Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Softly Spoken - Experiment in Low Contrast

Oil on Canvas, 60 x 70 cm

Often the strongest statements are understatements.

I had to adjust this in Photoshop, to reach the quiet colors. The camera saw right through the grayish thin layers of paint, to capture the stronger shades below.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Les Boulevards de Paris
oil over acrylic antecedent, 70 x 80 cm

After writing my previous post, I decided to translate the name of this painting into French.
This is FINAL stage (oops, unsigned still).
Le kaki, c'est une couleur jolie, n'est pas?

Experimentation in Contrasts
Oil over acrylic undercoat, on canvas, 120 x 140 cm.
Folks, it's finally done.
This painting has gone through so many alterations and altercations. Or as the French would say, "boulerversements".
Big and graphic, with contrasting round red shapes, and angular green ones; fussy with warm cold contrasts within the reds; loss of contrast between patterned and flat areas; focus on the background purple "negative spaces"; refocus on the objects, the "positive spaces"; discovery of the contrast between the brilliant reds and the mud reds; muted contrasts; finally creating contrast between "big" and "small" areas of color.
I would post a slide show of the stages, if I could figure out how to.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Paris Streetmap
Oil, 70 x 80 cm
Reworked from an older "sampler" type painting. I had randomly, rapidly painted branches of pomegranates, and then placed a grid of masking tape over it. Each rubric was over-painted differently. But as usual, I didn't know when to stop, and the result was riotous and overly colored - but with no true color investigation. Yesterday, I worked and scratched, painted and etched, until the rays of khaki appeared, defining my Paris Boogie Woogie

Monday, November 24, 2008

Commissioned Painting

After making many revisions, I am quite happy with the color balances and harmonies, the naive perspective and the clarity of the pattern filled surfaces.

Most of the interesting shades were created by combining opposite colors, especially sap green with carmine, and Naples yellow with purple. Actually, a bit of Naples yellow in everything. In the final version, I used metalic colors sparingly.

The Hebrew lettering remains to be applied. The painting was commissioned in memory of a lovely woman, who died suddenly in the prime of her life. The sellected verses reflect her noble character and values.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Self Portrait 7.10.2008
pencil, 35 x 50 cm
I started this intending to work in a very stylized, cubist manner. I skipped getting the proportions right, and tried to make my face look like a Frank Gehry building. Well, the final result may not look much like the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. That shimmering construction of metal got lost under the debris of eraser dust and pencil smudges. But I like it and the way I used the background so effectively.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Jerusalem Hills 4.
Aquarelle, 51 x 36 cm
After doing the previous painting in this series, I decided to carry the idea of a "picture frame within a picture frame" and the dynamic arches of stripes to the extreme. I love the contrast of the static and moving elements. And indeed, in reality, the rigid verticals and horizontals of the man made buildings, and the emphatic verticals of cypress trees and date palms, do indeed contrast with the flowing curves of the terraced hills and valleys.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Jerusalem Hills 3
Aquarelle, 51 x 36 cm
I seem to be getting better at these. I have another one almost done. I'd like to work larger, but this size paper block fits nicely into my bicycle basket, and I enjoy taking them home to work in the evening.
I 'm working on another similar picture, in which I took these design elements to a greater extreme: I used the contrasts between the rectangles and curves; soft horizontals and strong verticals; framed images inside framed images, and angles of stripes, to make a wild painting.
Check the blog soon to see the results!

I drew this shortly before a trip to the Czech Republic. I am quite interested in Cubism, and how the movement influenced more popular art, design and illustration in the following decades. Then I hit Prague. The Czechs adopted the Cubist aesthetic with a greater enthusiasm then elsewhere - even if at times is was only hijacked by their special talent for surface decoration. Anyway, who would have thought that Cubism could be so charming? I Loved it!
If you do get there, go visit the Museum of Czech Cubism (Kubismus Cesky) on Celetna St in the Old Town. It is small and wonderful, with a lovely coffee house on the second floor. (Go for the decor, but be warned, for all of those with an affection for good European coffee, Czech coffee is lousy. We should send Israeli baristas there to give them lessons. Perhaps I should suggest that to my son?)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Sketches for a Commission

I'm sure that there will be more revisions. I haven;t worked with a detailed sketch in ages. I am enjoying it. And pencils are such a delightful invention
Wow! My Largest Yet.

