This painting is at the George Billis Gallery in New York. It’s another in a series of paintings I have been doing by revisiting my portfolio and applying a new technique to subjects I have painted in the past 17 years.
The first time I painted a fan, I had a quick technique and was finished the painting in a few hours.
I think being a young father with a 2-year-old son and a 3-month-old daughter may have had something to do with how little time I had to paint. We had also just moved in to a new house that needed major work and I had a job at a university.
I have distinct memories of feeling this crunch of getting a painting done, racing to the finish line, before my son woke up from a nap. I also painted in the evenings for several years, tired and beleaguered.
I am completely on the other side now. Teenaged kids who require no nap times and they occupy themselves marvellously. I left my job and paint full time in a house that needs no work. Goals achieved. I have the next several decades (hopefully) to paint uninterrupted.
Thirteen years ago I painted this phone for the first time. It was when I began seriously building my oeuvre. I would paint fast and furious, thinking that a quickly rendered, expressive way of painting was what I wanted to achieve. It never really felt like a natural way for me to paint, but the subject always felt like the right one.
I was painting with acrylics, and if the painting wasn’t done after an hour of work, then I felt like I was taking too long.
Over time I slowed way, way down and focused with an indirect painting technique. A very slow building of layers in oils. In person my paintings are still far more painterly than they appear on the screen before you.
Over the past several months I have experimented with paintings and tried a few different approaches. I’ll still do such experiments now and again, but I have decided to look back over the last 17 years of my paintings and will simply re-paint my own work with my new approach and technique. I want to copy my own portfolio, I want to see if I can make the paintings better, I want to see if I can learn from my own work.
In 2004 I signed up for Flickr where I have archived 740 of my paintings. Most of my works is there, including work done in 2000 as a student. Anyone who wants to see, warts and all, is welcome to browse.
I found this little blue table at Everything Old Canada and figured I would use it to inject some texture and colour in to a few paintings. It is a bit of an experiment, a study to see if this is something I would want to pursue in other paintings.
I thought it would be fun to take a look at a typewriter painting I did exactly 11 years ago. Although I think my precision and technique have changed over the years, I feel rather consistent with subject and approach.
This painting of an Oliver No.3 Typewriter from 1907 is my contribution to the Attention to Detail exhibition at the Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, South Carolina. The Exhibition runs through February 2017.
The exhibition features 30 realist painters from the USA, Canada, Spain and England. It is an honour to have been invited to show my work beside artists who share an affinity for this labour intensive approach to painting.
I found this magnificent typewriter at Everything Old – an antique shop near my home.
Many of these Penguin Classics are the books that you should have read when you were in your teens, but probably wouldn’t have understood fully until you were in your thirties. It is available through the Elliott Fouts Gallery.
Giving these books a try early on in life is good but I have personally found that revisiting them later makes them way more relevant. These books are written by people who had a full spectrum of experiences and knowledge and I am only now finding that I understand where they come from. Read more
I found this book, The Way To Win, and had to add it to my little late 19th Century library of books that reveal the way our people were thinking just over 100 years ago. The book is a very detailed, very long self-help style book from a John T. Dale.