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New Works, and Playing with Titles

August 4, 2020

“I painted this place. It’s mine now.”
”So – you can go there whenever you want?”
”Well, not really. I have to look at the painting.”
”But what if you sell it?”
“I guess I have to be ok with that.”

10x10x1.5”, Oil on Panel, 2020

My usual process is to product a batch of paintings all in one go. They tend to share some colors. (When I’m mixing paint, I like to keep adding to the same mounds).

I like to focus. If I’m painting, I don’t like to do anything else that day. If I’m writing, same thing – that’s all I do that day. That’s one thing I like about the out-of-house-studio. Once I’ve made the trip, I tend to stay a good 10-12 hour day.

Fresh paintings go up on the wall wet. I have all my blank white-primed panels hanging on the wall, so that I know there’s a hook for them to go back to when they’re painted. I like the effect of all the white panels getting filled with color. It’s kind of motivating. Like checking off a to-do list. I stick a bit of tape with the date on them so I know when they’re probably dry. It can take quite a while. Months even for some of my thicker pieces.

During this phase I like to look at them and think.

When we’re eating, I face the gallery and compare new pieces with the best of the old ones.

Sometimes I bring them back down and repaint a bit. I might ultimately decide I don’t like a painting. These offending ones go into a closet to dry out of sight. Eventually they get sanded down and painted over. The paint is so thick on these, I actually scrape them aggressively with a BBQ scraper, and then smooth with a wood rasp, and THEN sand them. Otherwise it takes all day and uses up many sheets of sandpaper.

So if they make it through the ‘watching and waiting’ period, after a few weeks I’ll do the titles.

This time around, for some reason I was playing around with these little dialogues. In the place of your normal short title, I have instead a snippet of imagined conversation. One day I want to see these on a gallery wall, with the stories printed on little white cards below. I think people would enjoy that kind of show.

“If you pull back far enough, it looks like a painting.”
”But if you look really close, it’s just paint.”
”Cool hey?”

10x10x1.5”, Oil on Panel, 2020


“This was as far as the ladies went.”
“I can see why! Does the road get any better after this?”
“Everything was so simple for those ladies.”
“At least they built a nice tea house here.”

10x10x1.5”, Oil on Panel, 2020


“I’m just saying – there was a time you could live off the land.”
”But what kind of life was that?”
”We might be about to find out.”

10x10x1.5”, Oil on Panel, 2020


“What if there was a place where everything goes with the flow?”
“Could anyone go there?”
“Sure! Let’s all go live there.”
“Naw, you’re going to have to keep that place to yourself.”

10x10x1.5”, Oil on Panel, 2020

10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 4, 2020 12:30 PM

    Superb!!! I love how the extrem abstraction of the brushstrokes forms the landscape to a new visual experience.

  2. Maureen Vermilya permalink
    August 4, 2020 12:38 PM

    “This was as far as the ladies went”……Ireland?

    • August 4, 2020 4:04 PM

      Exactly! The Ladies’ View heading to the Ring of Kerry :)

      • Maureen Vermilya permalink
        August 6, 2020 7:04 PM

        I recognized it from your watercolor sketches from a while ago and from my own trip to Ireland. Lovely…..the watercolors and this painting.

  3. August 4, 2020 12:55 PM

    Hi Marc!
    Your palettes are amazingly beautiful and harmonious and vibrant! Such a great sense of colour!
    Always enjoying your posts!
    Tania Lebedeff

  4. melanie brown permalink
    August 4, 2020 12:58 PM

    For some reason I can’t leave a comment. Love your posts! Thanks for sending, this one was really interesting.

    Melanie from Dallas


    • August 4, 2020 4:03 PM

      Hey Melanie – yes comments is working! And hope you’re all doing well in Dallas! Ah, memories of Plano Texas – My favorite house ever, I hope whoever moved in likes the place we built!

  5. August 4, 2020 1:03 PM

    Your colours are amazing. I guess I’m not the only one to notice! A real treat.


  6. August 4, 2020 1:49 PM

    Great approach and series to see. Love them!

  7. n17omi permalink
    August 5, 2020 1:31 AM

    Marc, I love your heavy impasto, practically a sculpture on your painting.Very evocative.

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