Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Three new  black and white landscape drawings

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Here are some Yosemite drawings.All of these are copyrighted by me. copyright@Klein,2008

What about painting in Yosemite can hold my attention for over twenty years?
First, there is the challenge to finish a painting before the light disappears-sometimes I wait all day for twenty minutes of light that reveals the form or is particularly beautiful.
Second, the simple thrill of painting en plein air.
Third,the struggle to create my own style.
Fourth, the pleasure of being in a tradition --for me, the society of six en plein area painters.
Fifth,the joy of discovery and sense of mastery when a painting gets completed.
Sixth,and many many painters don't feel this-- the challenge of discovering the small truths of Yosemite ,about myself,sand small truths about painting.
Small truths of Yosemite-- what does that mean? Small truths about your self?
Let me discuss these separately.
Small truths of Yosemite.

When you're painting a landscape you have billions of bits of information to choose from-information that is "out there" independent of you.
As an artist, I select some small sub set of data to use in creating my painting.
Please remember, in this discussion
the terms I use--data, out there--are drawn loosely,not meant to be philosophically precise. That will come later.
Imagine. I'm standing beneath El Capitan. It's evokes in me a sense of monumentally and mass weight. I scan the monument trying to discover which bits of information add up to create that sense in me. Some data I just need to put me in the ball park-e.g. size relative to the trees, rough shapes of the cliffs ,etc. Some data I change given the formal needs of the picture, darkened the overall tone of the picture. Other data I add .Take the drawing with the black clouds below. I added the clouds. I left the broken streak marks as evidence of the process of creating the drawing--but those lines were designed to get the information about relative size.

In Yosemite, twin factors hit me as an artist: sheer beauty and size of the place. After a while being there, and away from the floor of the valley i.e. away from tourists, my entire time relationship seems to shift,and I begin to drop from my consciousness immediate city and career based concerns and relax into the environment. The enormous size of the park in terms of size and space calls out a loneliness, a sense in me of smallness. With that in my mind comes by association questions of the significance of my life, of what I want to do with the years I have left..Those ruminations plus what the immediate physical environment call for- carefulness in storing food, in walking with a 60 lb pack, in scaling rocks and climbing. All of this reorients my conscious awareness--away from a city based through something like farm based to something like hiking guide.

The risks and self reliance of backpacking in high country calls up another slightly different layer or stream of consciousness.
These thoughts and feelings are not small truths about Yosemite but are small truths about me---loss of an awareness of nature, loss of a certain kind of self awareness,etc--that Yosemite has called out in me.
As an artist I want to sort through all the feelings being in Yosemite called out, and grab a hold of those that seem most fundamental ,most important and figure out how to use the physical information about Yosemite, and the formal aspects of making a painting and working with paint to trap those awareness,those thoughts in paint in such a way that any reasonable normal viewer will be put in the ball park of those thoughts and feelings when viewing my paintings.
Of course, for each painting the thoughts and feelings are different. And sometimes, my goal is outside my conscious awareness. And finally, i can't force the viewer to have any particular set of thoughts and feelings. I can only put them in the ball park and hope they take it from there.

Truths from Painting:
These are sometimes formal concerns about constructing a painting-e.g. the limits of working on paper, the limits of a rectangle compositionally,etc. Other times they are about paint. --how to layer acrylic paint so the illusion of depth results, or particular colors come though layering. They can also be about the process-- for example, how half way into the painting, you may discover that what you thought was the subject matter isn't the subject matter,or how the light can suddenly change and everything has to be redone and redone quickly.
These aren't necessarily unimportant because you might find something out about painting,or paint that no one in the history of painting has previously done. Here I'm always painting with the whole history of painting in my mind. If ambitious, you will always want to be on the lookout for interesting discoveries.
Truths about Self:
Some of these truths are about how lazy I am. Others about how easily I give away my concentration. Still others about how I may need to train my visual memory. Sometimes i paint into and through ugly emotions and stereotypes. Or explore areas of feeling I not comfortable with.
These may be simply truths about physical states-- how long in one day I can paint.
When you mix these three areas in the ongoing painting processes, there is a kind of flow that can be loaded with positive reinforcement to keep you going. Like you are riding in a river raft on a surging out of control white water monster river always waiting top see whats around the next bend, the next decision. The curiosity drives me on.

Perspective is relatively accurate and based upon objective data. Light effects are a mixture of what was there and what i created--given how fast the light changes. tons and tons of data was leftout.

The big masses of the rocks and the three receding chunks of the sheer wall are data based --although size surface characteristics, have been changed.

Saturday, August 7, 2010