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I completed SouthExposure16 (acrylic on 24 x 36 in (61 x 91 cm) stretched canvas) on October 24. Mouse over or touch for detail mouse out or touch the screen outside the picture to return to the full photograph of the painting.

It's been over three months since I made a journal entry which would suggest that the energy I was using to blog is also the same energy I use to paint but, I've also been making Facebook entries. Facebook is becoming a distraction. My phone app makes a notification sound and I am drawn away from the canvas as if a person just entered my studio and, I want to communicate with them. I don't think my painting is suffering from the interruptions. A family man is familiar with interruptions and misses it when his children leave to make their own homes.

SouthExposure17 (acrylic and tissue on 18 x 24 in (46 x 61 cm) ash panel began on October 27 as a tissue paper abstraction of the Texan canyon prairie feel. Above the canyon on the prairie was a huge paddock restraining a fairly large buffalo herd behind barbwire accessed over Texas gates (re blog: March 24, 2012). SouthExposure 17 was completed November 13.

Two things of note happened:

  • I returned to doing things which are outside the basic parameters of the series. In this case using polymer saturated coloured tissue to "gesso" the panel. I can't hamper my experimentation in an attempt to satisfy gallery owners (clientele) and public gallery curators (community) in their quest to find dependable and consistent artists. Maybe contemporary art is like that but... contemporary life isn't. Each painting deserves an application which is suited to it.
  • I returned to the use of symbols. The bison was the main source of meat and hides for the Prairie peoples. The animal, in traditional legend gave it's life for the preservation of humanity. The foreground thorn bush offers only the feel of security to the viewer. Even though the bachelors have lost the right to mate and also some of their will to live, they can still be "perturbed" by other animals which are perceived as a threat. But, that aside, the feel of separation between the beast and viewer: the thorn bush, refers to the crown of thorns worn by Jesus who represented the slaughter of the innocent... the Rite of Spring.

Mouse over or touch the above reproduction for a reproduction of the finished painting.

SouthernExposure 18, acrylic on 11 x 17 in (28 x 36 cm) mahogany panel started November 19, completed November 20. Is a two sitting painting on an oil sketch size panel. I am relaxing. This is a study in paint. The intellectual abstraction of a capstone bluff is okay but a minor note. The hard, gray sandstone protects the softer red sandstone and clay which creates the landform. It is like a top down foundation. The Anasazi People of Four Corner's Country used this technique to protect the walls of their adobe dwellings. The abstraction of the paint that contains no intellectual representation is the application of the paint itself. I used many layers of lightly pigmented transparent glazes. The layers of paint can be seen even with the mono vision of two dimensional digital photography. With the plain stereo eye, the layers can be seen much more easily. Something like in internet reproductions, the real textures are somewhat out of touch and primarily visual.

Mouse over or touch the above reproduction. See if you can see it.

That keyed there must also be a realization, a basic principle of art stating that it is possible to step too far into chaos and disorder just as it is possible to be to orderly.

In the execution of SouthernExposureXXX, acrylic on 18 x 12 inch ash panel, out of the blue, for the first time in almost 20 years I blew a painting. I decided to "just have fun with it". You know, like the naive painters do or the moderns who start out with no idea whatsoever. Bad plan. I had fun for sure and it works up close where I was playing (mouseOver). But, if a completed holistic work of art that has some familiarity with the series is my goal. This cannot be a good start.

Ash for the trash.

Also the 18 x 12 inch panel size is something new. It will replace the 14 x 11 inch format in my next series.

It is geometry, a variation of the golden mean. Starting at the largest size and progressing by dividing the longest side by 2:

36 x 48
36 x 24
18 x 24
18 x 12
09 x 12

The rectangles are also standard sizes and frames can be purchased at art and craft stores. This is a good method of using the 8 ft x 4 ft plywood sheet with very little waste.

For now I am junking this and sticking to the 11 x 14 (28 x36 cm) sketch size because I have used it 3 times in the SouthernExposure series already and I don't want to get into framing and crating complexities.

Does this mean I plan to exhibit? I hope not.

The above is a simulation of the golden mean and an illustration of the sizes I plan for the next series, OutWest.

If I wanted to make a golden rectangle from a 48 inch long side, the short side of the rectangle would have to be 29.664 inches. An elegant shape but not very practical in Canada where frame sizes are still based upon the British system even though, officially, Canada is a metric nation. Yet another thing to think about, hey?

I wrote a calculator app for making golden rectangles. It was a part of two person exhibition of photographs Muriel Frega and I did in 2005 called Salva Salvo. There are four illustration calculators programmed in Flash of the golden mean as a part of the exhibition. Metric printer papers are cut in the golden mean. If you wish to dig deeper into the irrational number system and paper making check out this Youtube video lecture:











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