New Painting: Dawn Torrent and Red Nebula Miniature

Dawn Torrent, Oil on Panel, 12 x 12 in., 2016

Compared to other recent projects this painting came together very rapidly, in just three sittings. I have wanted to paint a square landscape for some time but was for lack of subject until my sketchbook came to the rescue. These jagged mountains work well to stabilize the composition (squares are notoriously difficult) by creating an equilateral triangle in the center of the image. The flowing water and clouds additionally place a circle around the triangle, producing a composition that "works."

A detail of the telescope, buildings, and antennae in the foreground.

A sketchbook detail showing the thumbnail sketch used to create the Dawn Torrent.

Red Nebula Miniature, Oil on Panel, 2 x 3 in., painting, 6 x 7 x 1.25 in. frame, 2016

Also completed a miniature this week, above. Making paintings this small is remarkably difficult and I only seem to get one out every few months or so. You can faintly see my monograph in the lower right, painted black with thick impasto.

The frames for my 2 x 3 in. miniatures are made using a C&C Router. The end mill can cut the area for the painting while leaving the wood in tact. This creates a unique frame which has no miters, its just a solid block of walnut. A router bit is used to cut the "keys" so that the frame can hang flush to a wall. A blank 2 x 3 in. shows the size of the nebula painting without the frame. These were cut for me by one of my mentors at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, Frankie Flood. His work is amazing and you can check it out here.

The two paintings in the studio.

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