About Me

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the dandenongs, victoria, Australia
an artist and it solution architect living in the temperate rainforest of southeastern australia

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

facets of evening

hello. i have been working on several new painting projects and attempting to become comfortable with figures as a natural part of the landscape. which, of course, they are. even in an impressionistic painting you need to get the "gist" of the figures "just so" or the whole thing is a waste of time. this piece is one of the ones that made the cut so far. there are others that are close - but they are still under evaluation by the committee. :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

under vines - i

i didn't like this much when i finished it a week or so ago. but looking at it again i notice that it has somewhat grown on me. it is stark. dry. hot. australian. it has a singing combo of violets and yellows. and i like the way the green hill supports that solitary tree against the sky.

this is not in my wet-in-wet style that i really like best. but. it has a nice naive quality.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

between the lines - i and ii

this is an interesting one. i have wanted to do something along these lines for a while. a lass named nikki spannuth posted a black and white photo on facebook that made a perfect subject. i was most interested in the way the light draws the viewer and the subject toward the unknown of the distance. i am not entirely happy with this piece - but it is a good start. i find that it is harder to please myself these days. that means i am either become better or worse - or, perhaps, grumpy...

i was going for a "dog day" afternoon motif. the ones remembered. the unyielding light and the softening shadows. there is something remembered about this - something very 60's, dylanesque. perhaps overly romantic. it is perhaps too busy. the shadows not strident enough against the light in the foreground. maybe it should be starker and more simple. the light going into the distance is there - but the rest of the piecee fails to uphold that. that is what i do not like.

so, here is the second version. smaller. starker. more strident. simpler too. can be simplified further i think...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

bush gloaming - i and ii

a new color experiment. interesting how it went in a totally different direction as i chose two or three pigments that were totally different to my winter ones...

i just need to work on the shapes a little. but it feels like somewhere i have been many times before... then. later that night. we went in a slightly different direction. not quite as intended. but close.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

frost killing hour - xix - aftermath

the first wash of this piece was so lovely. soft. violets made from FUB and permanent rose. and, of course, water.
it was almost "achingly" sweet. Ian would have called it "sweet" perhaps in a perjorative way. however, he would not have said this in a negative way. he would have meant "it is too sweet for ME to paint. but it is OK for you"

i had to struggle to touch it again. i thought about balancing the sweetness with something harsh. burnt. post bushfire. that is part of where this has led. showwing that a bushfire scene when made very cold, looks even more stark and somber.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

no provenance without metadata

ok. here goes. the last few months have been spent doing very cold work. watercolor is a very organic medium (despite being 100% inorganic!).

so the weather is warmer and i started to do "frost killing hour - xx" and ended up with "yields to spring - i"!!!

i know i am working "wide screen" alot. i know i am obsessed with either pure flat horizon or roads and rivers etc. but at the moment i am painting moods and not shapes. so. here is:

"yields to spring - i".

Sunday, October 11, 2009

frost killing hour - are we there yet???

no. we are not there yet. are we? no. i think not. i watched a youtube video done by Arnold (Lowrey) last week. he makes a wonderful job of it. and he "pushed" the series "frost killing hour" in a different direction. normally, i would not show the "meta workings" of a painting - but this time i am. what the heck, eh? the really disastrous attempts and the sketches are kept hidden. but the pieces that i sign and annotate on the back (title, date and notes) i am numbering and publishing here in the blog. that is what a blog is for isn't it? so arnold was doing cool stuff with reflections, snow, water, castles and razor blades. and that lead me here:
this is "frost killing hour - xv". we will get to "xiv" later. i wanted no life at all in this. no evidence of life. the rocks in the foreground worried me - but they do repeat the cold of the sky. arnold had mentioned that a patch of "manganese" blue in the sky and a touch of warmth in the subjects was important. i also used "burnt umber" which is something arnold uses and i have avoided like the plague - forever. when mixed with colors it does wonders for cold winter skies. so i will keep using it.

i will post several other pieces in this series that i have done this weekend - during this week. i am not really happy with any of them. but i am happy enough with aspects of each of them.


