Embrace the Experiment

posted in: Blog, Composition | 3

AS Da Vinci recommended with painting  “ Let go of your expectations” both scientific method and the joys of discovery require us to let go of what we want to happen when making a painting and see what is unfolding in the paint before us.  This perspective holds for relationships of all kinds.  As soon as we allow ourselves to discover what is before us instead of insisting on where it should go or what it should be we become open to experiment and discovery.

Letting go of what you want and giving up seeking but embracing finding will lead you to new observations, insights and exciting work. As Picasso said, “I don’t seek, I find”

In the spirit of discovery and treating my studio as a laboratory instead of a production factory I have some examples of my process.   Consider my first example, a 48×48 oil on brushed silver Dibond, and “Pond life”. When revisiting this subject I sought a closer and lower point of view and more freedom in the applying the paint through expressive gestures. By letting my hand lightly dance across the surface I discovered patterns that correlated with my experience of looking at a pond’s surface (example2).

Example 1. “Pond Life” step one, 48×48,,

Example 2. “Pond Surface”, a different later exploration of the subject, 36×36,

This same process of discovery was applied to two images of Grand Central Station.  The first of these (examples 3 and 4) is a 48×48 which has evolved through many minor and major changes. If I was disgruntled by an effect I either removed it or drastically added to it as you can see.

Example 3.” Grand Central Station Vertical lights” 48×48, in its third incarnation,

Example 4. “Grand Central Station, Vertical Lights,” in its fourth incarnation, present state.

Finally, I present examples 5 and 6. Here I was bothered my reluctance to more freely release the capabilities of my materials and tools and the relaxed effects of my dancing hands. I was also concerned that I had not allowed the “beholder’s share” of seeing the painting and making their own hypothesis…More freedom for all. Example 5 is the more restrained early version while example 6 is more abstract and far more relaxed and more capable of stimulating a greater range of viewer hypotheses.

Example 5. “Commuter Phantasm”, earlier version oil on Dibond, 24×36,

Example 6, “Commuter Phantasm”, present state,

The first weekend in June I will be at the Lyme Arts Association with a two day plein-air workshop. “Techniques of The Masters” June 1 and 2, 2019. To register call 860 434 7802

In July (18, 19, and 20) I will conduct a studio workshop on Nantucket with the Nantucket Arts Association. “Natural Elements” a 3 day studio workshop with optional photo walks, July 18,19, and 20, 2019. Call 508 228 9700.

Save Friday May 10th to visit with me at the Susan Powell Gallery in Madison Connecticut for the opening of my solo exhibition “Color and  Luminance”.

See my new exhibition opening May 3rd at the Ponte Vedra Beach Cultural Center in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida.

And, join me for the opening of my new exhibition, “Color and Luminance” at Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison, Ct.  reception on Friday May 10 from 5 to 8 pm.





3 Responses

  1. Vesna Matthies

    once again , please let me know whenever you will come to Hamburg,Germany …..!!!!!!

  2. dd_admin

    Vesna, thank you for your inquiry…I am sorry for my late reply. At best I get to Berlin to visit with my son ( also a painter, you can find him on Instagram as Maxdunlop) daughter-in-law and granddaughter. I love my visits to Germany. I wish I could get around more. Thank you, David

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