I'm developing a new series of paintings I'm calling Botanique. The paintings are inspired by the amazing and ever changing botanical world all around us. Abstract Impressionist in style, the paintings meld the form and vitality of Abstract Expressionism with the broken color brushwork of the Impressionists.
I hope to convey some of the dazzling color, vibrancy and nuance found in the magical world of plants, flowers and trees. I've brightened the palette quite a bit in this series, and am letting the colors run free.
All titles are randomly selected from botanical nomenclature. Pictured here, Fasicle, 48" x 48" acrylic on canvas.
My new work has morphed a bit into another series of new paintings, which I'm going to call Calando. The work is similar to my earlier series Adagio, and even the newer series, della terra, but also different. Like Adagio, Calando is a musical term, instructing the performers to lower the volume and also the the pace. In other words, to slow down, to quiet. These paintings suggest this to me, a calming. very soft effect, and thus the title. Below is Calando I, oil on panel, 24" x 24".
I'm starting to coalesce around this textured body of work and have decided to title the series Della Terra ("of the earth"). There are a lot of earth tones in these paintings, and lots of surface texture as I've described here in earlier postings.
In making the paintings with thick paint mixed with wax medium, I often trowel it on in layers, building up color and interest as I go along. Sometimes it almost feels like working with clay (of the earth), another point of reference for the title I've chosen. As the layers build up, I also dig back into them, scrapping away and excavating down into the layers beneath. The mottled results suggestion to me, erosion or old weathered surfaces of stone, as one might find in the landscape. I like this very much and this is also part of the reasoning for the series title. Pictured here, della terra II, 24" x 24", oil on panel.
I'm often asked about the titles I give to the paintings. Each one in this series is named "Adagio", which of course is the musical direction a composer might incorporate into their score, directing performers to play "slowly, with ease, gracefully."
For me there is something musical about these paintings and so I like the name in that sense. But more importantly, each one is created over time, very much in the spirit of adagio.... slowly, gracefully. Perhaps this is also my suggestion as to how one might best experience looking at the paintings as well.
In addition to titling them Adagio, I've taken to naming the day and month the painting was begun, and the day and month it was finally completed as part of the title. This gives each painting its own sort of "time signature", distinguishing one from another and also conveying the life of its creation over time. So the 48" x 48" painting in this post, which evolved over many months, is titled Adagio 6/5-12/28
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