painting and photographic works

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Killing the Plein Air Mood

It was a beautiful sunny morning after a couple of cooler days. It was also my last opportunity to gather some plein air images for printing. What type of landscape I wanted to capture, I wasn’t sure, but I was confident I’d know it when I saw it.

Perhaps a receding fenceline?image Or a grassy field backed by the forest: image Maybe a bending path: image Or a little creek image There’s a tree with some character worth capturing: image Maybe some wild flowers? image A path through the shaded woods? image Ah finally, this is it: image A colorful edge of a field with some attractive curving lines. I walked up and down the bit of trail overlooking this scene. There was no great place to sit so I chose a spot in the grass at the side of the trail. I got out my watercolor paint sticks and yupo sheet and sat down. But, image What’s that … an ant? No not AN ant, hundreds of them. The ground was swarming with them. They were soon all over the supplies that I had set down on the ground and before I knew it they were also crawling over me! I picked up my stuff and frantically started brushing off the ants as I got the heck out of there. My initial thought was to move along and find a nearby place to try again – but I was spooked! I ended up deciding to just collect some photos for future reference and head back to the (safety and comfort of the) studio.

Photo Abstractions (July 2015)

I’ve been playing around with the Tiny Planets app on my smartphone again and have a few intriguing abstract images to share:

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Which came from:

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And this:

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which started from this photo:

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And this image which came from applying a second transformation to the first image in this post:

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jAZZ pRIME

These are a few of my favorite photos from the 2015 Edmonton International Jazz Festival:

Serious Bass

Serious Bass

Jazz Spirit

Jazz Spirit

Percussive

Percussive

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Dueling Brass

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Sweet Tone

More photos from the jazz performances can be seen on my YEGmonton blog:

Looking at Ferns

This is a little collection of photos of ferns, taken with a Samsung Galaxy S5  and processed with the Snapseed and Tiny Planets apps.

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Color Fields of Spring

Today I was back at taking some long-exposure, camera-motion abstract photos. This batch emphasizes color, sometimes subtle, sometimes bold.

Blue on Green

Blue on Green

Peach Left

Peach Left

Golden Square

Golden Square

Pink Haze

Pink Haze

Spectrum Centre

Spectrum Centre

Leaves on a May Morning

This picturesque morning  in Edmonton was the day after a heavy spring snow fall (with much of it still on the ground). The day started off foggy but the sun soon broke through making for some good images.

Orange Celebration

Orange Celebration

Pine in the Fog

Pine in the Fog

Dew

Dew

Shining Through

Shining Through

Trees on my Street

Trees on My Street

Photographic References for Abstract Painting?

It has become quite common (an pretty much acceptable) for artists to paint from photographic references rather than from a model in the studio or from a landscape “en plein air”. But do photographs have any value to an “abstract” painter? Well, for me they certainly do. One of my favorite forms of photography is abstractions, especially  those that push to the edge of non-representational-ism. Through the use of camera-motion and long exposures, with a bit of post-processing to enhance colors and contrast (and some cropping), I regularly come of with images that I will use to inspire my paintings. Here are some recent examples (all are photographs) that I can’t help thinking would make dramatic largish paintings on canvases/boards/paper in acrylic, oil or pastel.

Spot Lit

Surreal Manuscript

Light on Blue

Light on Blue

Cubist Portrait

Cubist Portrait

Base

Base

Sweep

Sweep

My painting are yet to come out of any of these images and I’m not sure how related the final work might appear in comparison to these references but some day I shall tackle them.

This is Abstraction Too

Another bunch of abstract photos from the same session as the last post. This group though might be described as less abstract in that the source image can probably be identified.

Shrubs

Shrubs

Pillar

Pillar

Slope

Slope

Pink Wall

Pink Wall

Peonies Rising

Peonies Rising

This is Abstraction

I have always tried to make a distinction between abstraction and non-representational or non-objective art (although admittedly I often tire of trying to explain the difference and just fall back to the common definition of abstract referring to random non-representationalism).

A simple definition of abstraction is a simplification or a distilling to an essence – which implies the image is derived or related to something real. To me virtually all photography lies on a continuum running from realism to highly abstract and most paintings that aren’t hyper-realism are a form of abstraction.

All of this is by way of introducing my latest exploration of abstract photographic images. These are all digital photgraphs – of things! They have been simplified or abstracted by using long exposures and intentional camera movement.

Yellow Corner

Yellow Corner

Half Green

Half Green

Itchy

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Itchy

Fog

Fog

Spring Sneaks In (Part 2)

Here are some more photos from Edmonton’s river valley on the first weekend of April, showing the transition to spring.

For the eyes starved of color over the months of winter, the faint golden glow of the uncovered grasses and the rosy haze of the Dogwood twigs in the distance, is a feast for the eyes.

Snowy Path

Snowy Path

Rosy Haze

Rosy Haze

Path to the Blue Forest

Path to the Blue Forest

Subtle Color

Subtle Color

Melting Path

Melting Path

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