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“After a Long, Dark Winter”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2017

Field Notes:
After months of winter darkness soaking us all well and truly, we finally had a nice weekend of bright spring sun. And of coarse that would happen to be the one weekend I had booked on the calendar months ago to perform my live art nonstop at a weekend long music festival. This entire glorious weekend of sun would be spent indoors, having a great time and all, but still… indoors.

Nuts.

But then came Monday, it was all over, everyone was back to work, school, and all that and the sun was still with us for at least another morning by all appearances. Managed to sneak out and paint this one in the brightness of midday before the blue sky hazed over gray.

After a weekend of painting with nonstop live music, practically more as a form of dance than typical visual art, with nothing to reference but time, rhythm, and melody, it sure was refreshing to get back to earth for a spell. Thank you California, I love you.

“Chromatic Water Theory IV: String Theory”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
Stringed instruments often contain a dizzying array of mathemetical geometries; the length and/or thickness of strings, the placement of frets, the bodies themselves. All of it designed to vibrate those strings at the right frequencies to produce harmonic sounds. But what is vibration, if not a wave? Reduce a wave to its mathematical base and you have a simple sine wave, an oscillation between two points at a regular frequency.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

“Chromatic Water Theory III: Strum”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 18″ x 36″
Year: 2017

Notes:
Sound upon sound, wave upon wave, a simple strum of a stringed instrument produces something that combines to a beautiful note. Sound is a wave after all, watch what happens when multiple waves collide, the result is usually something far beyond the sum of the parts. A synergy of moving water, a liquid chord in the key of H2O.

This painting is another reminder that every song has its roots in water.

This series was created live during the Redwood Coast Music Festival inside the Morris Graves Museum of Art. The overall concept of the series was to explore the connections between music and water, through a set of shared geometric structures.

“Off in the Distance”

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 20″ x 16″
Year: 2017

Field Notes:
We had some good sunny weather a few days ago, and I got it in my head that I’d go up to Trinidad, to the top of the headland there and paint the view looking north. I had the exact vantage point in my mind with vertical rock faces framing one side of the painting but deep atmospheric distance plummeting away up the coast on the other. It would take some scrambling to get all my gear to the little zone with the view, but nothing too problematic. Well… except for the wind. I was just so excited to see a clear sky forecast after all the rain, that I ran out without thinking of that pesky wind factor. Needless to say, it was a no go. Howling north winds were slamming full force into the promontory I wanted to perch upon. I figured since I live around here, I can always come back on a calmer day and kept going around the leeward side of the head to see what views were on offer on this winter afternoon.

I’d thought of doing a studio piece from this perspective years ago, I even have a file full of images taken with a zoom lens to get this unusual angle of one of my favorite surf zones. I never considered painting it in plein air as the entire frame of the composition is only about two finger widths at arms length due to the distance across Trinidad bay. Not a lot of visual information to work with, a rather flat atmosphere (again due to everything in the painting being a long distance away), and a really awkward compositional problem with no real foreground to work with made this one a bigger challenge than I had expected. I could have included some plants from the side of the trail I was on and peering over, but thought it would distract from this near aerial perspective, so instead I just hammed up the swell lines and foam trails in the water down there to give the eye a bit of enjoyment down there.

While I did have higher hopes for this one (I think I always do for all of them), I am pretty stoked to have come away with a different perspective of a familiar spot.

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