Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wave Series II, Variation #2

Wave Series II, Variation #2 (30" x 40") July 9, 2012

This extreme close-up of a wave I shot on a calm warm spring day is intriguing because the splashes look like a lava lamp. I am fascinated by the darnedest things! It's liquid - what did I expect? The wave also suggests the many days I've spent on south Florida and Mexico beaches, camera in hand, my spiritual self in ascendency.

I have another hundred or so new photos of waves taken in Rehoboth Beach this summer, and those are more violent, the colors so different from the tropical waters of the gulf stream. The challenge will be to make a close-up of a Rehoboth Beach wave that doesn't look like chocolate milk. Or perhaps it should because the color indicates that the water is full of life.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WAVE: New Pastel Series

This is a duplicate copy of my March 28, 2012 post on"The Art of John Bittinger Klomp." I post it here because this particular blog is an attempt to catalogue most if not all of the pastel paintings I've produced from 2005 forward.

Wave Series II, Variation #1 (32" x 40"), Pastel Painting March 24, 2012

Finally, I’m finished this new Wave. I had done a series of wave paintings several years ago. Those were painted from a much more panoramic viewpoint with sky, surf, and wash onto the beach as well as other waves. However, Wave is the first in a series of extremely close-up (32” x 40”) pastel paintings of waves a moment after they crest. Most intriguing is that infinitesimal frozen time particle when a wave - has flashing light sparks as it begins to bend over on itself, amazing clear fraction-of-a-second views of the sand beneath, pale shields of mauve and periwinkle blue sea foam with connecting streaks obfuscate that view into parts of the translucent depths, and the aqua blue and green of the water with sky reflections blend with the lavender, orange, and ochre of sand - in one brief moment of crystalline purity before all crashes into exploding surf. So much of life is spent just muddling through without thought to function, or reason why, much less looking beyond the culturally constructed self. Nor do we spend enough time searching beneath the surface, into and through the obfuscated structures to the kernel of actual existence beneath. This painting is the first of a series of metaphorical instances that demonstrate the moments of clarity I experience only through hard won thoughtful meditation and/or prayer. I would like to see a room full of these paintings someday, but that is just a desire of the self based on cultural expectations that define success.

"Still, John, it would be nice to share the feeling you get when looking into and through waves..." the alter ego reiterates.

"Ah, yes," I say whistfully.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Juno Beach Sunrise #6

Another in the series of small 8" x 8" pastel drawings is finished. I'm still slow, even small works take forever because I am so particular about detail. Never the less, as the title indicates this is the sixth in the series of sunrise paintings, though two are over sized pastel paintings, 32" x 40." I need to do some sunrise paintings here in Rehoboth Beach next.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Juno Beach Sunrise 04-16-2011 (40"W x 32" H)

It took an entire month to complete this pastel painting, but it is finally done. I wish I could do more of these works more quickly.

Robert Longo did a drawing a day for an entire year and made an exhibition of the work in 1996, titled "Magellan 366 Drawings." And I know that many artists make it a point of doing one work each day. How amazing they all are!

Ah well, I like the finished product anyway.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Waterworks

Small Works, Pastels

Atlantic Ocean Sunrise

I finished this small pastel painting this afternoon, and it will be one of several small pastel paintings of Atlantic Ocean Sunrises. These are 8" x 8" just like the small mixed media distressed paintings for The Waterworks. As the recession continues despite all reassurances from the government and other sources that it is over, most of us continue to save rather than spend. Unfortunately that means most people are unwilling to buy larger more expensive artworks, though I continue to believe that my work sells at bargain basement prices. Also, friends assure me that making smaller artwork means that people can find a space to hang it more easily.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Like a Prayer: south Florida Sunrise

This work was a commission, which means that I worked closely with the client to meet her needs. Fortunately both she and I agreed on just about everything from the first moment – “I want the picture to be just after the sun rises, the way everything glows.” I immediately thought of the second-generation Hudson River School “Luminist” artist, John Frederick Kensett, particularly his painting of Lake George from the 1860’s. Of course, I have to add all the super brilliant color and detail possible, but the client chose me because she likes the way I work in an almost hyper-real style. She also wanted the full moon visible, and at least one bird. “Sunrise is the most spiritual time on the beach,” she said. “I often go for walks on the beach at sunrise.” I definitely identified with her feelings about the beach because I have felt as though I was in a “living prayer” when walking on the beach, and I said so. The client immediately said, “That’s it, that’s the title of the painting!”

Photographing the Sunrise

I’m not an early riser, but one morning back in February I got up before sunrise and trundled to the beach, camera in hand. It was the first morning warm enough to sit on the beach in shirtsleeves and shorts, and I sat in the sand waiting for the golden orb to begin its assent. First the sky glowed a fire opal blue. Then an electric sliver appeared, and I started snapping one photograph after another as the sun slowly rose into the sky. There were so many layers of clouds in the sky that glowed in front of and behind one another, and the bowl of the sky was lit in a curved value scale of cascading colors. I was amazed at how lucky I was to choose that one morning to take photographs, and I decided then and there to make the early morning excursions if not a habit, at least a bi-monthly exercise.

The final work is based on 3 photos, the first taken that morning. The second photo was from my morgue of photos, sub category, birds. * The third was a photo of the moon that was a bit blurry, so I made up the mottled surface, and worked transparent luminous clouds across it.

* Called a morgue because it is a file of dead photos of everything and anything, alphabetized for an artist’s use. The difference between my file and most other artists’ morgues is that I take all the photographs for my file.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cumulus and Lake Gerar

"Cumulus and Lake Gerar, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware."  Rehoboth Beach and Lewes, DE are so different from most mid-Atlantic Coastal beach towns precisely because the downtown areas are still SMALL TOWNS with small town atmosphere. Lake Gerar is about 4 blocks off of Rehoboth Avenue and just behind the last boardwalk block of the beach. This pastel painting is one of my smaller works, only 16" x 24," It is one of several paintings of the lake I hope to complete based on a set of 87 photographs taken in July of this past summer. It is part of the WATERWORKS exhibit I hope to put together and show in 2011 - 2012.