Tragic Comity: Prologue
From a new series, Tragic Comity, I've recently been working on. The images included are sourced from vintage photographs found online, recombined to create vignettes that are quasi- allegorical in nature. I'm interested in an ambiguity between life and the theater of life, between instincts and social mores and where they meet. The exploration is still quite new and the piece I've included is a very direct work by comparison to the sketches I've been producing, which I'm sorry I haven't included. I want to reserve all of my personal comments, descriptive or critical (of which I have many), so that this work itself may be viewed without a particular slant or bias. Any comments and criticisms, (formal, palette, thematic, etc.) are appreciated. I feel a bit stuck in some ways and feedback would be most helpful. Thanks.
Here is an image of my newest painting, not titled yet. I have a few ideas of how to finish it but I want to get feedback from you all on it. I don't want to say too much on it for now I think I'd like your pure thoughts first. I have also included a couple detail shots as well as an image of a new small piece. The last image is a finished shot from my last post where I showed the in progress wall scroll as well.
I really feel like I am starting to discover new things about this subject matter. It is really interesting to continue a series and find out which things you return to and which you don't. I really feel like I am learning a lot. I think practicing in both large and small format as well as different media has helped me understand the subject more clearly.
Oil on Canvas 52"x36"
Starting with a run of drawings all from live model sessions, this painting is an attempt to bridge the gap between my figurative drawing habits and a practice of painting that is tending more and more towards the abstract. All of the previous drawings and subsequently this composition have been built spontaneously over the course of a three hour short pose drawing session. As poses built up, I began to edit, narrow my focus, and try to feel out a sense of movement and gesture throughout the image. Parts of the image that were stable remained stable, those that changed were allowed to flow and sweep and change scale and location to serve the composition. The challenge I face in creating a painting based on this idea is rooted in keeping the vitality of the drawings intact. When laying out a composition on canvas, I didn't try to copy the original...more or less just translate it's essence and general flow.
Realizing that the process of painting could take an unexpected turn down the line, I figured that as long as the basic infrastructure was there the rest might somehow hang in place. Another consideration is that the sketch is monochrome, and not wanting to lose the structure of the drawing in a sea of color, I have been careful to keep my color choices toned down. The palette at this point, is essentially primary: transparent orange ochre, scarlet red lake, cobalt blue, lemon yellow, ivory black and titanium white. Starting with a grey toned ground, the under-drawing however, was done with paint pens in a few colors. I started this way in order to give myself a direct link to the original drawing method. Using multiple colors, mostly neutrals, I was able to set up some initial depth as well.
In concept, the work is still an experiment. It's an attempt to see how one of my more spontaneous practices translates into a longer studio painting. It's an observation of an expanse of time, maybe illustrated. It's specific form, but seen briefly, and then more. Lather, rinse, repeat. As I near completion on this piece, I wonder what will survive of the initial joy of the moment or if, as in other works, the nature of the paint itself will become too seductive. I'll take my cues from the cubists on this one. See shallow forms, observe edges, resist extravagant color; document space rather than illustrate.
Hey ladies! This is my brand new painting, it's my first large oil painting since QUITE a while back. It was a little scary, I won't lie. It took a lot of leaps to get back into it and I have to say that having this deadline kept it moving a lot better.
I will have to take some time to sit on it before I can tell if it is done or not, but at least it's critique-able. I would keep it kind of in the context of my last piece, although the media is different it is using the same method of composition and subject matter.
On another note, I will no longer be living in the same place as my current studio space. I'm trying to see the glass half full, I think it COULD work out for me. At the very least I will understand the differences between having your studio at home or having it in a separate space. Thoughts on this? I think it could be good for me to think about what I need to complete during the week and get some ideas and execute them during the weekend. It could allow me to have a more regular schedule in terms of studio time. We shall see. At least I've built up some momentum!
Keeping my hopes high ;)
Line drawings have saved me from going insane while working on my next problem child collage. I have completed about 50 ink drawings. Whenever I got stuck or frustrated, sumi ink was my savior. But now I am starting to think, what can I do with all of these drawings? More drawing, more line, more play. Sure, I can pull compositions from them, collage the actual ink drawings together, add color, or just leave them be. Only more play will let me know if these are destined to be something else.
It got me thinking about play, the type that's necessary to give you a break from the work you think you should be making - if that makes sense. When your play and experimentations are vastly different from your "body of work," (as it is in my case) at what level does it enter and change that body of work? Does play slowly integrate and overtake? Or does play cause major and sudden shifts in your work? Or is it just play, no strings attached. I am sure it's different for every artist, and I'm sure my play influences my collage works. But...is it ok to freak out when you like your doodles more than your finished work? Because I'm freaking out just a little bit.
Anyways, after the jump is my in-progress problem child collage, and a slideshow of some of my reprieve drawings that I am actually more excited about. I may have to stop the collage for a while and keep inking. We shall see what unfolds.
Hi guys, it's Stephanie. Sorry for being a day late! Typical. Anyhow, this is a brand new piece.
I have been working on these ideas for several months now, I have lots of tracings and sketches of these diagram references. So this is my first attempt at a large piece. It is painted and collaged onto cardboard. I'd like to continue exploring this subject on canvas and cardboard, I've just got to play around with it.
I have to agree about going through the motions to get these muscles working again. It's still a bit awkward.
After some time away, alright, a lot of time away, collages have once again returned to my practice. Not for a lack of wanting, but rather a lack of space, I am only recently able to make large work again. Acrylic, ink, and crusty house paint swatches on butcher and cheap drawing paper are held together with my trusty Yes! paste. The more vertical piece began slowly about 3 months ago. The more horizontal piece took shape in about two weeks.
My own work is very alien to me. The color palette is bolder than my previous work. The compositions are rather segmented and structured, compared to my typical all over spiraling compositions which appear in most of my collages. Even between these two new pieces which overlapped, they are as different from each other as they are my earlier collages.
It makes me think: these feel more like paintings to me, they are, but paintings composed on canvas with set dimensions. You know what I mean? My work has diverged, but for the better? I am unsure.
Come at me bros, ahem, ladies.
Seeing your work in the context of a group show always helps you open up to it in a new way. Seeing this show come together really helped get my wheels turning about where to go from here with my paintings. How has seeing your work in an exhibit changed your thoughts on it?
Disparate Places 78" x 78" oil on canvas 2011, installation view