene, a subject, or a thing. Not that I will not use subjects any longer, but it is just that they will be merely vehicles for getting to where I need to go in my art. And on occasion, I may paint those again, if the spirit moves me to do so. The end result in my painting will not be of the surface qualities, but rather an inward expression.  For all of you, who are familiar with my old more subjective impressionist style, .. I still have plenty of works done from my "Subjective Period" on the market.  A good amount of them can be found on Etsy, while they last. But that era in my art, is closing. I must press on. Newer works will emerge, and I have no idea where they will take me. That, my dear friends, is what its really all about. The exploration. The process. The journey. All things change. I know I am.