-- joel.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

frost killing hour - xii and xiii

a continued evolution - albeit somewhat inerrupted. am i heading toward the sights of frost and mist over country that was recently tortured by bushfires or is this simpler that that?

i have several ideas to revisit yet. i feel like i have all the time in the world to paint this series. time is not pressing...

Monday, September 21, 2009

frost killing hour - x - (the road)

i feel this strange magnetic pull. as i explore the nether regions of winter. it is a composite of feelings and it evokes memories of the emotions stirred up by reading "the road". so the ideas became confluent - one with another. when one works alla prima - wet-in-wet - you need to watch like a hawk and develop what appears. you start with a general idea and then hope and pray that something worth keeping appears. that is how it works for me anyway. i like the invocation of snow and frost in this piece. the way it appears in the clearing in the distance and not so much amongst the forest (just like REAL life...). this recession works for my brain despite breaking an obvious rule of impressionistic painting or painting in general



Sunday, September 13, 2009

frost killing hour - v++ (so it goes)


the evolution of a painting idea for me is normally a private matter. if the idea is exposed and goes nowhere it runs the risk of being a half-baked embarassment. but actually, that does not matter,,,

number "vi" may be the best result in the series so far. but that is if i am the judge. and i am not allowed to be the judge. fkh "v" has better shapes, imho...


so, these are the next paintings in the "frost killing hour" series. thanks again to natalie for the inspiration.

Well content loves the silence
It thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils
That strangle the heart
They say that promises sweeten the blow
But I don't need them, no
I don't need them
I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable
I'm the slow dying flower
In the frost killing hour


Sweet turning sour anduntouchable
Oh, I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

so it goes...

Saturday, September 5, 2009

frost killing hour - iv (evolution?)

not sure whether we are going forward or back. but thought i would post it anyway. :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

frost killing hour

sometimes you get an idea that will not go away. despite work and long hours and everything else. i am so lucky to have an outlet for these ideas - thanks for looking. sorry it has been a while.

I'm the slow dying flower
In the frost killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable
Oh, I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

inspiration comes in many forms. sometimes it is a late night of work with that right tune and lyric at the right moment (thank you Natalie, you are a true genius). there is more to come when it stops thundering here,,,

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

evoluzione tranquillità

here is an evolution. what i really want to develop is the glimpses into the forest. i want to make them beckon with magnetic mystery. i think i found the right combination of pigments and techniques to do this - but i have yet to achieve it completely. this piece shows some promise in that direction.

first look at the piece in its entirety.

then look at these two magical glimpses that appear in the LHS - these are what attract me and my eye and my senses.
see what i mean? those are deeply where i want to go. only time will tell...

more tranquil places...

i seem to be able to make two similar pieces if i do them at the same time. if i tried to come back to it and re-do it in the future - i would evolve it or change it. funny that. here i went heavy on the darks in order to pop the lights. similar shape and comp to the other PT pieces. the next blog post will show the evolution - i hope.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

vineyard days

so i sit here contemplating. i have this painting. i thought it was ok. then i posted it on facebook and BAM - lots of response - from people who don't even know i am a painter or even follow my work in any way. so. i guess it strikes some sort of a chord somewhere. i decided to look at it again. why does a painting work? why does this painting work? that cannot be answered in a sentence. or even two.

some theories. broken color. breaking a color with its complement creates excitement. Nick does it naturally - but keeps saying he does not understand color theory. fine Nick. you understand it in your soul. look closely at the foliage of the tree. yeah - it is green - but look closely and you will see reds. and yellows getting down with violets in there also. composition. the purists will hate this composition. but it works despite breaking rules. why. no answer. the purists don't always get it right. the sky. this is a very australian sky. a very autumnal sky. this sort of sky intensifies the chroma of the foreground. whereas, a summer sky washes out the color.

those are my crackpot theories. enough.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

passed by here...

alla prima impressions of drought, rain, fire and australia. poignant - not poignant enough? who can tell. emotions are skittish and rise and fall like an unleashed set of tides...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Forrest Caves Approach (Impressions)

These were done after a day of observing the dune strewn abd grassy coast lands of Summer in Australia.