Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Along The Pedernales    18x14  oil on linen panel
When I go out to paint, I'll usually have my camera with me.  I'll shoot a lot of material, almost randomly, to try and catch just about anything that may catch my eye.  I don't over-think the selection, because I'm primarily in search of a subject to paint right now, and there isn't the time.

Back in the studio, on rainy days like today, I'll pull out my file of photos and go through it tossing the obvious junk and culling the "possibles" into a folder.  When I'm done, I go through that folder to see what it was that I responded to in these photos.

Often, it's obvious, but other times it takes a bit of zooming in, re-cropping and re-designing shapes to dig out the gold nuggets.  What I end up with may often be only a very small piece within the original reference photo, but after doodling thumbnails and a bit of imagineering, my pulse quickens and I get that wonderful feeling…" I'm gonna paint this!"  I call these finds "magnificent incidents".

This particular subject was only an insignificant detail, relative to the full photo it came from.  But it became a magnificent incident once I stopped to appreciate the way the light was playing on the rhythmic forms, and the way they came together.  As a matter of fact the "mother photo-reference" still has a couple more magnificent incidents in it.  The painting I did that day, while out there, was just another study.  I'll probably never show it to anyone.  But it provided everything I needed to remember the way it all felt that morning.

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