Chambolle Musigny 2013 Oil, Graphite on Canvas 48”x48”
Chambolle Musigny 2013 is from my new series of abstract paintings based on my recent extended visit to Burgundy, France during the late winter/very early spring. At that time of year, the colors are very subtle but particularly beautiful in Burgundy. There is usually a mist in the air intensified by the haze from the burning of the old vine branches in preparation for the new season.
After spending some time recently in Burgundy, France I felt inspired to try my hand at some abstract landscapes, which I haven't done in a few years having been focusing mainly on nonrepresentational abstract painting. My goal is to paint how I like to paint - without any preconceived plan basically as to how the painting will progress, just letting the painting happen - but with the slight modification of having a specific image in mind. What I don’t want to do is get into the trap of basically just coloring in a drawing.
What I have been doing for these abstract landscapes is to start the same as I always do, with a big loose underpainting of white, and then just going for it. Once I find myself beginning to focus more on the idea than the paint, then I stop. So far I have done three.
Chalonnaise Chateau in Winter 2013 Oil, Graphite on Canvas 36”x36”
This one was challenging to do with my technique because of all the architecture. I really didn’t want to get too realistic and to keep feeling the paint as I painted rather than the specifics of the image.
Haute Côte de Nuits, Winter 2013 Oil, Graphite on Canvas 36 x 36 inches
Haute Côte de Nuits, Winter - I did in acrylics to see if I preferred the feel rather than oils. Basically I like both. I like switching to acrylics every so often because it kind of prevents you from getting into too much of a groove where it becomes too easy to miss spontaneous happenings. Some people think the winter has little color but I found Burgundy to have the most beautiful subtle colors everywhere, softened further by the misty grey sky.
The fourth painting in this series of Burgundy paintings is Fenêtre au Ciel (Window to Heaven). It is loosely based on a window on the side of the ancient Basilique Ste-Marie-Madeleine, a beautiful old stone Benedictine abbey sitting at the top of the steep hill in the town of Vezalay. The ancient stone façade’s scars from its attacks in the French Revolution were covered with a thick coating of beautiful moss of an electric color in the wintery misty grey light, adding to the otherworldly feeling of the whole place.
Fenêtre au Ciel 2013 Oil on Canvas 30 x 30 inches
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