I’ve been studying smaller sections of my plein air gouache/crayon paintings lately. I’m working only in studio for now, and so those last few dozen plein air paintings from late October and November are the source material for all the new stuff. I’m looking pretty hard at the sense of light, color and place in them. The sun is much lower in the late fall, there are lots more shadows—maybe the light I’m looking at is more fragmented and so results in smaller pieces of color shapes in the work. I also have been cutting up the gouache paintings and mounting them on three dimensional wood cubes in another series. So overall lots of looking at ‘parts.’
A new series has emerged from all this looking/thinking: Fragments. They are based on very small sections of the plein air paintings. I’m using the same large brushes (1″-4″ wide) that I use on the large studio paintings, with the intention of maintaining the same scale of mark between the large and small works.
I was watching a documentary recently, Painters Painting, (thanks for sharing Royce Deans), listening to deKooning talk about his Women series, how he pasted a photo cut from a magazine of a woman’s mouth onto his canvas, how it gave him a point of reference, something to hold on to. Makes so much sense to me. A bit of a horizon or a tree-like shape so instantly for me defines a light/color/place.