THE JUPITER EXPEDITION — A Study in Tonal Harmony

THE JUPITER EXPEDITION — A Study in Tonal Harmony

I generally keep my work color-neutral until the final stages, preferring to concentrate on concept, composition, design, and focal point before developing a color palette. This insures that the work has a solid tonal foundation which isn’t lost when color is applied. Simply stated, tonal harmony is “a pleasing pattern in the balance between light and dark.” Before I introduce my latest work, THE JUPITER EXPEDITION, I’d like to point out a technique you may find useful when evaluating the tones in your own art: Convert to grayscale. Before you send your paintings, photographs or digital creations into the world, look at them in grayscale. Does the work hold up in a pleasing way, or is color being used to disguise tonal deficiencies? Some art is intended to be low-contrast, but if your work can benefit from balanced tonal separation and tonal harmony, there is no quicker way to identify areas of weakness than with grayscale. Now, on to the new art! I like lost civilizations, ancient tombs and daring expeditions. But…can those themes — and especially those feelings — be conveyed in abstract works of art? I think so, and with a fair amount of drama and imagination. THE JUPITER EXPEDITION was very exciting to work on, from the first tentative anchor shapes to the tattered edges and bleeding tones, to the final explosion of crimson and gold. For me, it is a remarkably satisfying piece. I hope it is for you, too. As shown — Finished size: 46.0″ x 32.8″ Print on Somerset Velvet Fine Art: 32.0″ x 18.0″ Frame: Wide Bronze Scoop, 3.5″ width Top Mat:...
Beautiful Black & White; Beautifully Unexpected

Beautiful Black & White; Beautifully Unexpected

Design is my passion. When creating art, I see and feel design long before color, texture or even representative objects are a consideration. I spend inordinate amounts of time working out rhythm, harmony, contrast, tension and balance for each of my fine art compositions. MAGELLAN is the name of this black & white creation. I feel it projects a subtle map-like quality which conjures thoughts of daring expeditions into the unknown. It is an ode to ancient mariners, modern aviators and legions of future explorers who will hurtle through the galaxies in sleek star ships. The art was digitally created in Ultra Fractal, which means detail (above) at even the larger sizes is crisp and sure. In this instance, the image worked so well in black & white that color seemed superfluous and overreaching. I played with color, of course, but couldn’t improve upon the piece’s naked purity and bold confidence. This art also “finished” nicely. If you’re an artist, you know that on every project there is always something else you can do or would like to try. The tweaking can go on forever! I often say that art isn’t so much finished as abandoned. At some point you just have to sign your work and send it into the world and let it fend for itself. MAGELLAN didn’t put me through that. It practically screamed “Stop messing with me, I’m done!” I don’t generally show close-ups of frames, but look at this beautiful thing! Together with a set of white over black mats, MAGELLAN is very nicely dressed, like so: As shown — Finished size: 44.8″ x...
MEDUSA TOO: A Frenetic Celebration of Life

MEDUSA TOO: A Frenetic Celebration of Life

For all its flighty, swirly motion, I am pleased with the final weight and balance of MEDUSA TOO. Created with a Wacom graphics tablet almost entirely in Corel Painter, I find there is something elephantine and calming about this otherwise chaotic composition. During it’s creation, I was searching for a way to tame near-pandemonium and introduce order. This was achieved by slicing my original foundation image vertically and repeating a portion of it. Then I experimented with overlapping the two parts and adjusting both the color and layer opacities to produce the lighter center slice. That move turned out to be just what I was looking for: It added a disciplined design element to the composition and instilled a level of ordered repetition. Both of those things served to tame the hurricane of flying tendrils and set the composition solidly on it’s rectangular field. MEDUSA TOO is a swirling, frenetic celebration of life. It is also an engaging portrait of seductive excess. This piece shows well with an ivory black top mat and a digital white bottom mat. I like to finish it with a contemporary Satin Black frame and non-glare acrylic. The museum-quality giclee is beautifully printed on Somerset Velvet Fine Art paper. As shown, the overall dimensions are 43.3″ x 28.5″. For the next seven days (through August 16, 2008) I am making it available to you fully framed and finished for $545.99. The art normally ships in 6-8 business days. You may contact me directly to answer questions or assist you with your order, or click here to order...
Introducing RIPPLE — New Art for Summer

Introducing RIPPLE — New Art for Summer

Today I feature one of my latest works, called Ripple. My intent was to create a strong image that was bold, clean and sassy. I’ve used a very limited color pallet on this one, mostly blues, but a full tonal range from stark white to deep black. I’m happy with how it seems to move. Notice the upper left quadrant, where the ripples and fade-aways are not predictable, but irregular. I have avoided symmetrical repetition and forced a series of illogical curves. When these designs are married to the more “coordinated” bottom curves, the juxtaposition sets up a nice tension which makes the piece more exciting. The above full-size close-ups reveal an earthy, gritty texture to the piece which is not apparent when viewing the web-ready representations. This is not pixel-distortion, but an intended texture I worked into the art to give it body and substance. RIPPLE sings under non-glare acrylic, a white conservation matte and a traditional black scoop frame with low-lights of gold and red. Very pretty! Click here to order this piece for your home, office, cruise line or international resort...