Thursday, September 23, 2010

Underpainting of rural CT landscape with tractor, on mounted linen panel by Paul Baldassini

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In-progress underpainting using just Quinacridone Magenta.

Its a gorgeous morning here in CT, pleasantly warm and plenty of yellow-orange sunlight streaming in the studio doors. My studio is a rather small intimate space -- a built-out basement actually. Much smaller than both of the studios where I worked in Boston before moving to CT six years ago. A lot less natural light but I’ve gotten quite used to it and supplement with two 4-foot overhead industrial light fixtures each fitted with two OTT-LITE VisionSaver fluorescent tubes. 65-watt Phillips Daylight floods provide additional overhead lighting. My muses have found there way here and I’m producing my best work ever right now, so I’m happy about that. I stay very busy juggling graphic design assignments and restoring antique photographs to create an income stream, and help to take care of my 5-year old daughter, but I still manage to paint almost every day. On my previous post I discussed and previewed both the source image and the drawing on a prepared panel of my new painting tentatively titled “Yellow MMZ in morning light”.

Today I began the underpainting and went as far as I could before time ran out and I had to see my daughter home from kindergarten. Once again, I’m using just Quinacridone Magenta for the underpainting, a jar full or OMS (Odorless Mineral Spirits), a couple of crappy brushes -- old filberts that have turned into flats, and old flats that have turned into brights -- and a rag at the ready for wiping out. I usually start at the top left and work my way down and to the right as it allows my to rest my hand on the unpainted part of the panel, if necessary. I try to use my hand AND arm to paint, holding the brush way back on the handle, never on the ferrule so as not to nudge about on the details. What appears to be detail in my work is really just a collection of careful placed marks put down in some kind of correct color and value scheme to create an illusion of detail. The mind will believe there is much more detail then there really is from carefully painted “suggestions” of detail. Although I work from photographs, I’m not a photo-realist and I am not trying to achieve a surface where evidence of process is subordinated to the slickness of the source image. I prefer to see some evidence of the hand in the process.

This morning I listened to Peter Green Splinter Group first studio recording “Destiny Road”, recorded in 1999 from Snapper Music, Inc., England. Check out “Say that you want to” and “You’ll be sorry someday.” Somewhat in the shadow of many great lead guitarist during rock’s primal years in late 60’s through mid-70’s or so, Green’s style was was sublime and underrated. He was the original founder of Fleetwood Mac, and after a very long illness and absence from the music scene, returned in the late nineties and formed the exceptional Splinter Group. The subsequent live recordings are really great and superbly engineered. I had the pleasure of seeing them live in Boston back then -- great stuff.

More in-progress action on the next post.

Thanks again for visiting.


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