Oil on canvas, 120 x 140 cm, 17" x 55" inches
Forth layer - but is it complete yet? Hmmmm. I'll sit on it for a few days.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Self Portrait in Gray #2
Oil on canvas, 50 x 70 cm

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Self Portrait in Gray #1

Oil, 70 x 100 cm.

I painted this before and after sunset, on a top floor, next to west facing window. Ouch! The light and shadows danced all over my face, the first half of each session, the sun hitting hard from the left, and then the electric lights hitting softer from the right. But I stuck it out!

I also had a wonderful discovery: I had washed and forgotten my favorite brushes at my studio. So I "made do" with the ignored ones, including an unused soft round one. The lovely brushwork on the neck and chest was a gift that the brush gave me, in appreciation of the opportunity that I offered her, to proove herself. :-) Thanks Brush.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Sampler, Layer Two
Oil over acrylic, 70 x 80 cm
What fun using masking tape!

Olive Tree
עץ הזיתֿֿ

Acrylic, January 2007, 70 x 80 cm.
This was my first canvas this large, and I approached the fabric with awe. Painting it was a real learning experience, and very gratifying. I learned the advantages of the paint, which can be lyered over and over, but has a poor covering quality as compared to gouache, with which you was get nice strong graphic shapes, as I wanted in the leaves, and as I was soon to learn with oil paints, which are so much richer. But only acrylic can allow the wonderful three dimensional work, such as I did in the tree trunk. I used modeling paste. And the pattens on the bottom. In oil, I would have to wait forever for each layer to dry.

Monday, April 07, 2008

An artist from Iowa City commented on this watercolor:
"Wonderfully bright. A happy scene, full of growth." (Thanks Phil)
Anyway, that is what I hoped to express. Growth.

I think that I will ask him to borrow that line, for its name.

I particularly like the accordion effect on the bottom left.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I've been working a lot on self portraits - I'm always available to pose. This one I like a lot.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Excercize. Self portrait in chalk. Working in negative - that is drawing the light instead of the shadow, was innitially a challenge for my brain. I will work more on self protraits (Heh, I'm always available to sit! On the other hand,, the choice of compositions and expressions is limited by the placement of the mirror and by my concentration.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Another small canvas. I am happy with the results.

Zig Zag
I used color to create the effects of perspective, even when the preliminary drawing is totally flat. I hope to do this with greater intention and experimentation in another painting. The idea is so appropriate for Jerusalem - a city that can be viewed from so many angles, physically, symbolically and spiritually. The Cubists used multiple points of view, to investigate depicting space. Maybe I will use it to investigate meaning.

I have started working on very small canvases again. Because the can be finished quicker, I feel free to experiment with variations on color palettes, transparencies and 3D pyrotechnics.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Self Portraits

The first, pencil drawing is quite accurate - especially to mey eyes, since I am used to viewing my asymetrical face mirrored left/right. My eyes are somewhat enlarged, as they appeared reflected through the lenses of my eyeglasses.

I enjoyed applying color to the second quick sketch

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Self Portrait

Once again, I played with a minimal pallet of, and maximum of pattern, textures, and contrast between matte and reflective surfaces. I used paints containing mica and grains of stainless steel. When photographing the painting, I had to choose between capturing the colors accurately, or capturing the reflections. Oh well. I have a lot to learn about photographing art work.
The oversized figs are surrealistic in dimension, which is by the fact that the background is so broken into little elements and its silvery colors.

Fresh Figs in Baskets II

I started this painting and the previous one, the same Friday. I finished cooking and cleaning early, and went to the studio for an hour and a half before Shabbat. (It usually takes me a long time in the mornings, to begin thinking creatively - and then, all too soon, the day is over. Perhaps a tighter schedule works better for me.) The results were good. I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the other fig painting. This one needed lots of reworking.