BookMarks: A Library of Line, Shape, Value, Color, & Texture
Title: “Once upon a bye...”; 40" x 16" Acrylic on Canvas
I like books. I enjoy reading the words in books, but I equally enjoy the look of books and the feel of books, especially old books. I collect old books. Not necessarily valuable books, but books whose age gives them character. Old, time worn and weathered, leather bound books with tattered pages of deckled edged paper that have faded over their well-thumbed history. They have a beauty that is simple and quiet, yet it speaks in volume. My newest body of work titled, BookMarks: A Library of Line, Shape, Value, Color, & Texture, is a card catalog of my obsession with old books as visual inspiration and reference. You would think the subject prompted the title, but actually it was the paint application technique that dictated the name. These canvases are images created exclusively using MARKS. By choosing tools that echo the size and shape of the desired details, the marks made next to other marks create the illusion of stacked books. The paintings are very realistic but at the same time they are very abstract depending on the viewer’s position. If you get "up close and personal" with the canvases all you will see are lines, shapes, colors and textures(the basic art elements), from a distance they are hyper-realistic renderings of time-worn volumes. By focusing on the interaction of marks made by shape against shape, value against value, and how the Light defines the shadow, vibrations are produced on the canvases. Just like books are made-up of layers of pages and bindings, these paintings are layers of underpainting that create surface texture using untraditional tools beyond the paint brush that leave their individual marks. Wood chiseling instruments, gardening spades, screwdrivers, & house paint scrapers of varying sizes, shapes, and designs dictate the plot of what is happening visually on the surfaces. Most of the paintings in the series are unusual in that they possibly can be hung different ways depending on how you view them. You might think I have them upside down, or need to turn them to hang vertically instead of horizontally and vice versa. That’s the joy of art! The viewer has a role in the creative process even after the artist has finished their part. BookMarks: A Library of Line, Shape, Value, Color, & Texture merges my characteristic subject choice of nostalgic, everyday objects that recall memories, comfort, and relationships with my evolving paint application methods taking the art I produce on a new adventure. Much like picking up a good book, I want these paintings to fill the viewer with intrigue, questions, answers, mystery and an anticipation for more. I want them to make a mark. Come check them out at In Town Gallery on Frazier Avenue in Downtown Chattanooga, TN.
The above images are close-up/cropped/zoomed-in details of the full image of the painting titled: "Once upon a bye..." at the top of this page. Each painting in the BookMarks Series begins with an initial layer of paint "blocking in" bright, colorful shapes that will peak through the layers of paint added later . The photo on the far left above shows this initial, brightly colored, underpainting layer. The paintings progress by adding value in layers using metal tools in desired shapes and sizes, scraping, dragging, and pushing paint across the surface. Once paint is applied, the mark that is made is the one that remains, "You live with what happens, and sometimes, most of the time, it is not what was planned. But that is the fun part-working with the 'surprise' marks." The bright colors of the underpainting peak through the layers creating interest and depth. The photo in the middle and to the far right reveal the textures, shapes, marks created by the various tools and specks of the underpainting peaking through as the painting progresses. The images below are close-up photos showing progression and details of the painting titled, "“It is a truth universally acknowledged…” (a complete view is at the bottom of this page). What you cannot see in photographs is the true texture on the surface of the canvases. I hope you will visit In Town Gallery in the month of August to see them "up close and personal". Select the In Town Gallery tab in the menu bar to see all seven paintings in the BookMarks series.
Title: “It is a truth universally acknowledged…” 24" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas