May 16, 2010

Gathering Images

One nice day last week I went out to a couple of farms to begin collecting images that I will use for my paintings. What you see above are 16 images from over 50 that I shot; these are the ones that I think might make good paintings. I printed the images in the size I thought would be best, along with a black and white copy of the image; I don't like to rely on the color image because it can be too flat, too predictable in color; also, so much agricultural equipment is green, and I plan to change the colors: John Deere farm machinery is very popular and its colors are green with yellow (the Deere logo is visible in the center photo). I found a large sheet of cardboard in the studio and taped the photos to it; it's an ideal display wall, as I can move it around easily for contemplation: sometimes in front of my dining table, sometimes in the living room. And contemplation is necessary, because I will sometimes change a composition, or make the image larger or smaller, or remove it altogether; it's only by living with these pictures for a while that I can see the way forward more clearly.

So that you can see them more clearly, I've posted a couple of the photos that are on the wall above; you can also click on the gathered images to see an enlargement.


  1. Can I say "OH MY GOD" without offending Altoon?
    Overused and trite-sounding.... but not here. These sing out across the miles - a wonderful combination of form and the colours quite unexpected - and yet not!
    The final image is a knock-out. That one has so much going on and yet is powerfully harmonious with that certain completeness about it. The juxtaposition of line and shape, light and dark, positive and negative, flat colour and patina creates the most unusual rhythms
    broken by small details such as those cut out clrcles! Its as strong image and it just captured me!

  2. wow, thank you Sophie; it's great that you respond so strongly to the images. I really like that last image too, though I worry it will be quite a challenge to paint. It's interesting to think of the change from photo to painting in this context, though of course all I can show here is a photo of a painting.

  3. I like the idea of living with these images and studying them before you begin any work. It's that kind of information that I enjoy discovering. Even though I know I am meditating for ages on garden combos or a drawing idea, I am always curious about how someone else does it. I am with Sophie on that bottom image. It is decorative but not ditzy.

    I always think of John Deere as using the colors of the Green Bay Packers; but, of course, Deere is much older than the Packers! Both examples of green and yellow are prevalent in Wisconsin.

  4. what a wonderful grid - full of potential - but I also like it as is, a marker.

  5. I am getting ready for my annual move to the North Shore (Orient) to
    work for 3 or 4 months. Your Blog will be such a great support and companion as I work on prints and paintings.

    I have a piece of foam core that I use as a pin-up area for potential
    prints, etc. And, it's like having a conversation with a friend.


  6. hi Myrna, a piece of foam core is a great idea; I went with cardboard because I had some handy. Have a good move, and thanks for the nice comment on my blog.