Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Huge Charcoal Angus Bulls and a Colt

Hello Everyone..!!

Happy Summer!  The sunshine and longer days are a delight to the soul!

In the interest of transparency I must confess that my 'First Friday Posts' have become 'Post as I have time and work to share'... which is more realistic and happens about every five or six weeks.  All of our lives are so full that I imagine nobody noticed.  
All of the works in this post are for my Altamira exhibit on August 2nd.

This posts consists of and oil painting and some charcoal drawings... two of the drawings, the bulls, are 3 feet x 6.5 feet!  I have never done drawings this large and creating at this scale with charcoal was a lot of fun.  Maneuvering them around the studio, up and down the stairs, and transporting them to the photographer was another story.  These Angus Bulls were on The Mead Ranch a few winters ago, their large dark shapes against the snow instantly reminded me of one of my favorite works by Francisco Goya.

'Giant' - Francisco Goya - 1818
I did some small drawings of them a few years ago and have wanted to do them in large format ever since.  They are designed to hang together facing each other.... that said, they will also stand alone as the two together would need about sixteen feet of linear wall space.  Maybe the Metropolitan has space for them.  :)

Stalwart Knight One - 36 x 77 - Charcoal on paper - Available at Altamira Fine Art - SOLD
Stalwart Knight Two - 36 x 77 - Charcoal on paper - Available at Altamira Fine Art - SOLD

To create works this large in charcoal I used the full spectrum of charcoal mediums available, from a charcoal pencil to, literally, a charcoal brick about 8 inches long.  There was a learning curve in regards to handling the paper, the different textures of the charcoal, the effects of the fixative and framing details in regards to the scale of the pieces.  

The variety of charcoal mediums used to create the bulls. 

The below is an oil painting of a Lipizzan Colt.  It is the starkness of the composition in the below painting which mainly excites me.  Placing a subject in the middle of a canvas can be tricky business and it is the backdrop and the shapes in the colt which make this composition successful.  It is titled 'Bokeh' as that is a word which refers to the aesthetic quality of the blur of out-of-focus areas in a photograph.  I played with blurring the areas at the bottom of the painting to bring the viewers attention to the white star on the forehead and the eye which are more detailed.  The blurred areas along the bottom also creates imbalance which is necessary as the colt is in the center of the painting.

'Bokeh' - 15 x 41 - Oil on Linen - Available at Altamira Fine Art - SOLD 

The below is the study for 'Bokeh'
Study for 'Bokeh' - 10 x 18 - Charcoal on paper - Available at Altamira Fine Art - SOLD 

And a last, but certainly not least, a 'Post' would not be a 'Post' without a picture of Uma.

Thank you for taking the time to keep up with what has been going on in the studio. 
May you have wonderful upcoming summer days!
All my best,
~ September