Monday, October 3, 2011

Through the Fence Line
acrylic on paper
Another example of my interest in translating a mood rather than a picture. I use the subject as a vehicle, but lean heavily towards an inwards expression of that. A more interpretive translation of the things that caught my soul's interest.
Not all that I do, comes across so evenly, as some attempts get lost in translation, and I deem them good paintings but not true to my innermost attempts to be accurate to the soul, not the eyes of the brain. Speaking from the heart is not always easy as the eyes will try to lead a lot of artists, away from the innermost well of creation and to the known, the predictable, the mundane, the easily crafted.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Mountains in the Mist Landscape Original Painting

Mountain in the Mist
11x15 "
acrylic on paper
I've been gathering photographs every morning on various walks done by the lake to use as reference subjects in my paintings. I hope to have a plentiful supply as winter approaches, just in case I get bogged down in snowscapes. I look for a mood when getting these pics for studies. I'm not interested in painting a scene per se, but rather the sense of place, and the mood of it. Literal depictions of places would bore me to death. As an artist, I need to reveal something else, not so evident as the outward appearance. I hope to be able to translate this idea into my works. More later.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Farm Fields
15 x 20 inches
acrylic on heavyweight paper
Well, its September now and the suns light is changing somewhat. The leaves are starting to turn a little here and the farmers markets are starting to sell the root vegetable and squash variety produce. It won't be long now before things start to change from what we know to be summer, to autumn. I do love the shadows, and light that this season brings. As a painter, its the best. I get to use more of a full palette of colors with a more dynamic application of paint.
This painting is the first of my "Post Summer Season" series. More to come I'm sure. Its just a matter of time, and season.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Between the Essence and the Scent: Art is Like That....

Between the Essence and the Scent: Art is Like That....: "Russ Potak: Harbor Fishing Boats... While perusing my FaceBook page this morning, I saw a post by Russ Potak and felt the need to share..."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The title of this painting is Sailing Down East
The title of this blog is
Its been really busy. Aside from the usual spring clean up and chores that mount into a monument if they are not taken care of promptly, my studio work and on line galleries are keeping me busy, not to mention outdoor shows. Now I've got to cut out a little time for some work on the easel. People always wonder if I'm out in the surroundings of nature painting by a pond of geese or something. Well, not really, .. here's why. Summer is crazy. Shows, fairs, festivals. online sales, shipping, packing, marketing, site maintenance, and the list goes on. Winter is actually studio time. Summer, oh how I wish, but the reality is, thats its time to put your nose to the grindstone, your cards on the table, and go for broke. Sometimes I envy people who can do art for a hobby. Its sounds relaxing. Maybe after autumn sets in, I will find that pond of geese and just paint like Monet by the lilly pads.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Clouds and Sails
acrylic on paper

There's nothing better than salty breezes pushing along the clouds and canvas sails with equal ease along the deep blue sea.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Hills of Spring
acrylic on canvas
Just outside my studio, is this scene which changes with every passing minute. Now that spring is upon us, it is a real show to see it develop this mosaic of color and light as the trees and hills start to come to life.
This is that scene.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Springtime Country Landscape
acrylic on canvas

One of my favorite places to walk. I usually carry my sketch book and record impressions. This is one of them from that walk translated into this painting.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Landscape with Pink Sky and Mountains
acrylic on paper
This particular work was composed over a coffee, on a sketch pad at a local haunt. I liked the sketch, and had to urge to translate it into color, thus the painting. Some of my best works come out of that little coffeehouse. There's no telling what a good cup of joe will do to fire up the creative process.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Birdseye Diner Yellow Coffee Mug
acrylic on canvas paper

About this painting:
People that know me, know one thing about me. I love my coffee. Not the milkshake, sundae varieties with names longer than intros to some novels, but rather the kind that pours out black and you add at the most cream, or sugar. or both. Well anyway, this is one of my many favorite coffee mugs. Having just finished my brew, I painted the mug, which is now immortalized in paint, for all time. It sits on an insulated fabric insulated coaster, available at WSDreams from Etsy.
I hope you like my mug, and my painting.
Someday maybe I'll paint my other mug, the one I see in the mirror. ~ ugh, or is that mugh!
Soup Can
acrylic on canvas paper
I actually painted this in my studio, and it was just a bunch of stuff near by and the can sat on a table edge covered with a cloth. But, people not knowing that, have come to see the can on a hill of grass and a city in the background. Thats what you got to love about expressive paintings. You can never tell what interpretation will surface from viewing them.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Seaside Boathouse
16 x 20
acrylic on stretched canvas
A place I sketched from a photo I took on Old Cape Cod. It was early in the morning, no one was around but me and my coffee. I wandered down to the boats waiting on the shore, and just soaked in the peace and quite.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cows in Pasture
acrylic on stretched canvas

