Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pears For Toulouse-Lautrec

                                               An original acrylic painting on stretched canvas
                                               15 X 19", framed - ( 12 X 16" canvas )
                                               $850.00, including frame, ( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                         ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This painting, done in a fairly post-impressionist manner, still defies any photographer
to capture a completely accurate feel for its primary, visual characteristic.  That is the
result of the fact that it was entirely, under-painted in metallic gold, so that the luminous
qualities of the overlying colors appear to change, as the painting is viewed from different
angles and distances.
     I haven't used metallic paints or foils a great deal, in my art work, because they often
tend to compromise the illusion of depth in paintings.   But they work fairly well in the
style of the post-impressionists, who favored bold shapes, lines and colors, and the
flattened  depth-of-field, of the Japanese, wood-block prints, which they so admired.
Metallic elements can also be useful in work which is deliberately primitive in design,
 having no genuine perspective or sense of scale, and instead, using flattened patterns,
shapes and traditional themes, to create a feel for the history of an area.  I once did a
series of such paintings, designed to give a feeling of the art and history of the Eastern
Mediterranean countries, and which I printed as a Christmas card collection.
I have posted several of those paintings in this blog in the past ( such as Silent Night
and Glad Tidings Of Great Joy ), but again, the metallic elements do not show up well
in the photos.

     The burnished-gold, molding I selected for the frame, carries out the rich theme of
the painting without being overly elaborate.  This photo of the painting in the frame,
may give viewers a better idea of the visual effect of this gilded presentation of pears.


Emerald Ballerina

                                                   An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                                   10.5 X 8.25", unframed
                                                   $135.00, ( plus $15.00, pack and ship )

                                                          ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This is another of  the jewel-toned color-studies I did in preparation for a much
larger painting of the ballerina.  In this one I was imagining the stage lighted for what
might be a setting from a forest scene, during a performance of one of the classic
romantic ballets, perhaps in a composition by Tchaikovsky.   I think it does capture
some of the evanescent and ethereal feel of a dancer poised in the glow of enchanted
stage-lighting, the magical, shimmering colored-lights which bring fairy-tales to life.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Still Waiting For The Music To Start Again

                                                    An original acrylic painting, on canvas
                                                    28 X 22", unframed
                                                    $2,600.00, - ( Plus $40.00, pack and ship )

                                                          ( click on image to enlarge )

     This painting may become the cover art for a children's book, depending on
whether or not the writing will be finished, and the book can find a publisher.

     This subject of a carousel horse, found seemingly abandoned in an old, decaying
barn, presented some interesting challenges for the composition.  The unusual
placement of the center-of-interest required a comfortable degree of informal balance,
and since this is a completely imaginary barn, there was the problem of creating a
believable, deep perspective.  The painting also required three different kinds of
light sources: a bright, warm sunlight at the front opening, a cool, shadowed light
from the opening on the far side of the barn, and a muted light source from an
unseen opening in the barn's loft.

     Perhaps this nostalgic look back at a salvaged part our childhood memories
will stir some blog viewers to recall their own innocent, cotton-candy days, of rides
on the merry-go-round, and reaching for the brass ring.

Amethyst Ballerina


                                                      An original mixed-media, on illustration board
                                                      10.75 X 8 ", unframed
                                                      $135.00, - ( plus $15.00, pack and ship )

                                                          ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This is another of the jewel-toned color-studies I worked on in preparation for
doing a larger painting of this subject.   In this one, the composition places the figure
closer to the picture plain, and the color palette is a bit softer and more subdued
than  in some of the other studies.
    Perhaps it is appropriate that the amethyst is the birth-stone of February, the
transitional month, after the brilliant colors of the Autumn foliage have faded away
into the misty, lavender tones of the winter season, and before the winds of March
begin to signal the floral displays of Spring.
     I will try to get more of the color-studies photographed and posted in this blog
before I post a photo of the larger painting.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Topaz Ballerina

                                                   An original mixed-media painting, on illustration board
                                                   14.5 X 12.5", framed - (10 X 8", unframed )
                                                   $210.00, including frame, ( plus $30.00, pack and ship )

                                                         ( click on image to enlarge )

     In a previous post, I mentioned that I had done a number of different color-studies
of this subject, prior to doing a larger painting of the ballerina.   I was trying to decide
what colors would best express the feeling of the stage performance.  I used a different,
dominate jewel-tone in each separate study, and in this case, I chose the colors of the
November birthstone, the topaz.  ( I believe jewelers say that the topaz is a symbol of
friendship, as if the stone is not expensive enough to declare a deeper emotion on the
part of the giver, but it seems to me that the gift of any expensive jewelry could simply
be considered a gift of friendship, and that true love can be expressed in any price
range, for those who can value the giver more than they value the price-tag of the gift. )

      I liked the results of this study enough to custom frame it, in a handsome, antique
gold molding with a linen liner, which I have included with the painting.  The photo
below is not perfectly accurate, but it gives the look of the frame molding.


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waves Of Sand And Time


                                                      An original acrylic painting, on canvas panel 
                                                      24 X 18", unframed
                                                      $1,800.00,  ( plus $30.00, pack and ship )

                                                         ( click on image to enlarge )

     Shifting sands have symbolized the passage of time, and the brevity of life, 
since ancient times, especially so following the invention of the hourglass, to
measure the passing hours of our days.  The old philosophers and religious
teachers warned us that our lives, like our houses, must be built on a firm
foundation, and not on an insubstantial bed of sand.  But time eventually turns
even the foundations of our finest plans and dreams, into grains of sand.

     This painting is the story of another life and another dream which has been
lost to unrelenting time and tide, and the shifting, wind-blown sands.  An old,
fishing boat which was once the pride and joy of its owner, gradually wore out
and deteriorated over the years, to the point that it could no longer be repaired,
and so it was abandoned to the dunes.  Now the shifting sands and beach grasses
are capturing this faded relic of a forgotten man's enterprise.   A passing seagull 
looks down at the derelict  boat as if expecting to see the old fisherman cleaning
his catch-of-the-day, and tossing away some tasty fish-heads.  But the fisherman
is just a fleeting ghost.

     The composition of this painting is one which is often referred to as a Zed
( or letter Z ) composition,  using a pattern of overlapping triangles and diagonal
lines which zig-zag up from the bottom of the picture-plain to the top, thereby
leading the eye of the viewer to proceed up from the foreground, to the middle-
ground, and on into the distant background.
                                                                   Gene McNerney



Monday, March 21, 2016

Sapphire Ballerina


                                                An original mixed-media on illustration board
                                                10 X 8", unframed, (mat size, 15 X 13")
                                                $110.00, - ( plus $15.00, pack and ship )

                                                           ( click on image to enlarge )

     This is one of a number of different color-studies I did of this subject, in
preparation for doing a larger painting of the ballerina.  In each case, I used a
different, dominant color of jewel-tones, as I decided what color would best
express the feeling I wanted to create in the final painting.
     A great deal of the fairy-tail magic which we see on stage during a ballet
performance, is created by the carefully arranged blends of the stage-lighting.
It is that evanescent glow of color washes which is a challenge and pleasure to
try and capture.
     Whenever I work on this kind of painting subject, I can't help but think of the
artworks of Degas.  He was certainly the master-painter of dancers, whether they
were on-stage, or waiting in the wings, or in rehearsal.  But we can all explore
the same subject matter in art, without necessarily imitating the work of those
who have mastered it before, in there own particular style.   Perhaps I will
photograph more of these color-studies, and post them in this blog.