General Update

My not posting as often should not be considered that I am losing interest in either of my blogs or for lack of something to say. Rather I have been preoccupied as to the direction my art is taking me, along with another reevaluation of both my blogs.

Since blogging these past five months, I have come across numerous incredible creative artists and their amazing artwork. This has had a profound impact and influence as how I view my own solitary art but also the roll of my blogs and the purpose they are to serve.

When I started painting in 2000, I had two views; and two directions I wanted to go, traditional and abstract. After attending several college courses in 2008 and a contemporary art history class in the spring of 2009, my creative perspective was shaken up and since then, it has been in a continuous state of transition. During this evolutionary period, it appears I am languishing motionless, adrift without wind to move me ahead, when in fact this period is being spent reflecting inward about my current state and my art.

Progress on the distressed canvases has been slow. One, the largest of the set, 20 x 20” (50.80 x 50.80 cm) finally saw movement with the addition of two beer ads. When I originally came across the German beer ad from Spaten and the American Ale from Budweiser, I thought I would have some fun. The idea was to cover over the Spaten glass of beer and then rip off portion of the American Ale, revealing the Spaten underneath. Now that this has been accomplished, the collage can be considered finished, though deep down I feel one element is still needed to truly consider this painting finished and ready for my signature.

Newsprint on canvas, 20 x 20” (50.80 x 50.80 cm)
Stage 4, layer eight

Newsprint on canvas, 20 x 20” (50.80 x 50.80 cm)
Stage 5, layer nine

Close-up of the beer ads
Stage 5, layer eight and nine

On the other hand the smallest of the canvases, 12 x 12” (30.48 x 30.48 cm) has seen progress that is fraught with mixed emotions. I see the drawing being successful, I also see technical failure, and now I come to a crossroad, having to decide if I let it go or make the corrections.

Untitled — in progress, 12 x 12” (30.48 x 30.48 cm)
Stage 6, watercolour pencil over graphite pencil drawing

I view failure as success if one learns from the error. What I am referring to is the illustration of the acorn squash, which should have had a white under painting in order to cover the newsprint from showing through and influencing the illustration and its spectrum of colours. As I keep finding it a visual distraction and the fact that the colours appear not pure, I must now decide if I shall go ahead and carefully cover up the drawing and redo all the pencil and watercolour work.

On a more positive note, it was ten days or so I started two small canvases, both 8x8 inches (20.32 x 20.32 cm) and instead of going for a distressed background, I opted for a typographical composition. As for the next step or layer, well that to is like being the ancient mariner adrift on a still ocean with an albatross for company.

Untitled — in progress, 8 x 8” (20.32 x 20.32 cm)
Stage 1, 4-5 layers of newsprint

Untitled — in progress, 8 x 8” (20.32 x 20.32 cm)
Stage 1, 4-5 layers of newsprint

In less than one week it is time to celebrate the day that brings friends and families together, around a table decked with decorations and packed with wonderful dishes, while at its center is a roasted bird, a turkey.

There were well made plans in the works, that in a few days I would go on my last photographic expedition for the year and accompanying me would be Bruce and his son Kevin, both of whom I had not seen in almost a year. I would share with them my previous explorations by returning to two of my favorite finds, discoveries made after taking my daughter back to Santa Cruz, then traveling the long way back home along the Pacific coast on the Cabrillo Highway, Highway One. However the day we choose was simple too close to the American holiday Thanksgiving Day and after some contemplation, we decided to postpone the trip for another day.

Until my next post I wish you my dear reader and fellow follower all the very best,


La Dolce Vita said...

Hi Egmont,

I do not see the first two images that you are speaking of, in the first part of your blog post, but the second two pieces are very arresting. Of course we share a love of script and red, white and black as a color combination is very powerful.
I too am at a crossroads with my direction artistically and I can relate to the feeling of uncertainty of the unfoldment of my art.
Have a lovely holiday and I envy you your trip up Highway 1, it is a road I traveled many times when I lived in LA. ciao! Caterina

layers said...

I myself would find it difficult to try to paint both realistically and non-objective-- to go back and forth-I personally like your newsprint collages the best-- especially the ones with strong contrast. Are you making copies of the newsprint before you use them?

Kelly Marszycki said...

I try to think of these periods as fallow times when "something" is percolating somewhere in my head/heart. It's difficult and can cause such a paralysis that effectively stops us dead in our tracks. But that's when it is most important to not beat oneself up about it; to give ourselves permission to break away; and to come back to the creation that is waiting patiently for us to bring it to life. I wish you peace, Egmont, for this holiday season!

John M. Mora said...

I like beer and beer ads, per se, so I miss seeing the referenced images. I always leave your blog inspired in part feeling and longing for the Bay Area where I grew up and which I miss dearly.

I want to cruise down Highway One, past Pacifica, possibly stoping at Princeton hear Half Moon Bay...then southward.

I also like your news collages, the compositions and sensibilities. It has been so long since I thought of Jack London Square....