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Seaside town of
Kennebunkport, Maine
11 x 14
acrylic on panel
Had to do this one. A favorite little port nestled in an inlet on the Maine seacoast. Love this place! I found it challenging, conveying the colorful bustling life onto the surface of my painting. I wanted the salty ambiance of the town to come through. This is the town Popeye would have frequented on one of his shore leaves.
Sometimes I'm glad I paint impressionistically, for it's an asset when trying to capture a multi-eclectic subject matter that won't stand still. ~ Hope you like it!
Country Spring Landscape
acrylic on gessoed panel
This painting is from a composition just down the road from me, and I sketched it out rather than taking a picture. I find that sometimes the photo doesn't remind me as much of the subject as does a sketch. Too much information in the photo is more than likely the reason.
This way I handled this painting, is the direction that I am striving for in my work. A free, looser approach, with more emphasis on making a maximum statement, with minimum of complexity in execution. Its not easy, as I am finding out. Saying more with less, is way harder that saying more with more. Simplicity is complex. But thats the mystery and key. It should look like it was done with ease, and yet, the ease is work. The appearance by the viewer should be one of, .. its free, easy going, lively, and they should not be aware of the foundation and work behind the paint. Its kind of like magic. You see it and are engrossed, but not aware of the hand behind the illusion. I hope to maintain this direction as I continue my work.

Friday, April 1, 2011

EXPRESSIONIST PAINTING of sailboats and sunset
16 x 20
acrylic on canvas
I've been working up enough art courage to get into some different levels of expression with not only my use of color, but subject and composition as well. This is the first of this endeavor I'll be embarking on for a while. I want to explore using color in an uninhibited manner, and let the subject take a secondary seat to the use of shapes, colors and line. Not that I have taken it into the next logical step of abstraction, but it in a close neighbor of it. This being the first, I'm sure I will have a lot to learn as I uncover things that will be revealed to me as I work. Its exciting, and new, and I always feel better about my art, if I haven't been there before. New is good. I'm looking forwards to it. I will include it in my portfolio of art under "it's coming along". But I'm sure I will still adhere to much of my other working procedures and styles that I have come to learn and utilize. ~ Hope you like it.
In case your wondering, .. yes I did some rework on this painting. I decided that it needed a little yellow hue to some of the green as well as a touch of orange. So I did, and now you can see it for yourself. The before and after.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Storm Along the Coast
16 x 20
acrylic on stretched canvas
As with a lot of my works, they start out as a sketch, and then translate into a painting. This one was pretty much just a pleasant seascape, when I began thinking about how on a perfectly beautiful nice warm day, a storm can spring up without a moments notice over the water. I love to watch them roll over the horizon knowing that they usually stay out to sea. In the scene are two escaping sailboats caught off guard. I thought, that is how it is. Warm, and sailing along one minute, and making haste to find safe harbor the next.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Seacoast and cottage seascape
11 x 15
acrylic on 140 lb paper
"What is the Point?"
Sometime, it get to the point where I feel like I've done this before, and I've said this before. Well, that happened the other day as I was working on a painting from a photo. I felt like I was just going through the motions. That I already knew the outcome. Every brushstroke I knew in advance. The painting was done in my head before it was on the canvas. I thought to myself, why am I doing this? What's the point?? Why don't I just leave the whole thing in my head and save the paint? What am I trying to say and why? It was then that I remembered something that Picasso said. That is was okay to try anything in a painting, just never try it again. Sometimes as artists we get into a comfort mode. We have learned to "make art". And we do it over and over again with such ease sometimes. Well, .. to make a long story short. That painting that I was working on? The one that I said to myself, seems like I've been here before and done that? Its now underneath this one. This one is new and fresh to me. The other one, belongs where I put it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Landscape with hills and clouds
acrylic on 140 lb paper
Woke up this morning and looked out the window to see the sun lighting up the barren hills of early spring. Before I even went for my first coffee of the day, I grabbed a pencil and sketched what I needed to remember. I did remove the snow though, and greened up some things in the foreground. But other that that, its a pretty good translation in my humble opinion. The sketch worked well, because I didn't wait too long to transfer it into a painting. Had I waited any longer, I probably would have lost the moment, even with the sketch.
Spring Landscape Painting
11 x 15
acrylic on 140 lb paper

