Welcome / Introductory Compositions

Please bear with me, as this is my first attempt at blogging. Initially, I wasn't really sure the website needed one at all. But after giving it some thought, I realized this could be a great way to (1) document a creative process; (2) keep me motivated (there's nothing like a weekly deadline); and (3) allow visitors to communicate and participate.

Part of what I consider when approaching a new piece is how I can push, modify, or expand upon the previous one. This could mean new media, new techniques, new subject matter, etc; but this time it's new size. I'm going to be working 20x16"--my biggest drawing yet--so I'm particularly aware that whatever issues I can resolve in the preparatory stages will save me twice the effort during actual production. And this all starts with composition.

Above are three quick studies I did over the course of a four- or five-hour session to get a rough idea of the proportions and values I'll be dealing with further along. How rough? I taped the sketch paper directly to the wall and hacked at it with nothing more than a good-old number 2 pencil. You can see where I've written notes in the margins and used red pencil to correct some proportions.

The studies are based on a series of reference photographs taken late last fall, but they're not literal transcriptions. Although the photos were all taken at the same time and location, no one photograph contains all the elements found in these compositions. For example, the tree in the foreground is taken from one photo and the building in the middle ground is taken from another. This means that I can work in a traditional, representational style while also giving my imagination some room to play around. I have specific reasons for doing so, but I prefer not to reveal what they are. I'd rather complete the drawing and give it a title, then allow the viewer to engage with it in his or her own way.

But we're still a long, long way off from that. So stay tuned--there's much more to come.