Thanks for your thoughtful and kind comments. My best.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

I apologize for the image problems that have occurred during your visit to my blog. It has now been corrected and I have also added an additional image, which shows the German beer Spaten ad before it is covered up by Budweiser and having a section torn from it.

Thank you for your visit and enjoy your weekend as we currently are in the midst of a heavy rainstorm.


La Dolce Vita said...

Yes! I see them now!
I like the beer ads very much, but the squash piece I think is wonderful, I like it that the background bleeds through to the foreground.
I personally think it is wonderful to work both realistically and non objectively.... you can never be bored!

Anonymous said...

I love the way you share your thoughts on work in progress and the stages you go through to achieve the end result. Lying fallow is necessary to all artists I think, and if viewed from a natural-history perspective, it makes good sense: better crops on ground that lies fallow once in a while, or in a specific cycle.

As to wondering whether something is finished or not, is it possible to scan or photograph a piece at a specific stage, and make photo copies and play around with those before deciding?

John M. Mora said...

"I view failure as success if one learns from the error." Oh, so true and in fact one improves most by recognizing this process - artistic sceincve experiments - like breathing on the agar and waiting a fwew days.

The beer work is joyously stoic - a great combination that allows reflection - the marketing images and the newspring copy phrases mingle and echo. I have used words in my quilts.

Newspapers are dead in America. Your work here kindles what newspaperz used to be. Nostalgia and grace.

I am intrigued by your American and German sensibilities.

I also like the squash and even appreciate howt the underlayer shows through - it anchors the two together for me, but you know best.

Ange said...

With respect to errors - and even your intentions when you started out ... I must say that 'you took the words right out of my mouth.'

I too have two projects: one is original art of calligraphy on old wood. The other is Positive Planks for children's rooms which I would like to turn into a fair trade project one day.

The two directions diverge completely and are directed at different audiences. Both fulfill me for different reasons (although - in terms of artwork, it is the calligraphy on old wood that fills my soul), and yet, unlike you, I have only one blog.

What unites the two directions is a common ground of 'using art to inspire through the power of the written word.' However, I am wondering if I shouldn't separate the two completely ...

My question is: Why do you write two???

ArtPropelled said...

I often find these phases of uncertainty to be the lull before the storm. Oh do think carefully before covering up the squash piece, Egmont. I really like it! The only area i might find slightly distracting is the yellow at the right end of the squash. I like the newsprint showing through definitely adds to the piece.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Dear Ange,

Forgive me for not having written you sooner to say thank you for following both my blogs, as I always write a thank you letter to each follower of my sites.

I wish to answer your question as to why I have two blogs that may appear similar when they are not. The Artist Within Us is my portfolio blog where I only show finished pieces of paintings or photographs. I do talk about the artwork from a personal point but not the process of it.

The Four Seasons in a Life blog reveals the artist behind the work. It is here I can share my thought processes and other ideas. You see art in progress; I share my joy and disappointments as well as doubt. These are things I cannot do at The Artist Within Us page., as it needs to maintain a professional appearance but the other place I can let my hair down so to speak.

After my post on Four Seasons I made a list of topic ideas I may wish to write over the next several months as well as a list for the other site. Four Seasons has 21 or 22 entrees, while only four.

There are two more blogs in the works, one is about collecting and will be mostly stories that have been contributed to the blog for posting. My other site A Portrait in Time is about the old photographs I have collected over the years and now I wish to create stories that these images tell me. It is like my two posts on Four Seasons under ‘Keeper of Memories’.

However back to the original question, there have been a few times I kept wondering if there was enough distinction between the two blogs but after making the list this weekend, I see that over the next several months these two blogs will show their separate paths, especially since I also have started to redesign the sidebar to have a visual separation between the two.

In closing I wish to point out that it is wise to create a separate account if you decide to establish a new blog with a matching email address, as all my blogs are not connected to each other.

I hope I have answered for you your question.

Warmest regards

jill z said...

Enjoying your works and thoughts about them- their states of completion and what you are thinking. Loved reading about the difference between your blogs in the comment you wrote. Very insighful. It's often difficult to decide when a work is finished, but I find there is usually something inside me that let's me know that it the birth annoucement needs to wait!

Maggie Neale said...

Egmont, I enjoyed my visit here with you. So organized and full of thought and then the beauty of the squash and the doubt of its finish. I actually like that the under layer shows through...a part of the process exposd. making art is about play and experiment. Enjoy it all. and happy time for giving thanks.

Seth said...

Transitions or being "in between" can be so difficult. But I think great things can be born from such periods. It is the time that creative energy begins to build. Also, finding it fascinating to see the stages of your work. Very inspiring.

Trudi Sissons said...

A very thoughtful post. I understand your hesitation surrounding the drawing and subtle lines from the print underneath. Clever placement of the beer commercials.
I encourage you to follow your heart and try to muffle the cognitive process - you are so talented, yet, the hesitations, ...seem to burden you ?

Calli said...

Egmont~ Good to see you and to hear your process regarding your choices in your work. I really like where they're going. They are unique and that is a good thing.

all the best~