It’s been five years since I visited Iceland, but I keep creating paintings that are based on that trip. With no conscious desire to do so and no matter what the medium, I nonetheless find paintings emerging from my Iceland memories. Right after my 2012 trip, my paintings were all in watercolor; now I’m painting with acrylic. I remember thinking how beautiful but alien parts of the country were. Well, Iceland continues to inspire.
Two recent paintings, both acrylic on canvas created in my home studio, are perfect examples.
Lava Flow started as a painting about water. But when I didn’t like it and took a pallette knife to it, Iceland emerged. I can’t explain it any better than that.
Fire and Ice took almost no time or conscious effort. I put the colors down, didn’t like the result and, as with Lava Flow, started fixing it with a pallette knife. Again, memories of Iceland surfaced.
When I first came back from Iceland and started painting, I remember thinking how my abstract paintings were really awfully representational (parts of Iceland were that strange). These two aren’t representational, but they do really remind me strongly of Iceland. I think Iceland will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life.
Lately, I’ve been producing three very different kinds of paintings. They don’t look like they are painted by the same person. I’ve talked before about being a little schizophrenic because I was producing two different kinds of paintings. Well, now it’s three. So is it schizophrenia … or artistic license?
First are the sorta traditional paintings produced on watercolor paper in Frank O’Cain’s class at the Art Students League. I’ve been taking classes with Frank for many years and have posted this painting based on the water in Lake Ashi in Japan before. I love the feeling of depth and the fact that without my telling you the source, you might not know what it was about.
Next are different, more atmospheric paintings on raw canvas produced in Ronnie Landfield’s class at the Art Students League. I’ve just started taking this class to learn the technique so this is the first one I’ve finished. But more are in the works. I love the atmospheric effect.
And finally, very different acrylic paintings on gessoed canvas in my studio at home, this one a stylized view of Mt. Fuji based on a recent trip to Japan.
My paintings serve as a reminder of where I have been and what I have seen, a visual memoir of my past experiences. Although painted in three very different styles, they are all part of me. Doesn’t feel schizophrenic.
So I’m going with artistic license.