Setting up the big top and awaiting the rest of the gang.
Circus Comes to Big City 2″x4.25″ (miniature), 1969, acrylic on upson board.
This is a very small painting of the circus setting up near the big city. It is a very loosely painted picture for a miniature, but was meant to be a study. Since I posted the clowns from the same era, I thought to get this little painting into the light as well. It was shown in the Lake Havasu art show along with the dollar art (see story). Notice the green sky tint, a hallmark of some of my work of that time.
11″x19″ Surf on the California Shore
Acrylic on Upson Board (you can’t hardly find Upson anymore) painted in 1966.
Green skies may seem unusual but, after a storm there are moments when the atmosphere is charged with yellow sunlight into blue water vapors(yellow and blue make green). This effect does not last long and is usually excused by the eye which sees the water as bluegreen, and the sky as blue violet (after a storm), but look again next time a storm passes you overhead, and for a few breif moments it will be there for you. I have done several such scenes and almost always get a comment about the green skies. At first I wondered about my own vision? Monet said to his doctor, of his eye exam, “You mean there are not halos of radiance glowing from within and around things?” Because that is what he saw and painted, and I asked of my own eye exam. The doctor informed Monet that he had impaired vision causing a halo effect. After taking color tests, if anything I was informed of a very slight green deficiency in my sight, so I must be painting a little less green than is there. Monet was painting a little more everything than was there.
During the late 1960s I produced a number of “green sky” paintings, and recently began to wonder if the atmospheric conditions of that time may have been different than now, the Mount Pinatubo effect, so to speak.
[Mount Pinatubo-photo] is located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The volcano’s erupted on June 15, 1991.
It ejected roughly 10,000,000,000 tons of magma, and 20,000,000 tons of SO2, putting huge amounts of minerals and metals to the surface environment, forcing large quantities of aerosol into the stratosphere. Over the following months, this formed a global layer of sulfuric acid haze. Global temperatures dropped by about one degree. After the eruption the sky changed to a silver violet hue that lasted 3 years, although it was a very beautiful hue, it was a poison gas pollutent . There is evidence in the old masters paintings of sky hue colors that may betray other geological events not understood at the time of the painting. Not all color choices were artistic, some were a visually inspired response to what was being seen. What ever the facts, I saw green skys and still do at times, and if for artistic purposes I feel that a green sky fits how I feel about an image at some times. Artistic license or science?
Two Century Sisters (6.5×7.5 Acrylic on Upson Board, painted 1972).
I’m surprised at how well the acrylic paints hold up. This was painted back when acrylics were relatively new and no one really knew if they were going to hold up as promised. I remember every artist arguing about whether or not it was a real media or a fad. True purists said only oil was real art. I have come to think of acrylic as the other oil that dries faster. Then came alkides!
As for century plants, (these are in Arizona) they bloom approximately every hundred years (so they say), and accordingly named them such. I have seen them bloom in ten year cycles or as the rain comes in unpredictable cycles in the Arizona desert, no one really knows.
Click on image to enlarge.
Acrylic paint on illustration board – images are 2″ wide and 3″ high. These original images were in the art show at the London Bridge Grand opening at Lake Havasu Arizona.
Each one was framed with a hand painted plaster frame. Mostly Arizona art. Originally there were about two hundred images; Currently there are only 10 surviving that we know of. Acrylic seems to hold it’s promise of long lasting. None are available.