brenton point (newport), oil, 4 x 4
Recently I was asked by someone about my little paintings. Ever since the beginning of painting for me....you know, way back when...I have loved the idea of small paintings. I think there is something from my childhood that brings this on. I remember seeing small paintings in museums, and feeling like they were little passageways into secret worlds, known only to the artist and the viewer, like somehow I could slip inside. When I first discovered these small panels I started a bit of a relationship with them. I take time to sand each one, gesso them with several layers. Then, I put down a thin wash as a base coat to cover over the white background. This all takes some time, but I am enamored with the end result. They do end up looking just like framed in windows.
I come back time and time again to this small size. These paintings happen quickly, almost effortlessly. Each brushstroke is put down with just the color intended. For all the laborious decision making that goes into larger pieces, all the second, third or even fourth iterations of the larger paintings, these small paintings are simple impressions that flow from heart, to fingers, to brush, to panel... There is no drawing board or meticulous drafting or considerations. It's just simple blocks of color, the mere suggestion of the landscape. I love them. And that sounds a bit narcissistic, but I just can't help it.
So, as I work on larger pieces I find myself coming back to these small paintings, doing one or two in the times when I need to take a break, when I need some instant gratification. I love to paint wet on wet, so small is the perfect antidote to the stall that can sometimes come over me when working on larger paintings. When they are finished they feel like little gems, little treasures. A collection of several hung together is like a smattering of windows, each one peering into a different world...
All the pieces in this post are available now in my shop, if you care to have a little gander...
our dunes that day, oil, 5 x 5
be back tomorrow, oil, 5 x 5
bodega bay, oil, 3 x 5
hills at bodega bay, oil, 5 x 5
the marsh in autumn, oil, 4 x 4
plowed field, oil, 4 x 4
through the valley, oil, 4 x 4