This is the painting that I did from a photo even though the scene is just minutes from my studio. The reason being, that it's still under a foot of snow in places and since its spring now.. ha ha.., I decided to take it from a photo I shot last year, in the "real spring" like around May 20th. Did I tell you, we don't really get a lengthy spring here, like everybody else. It goes from snow season, to mud season, to "what was that?" season, and then to a kind of summer, and then the ice age returns to inhabit the majority of the years months. So, even though the calendar says spring, it not even close. But if I wait for the real spring to paint this, everybody else is already at the beach, in mid summer. So here it is. Smell those apple blossoms!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Landscape with Farm and Hills
acrylic on stretched canvas
16 x 20"
Today I painted something in my own neck of the woods. As of late, I've been fighting the winter snows and turning my palette to warmer images and places I would like to be at this time of year. So, I have been busy painting summer seascapes, harbors, sandy beaches, and more. But then, suddenly as I was rummaging through some sketches and photos, I recognize the places as being just down the road from here. I thought to myself, this time I'm not taking the warm and easy way out on a composition. I'm going to see what I can do with what's right under my nose. Damn the snow, the cold, I'm a painter, and I can paint cold and barren just as well as warm and sunny. Not that the neighbors farm house is barren, but in contrast to the beaches of Maui, well,.. you know. So, now I'm back to painting whatever gets in front of me. Be it, warm, cold, animal, vegetable or mineral. That's for now. Who knows where I go from there. For me, the process of painting comes down to more of the fact that I paint, to paint. I don't want to make a picture, I want to make a painting. That to me is foremost in my intent. To paint, to make a painting. Aside from marketing factors, the subject is the vehicle for the painting. It forms the bones for the paint to build up muscle upon.
Today, a landscape, tomorrow, .. a bottle of wine. It doesn't matter, its a painting.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I'm rummaging through sketches I have done in all sorts of places. Coffee shops, on a rock near the lake, in the car, in my studio, on location in some point of interest, wherever. These I will convert into works, .. paintings, impressionist painting, expressionist paintings, abstracts, seascapes, landscapes, animals, and colorful acrylic compositions. Its what I do. I'm not a method painter. I didn't go to the school of "lets learn how to make a painting." I went to art school. That's not the same. Nobody ever told me how to make a painting. They opened my eyes to learn how to see, to absorb life, to purge that onto the canvas with honesty. I still remember some of the students in art class that were frustrated because the instructors were not teaching them how to make mountains, or trees, or horses. They instead were talking color, movement, energy, line, impression, experimentation. This really separated the art students from the illustration segment. Some left the class and went on to become the Norman Rockwell of their time, and others just gave up. But the ones who wanted to be artists, kept on with the pursuit of just working at the canvas, for the sole reason of the creation of something new, something unseen before, and revealing. I'm really glad and thankful, no one taught me "how" to paint.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Stylish Home

I have bee included in the Stylish Home Etsy finds page, under the category of painting this week. Please feel free to take a look at the painting that was chosen and let me know how you like it.

Monday, January 31, 2011

I especially like the spontaneity of this one and the way the warm light is bouncing off of the structures.
Its not easy being simple.

Island Light
acrylic on canvas

Friday, January 28, 2011

As of late, I've been experimenting painting on heavy weight paper. I like the unpretentious feel it has, and the fact that I can store them more readily and easily than stretched canvases. I hope to do more on this surface and see where it takes me.

Seacoast landscape
11 x 15
acrylic on canvas

Thursday, January 27, 2011

As of late I have been experimenting with painting on heavyweight paper. It has a different feel to it, and I am beginning to like it. I also like panels and canvas boards, when I'm not using stretched canvas. The thing that I do like about paper, is the storage space that it offers me to file them away. Eventually, stretched canvas can run you out of the studio, if you try storing too much of it.
With the flatter surfaced panels and papers, its not a problem storing large numbers of works in a limited amount of space.
For now, though, I move around from surface to surface as I need to. Seems like I just enjoy the different feels each one has.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Seaside shack in a fishing cove
acrylic on canvas


Somewhere in the mid coast region of Maine is a small cove with this little shack that sells crafts and paintings.
A pleasant salty little place that deserved to be painted.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seacoast Village
acrylic on paper
About this painting:
From a snapshot I took up in the Midcoast area of Maine, along Boothbay Harbor. I feel strongly that this painting is the direction I want to go, as I feel it has broken through some barriers that have been obstacles for me, one of them being tied to the conformity of representational brushwork techniques. This painting, for at least this one attempt, has crossed that line. I feel its one of my strongest paintings I have completed in this new year.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Impressionist Landscape Painting of quaint house by a salt marsh

acrylic on 140 lb paper

11 x 15

I found this composition of a small quaint home by a inter coastal waterway quite interesting. The small red boat beckons to take you out in the waters, maybe to a place where the hermit crabs line the banks of this salt marsh area.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There are certain time in an artists life where there are dead spots and energized times in the process of creation. As a painter, I find that if not given the time to be in non productive period, the process of working at the easel can sometimes get repetitive and produce tired and sometimes stale work. Artists I think, need that time off, to recharge and sponge up the life and energy that is around them. When that is completed, productivity happens and sometimes it happens rather suddenly and with a whirlwind of activity at the easel. Kind of like, when it rains, it pours, but seldom does it drizzle. Drizzle does not produce any lasting work worthy of staying in the game.
I think I am now entering a phase of high productivity, as I feel a slow time now has passed and I have much work to do, with a renewed vigor and energy. I look forward to this new exploration in my painting. It will be interesting to see, how and if, my work is going to take on any new things in the process, or if I will approach my subjects with a different outlook.
Time will tell.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Well, the new year has rolled in, and am excited to get working on some new material. I am hoping to concentrate more on how colors relate to one another, and let the subjects be assembled by shapes, and colors, more so, than before. I look forward to letting the energy of the brush become more dominant and line to play a bigger part in my works. All of this of course, is to be approached with the, "anything can happen" policy, and I always leave myself open for variations in the theme and subject. How a work evolves, is how it evolves. I can direct, .. but things can happen along the way which I did not anticipate. That is one of the exciting things about exploring the creative process. It holds in store mysteries, not yet revealed, until the work, becomes a work in progress.