Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New paintings, proliferation and compulsion

Looking back on my mini collection, I'm amazed at how fast they proliferated. I started painting them in March, and here we are a few months later with nearly 40 of them (I'm including the few sitting on my desk unfinished). What was intended as a brief project has mushroomed into an entire series.

I'm debating if I should take a break from the mini project. I love the mindless intensity of painting these little beauties, but wonder if my time is better spent on other paintings. These are choices we all have to make as artists. With so many creative ideas, it's difficult, but important, to edit. Time will tell if the mini's make the cut.

This latest batch continues several themes. The cherries (top) are part of a little subgroup. I spent a whole afternoon arranging and photographing cherries in my backyard for these. There are more in the works, all pairs of ripe cherries dancing into the night.


"Apricots" continues my fruit theme. I've developed a habit of scrutinizing the produce section for painting subjects. It looks a little nuts, as I hold up each fruit to the light, examining it from all sides for character, shape and color. Perhaps I should extend my search to the meat isle, or canned goods. The possibilities are endless.


Claws is part of a commissioned group of kitty paintings. The intense close-ups are my own compromise on painting cats. I loathe painting "pet portraits", despite their popularity. By getting so close and cropping, these become something beyond a portrait.

Siamese Fighting Fish

Lastly, little fishy. I can't help myself with these. I've painted a slew of little fish paintings throughout the years. Most were sold or given away. I don't even have photographs of them. It's the play of light and color that I find irresistible, and the tremendous personalities. Or it could be the guilt from when my entire tank of fish died from ick when I was 12. Every time I finish one, I want to start another.

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