Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"Things are beautiful if you love them."
― Jean Anouilh

Archives for February 2013

Paper Camera (IOS App)

Paper Camera. Best app ever. “Comic Boom” creates a beautifully simplified comic-book version of a photo, really well executed.

comic_boom_1

Paper Camera, Comic Boom effect, airport (bag)

 

 

 

 

This was at the airport boarding a plane. And then we have domestic scenes (cat):

comic_boom_2

Paper Camera, Comic Boom effect, Cat & Kitchen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The app is simple, occasional crashes seem resolved by restarting and don’t happen very often. I can do the same thing in light room, but it takes way more computing power and Topaz Labs Simplify plugin to do it. This is a brilliant simple conceptualization of seeing…

 

—spence

 

Quality of Light…

I’m photographing in Santa Barbara through this coming week. Lots of sunsets, strip malls at sunset, bluffs above the beach late afternoon. I’m looking for the quality of light and color and photos that capture what’s different about both California and about the quality of light and color there.

it seems with a quality of light and a palm tree in it, almost anything becomes obviously and only California. The brilliance and sheer brightness of light is just awesome after the subdued light of New England in the winter.

I had tested a Fuji X-Pro 1 camera with 35mm f1.4 Fujinon lens in November 2012. After a couple of weeks of using the camera, I decided to return it. I am used to working with RAW image files, and the support for the Fuji RAW files in Adobe Lightroom was present but not working all that well. I took a few test shots and decided the camera was just not worth working with.

I was going through images last week, marking photos for use in paintings, and I ran across an image with an ethereal quality to the light, that quality that only a very special lens and camera can produce.

 

diningroom with Fuji

 

When I looked at the photograph’s data and saw which camera and lens had create it, I said “Of course.” It was the Fuji X-Pro 1 and 35mm Fujinon lens. I realized the camera I had returned had a very special quality in the way that it handled light and color, something very rare. I had not seen that in the test shots in November, but it was clear now. . That quality trumps the difficulty of workflow with its images. So… I found a deal on the Fuji X-E1 camera, same sensor as the Fuji X-Pro 1, at $700 less that the X-Pro 1, and the deal added the same Fujinon 35mm f1.4 lens I had before at half price. Better pricing, same quality imaging system. Done. I’ll be using that camera almost exclusively for awhile.

Here’s another image:

 

diningroom wide aperture

 

 

 

—spence

 

Multi- and Portable Easels

I’ve been looking for a solution to traveling and painting. I tested the Craftech Sienna Porchade box – nicely finished, lightweight, but the support was one side only, and the tightening knobs very small. It wobbled. I returned it. I tried three versions of the Guerilla Painter boxes. From amazon.com, I purchased the 6″ x 8″ Pochade. It was way too small to be useful to me. I returned it. The 9″ x 12″ was very good – again only supported on one side, but way more sturdy. I purchased seconds of the 9″ x 12″ and the French Reisstance Pochade (medium) directly from Judson’s Art Outfitters. These were discounted, and still beautiful. Hard to tell they were seconds. I kept both of the seconds, giving one to my daughter. I like and will use the French Resistance Medium Pochade – it is light enough and very very stable when supporting a canvas or backed wood panel. There is support on both sides of the lid and the design for the support is very workable.

In researching what people thought of various pochade boxes and portable easel solutions, I ran across James Coulter’s Plein Air System. Beautiful pieces. I liked the idea, but some of the construction details bothered me as an engineer and furniture builder and obsessive craftsman. I took what I liked about the design and built two prototypes for myself to work through and see how they work for me. These are not “better” – we’ll see how these changes work out in practice, and they may not be practical in a product built for sale. The major changes are the tripod support is 1/4″ flat steel, 4″ long x 1-1/2″ wide, through-bolted to a maple easel head, with a tripod 1/4″-20 thread in the center. Similar to what Guerilla Painter does for their boxes, but steel instead of aluminum (heavier but way more durable). I used Jatoba for the canvas/panel supports. I through-bolted the hinges joining the sides of the palette box. The stress on the hinge screws is not across the screws, but pulls on a fulcrum leverage out and away. Through-bolting accommodates that tension. I also made the tripod supports at the back of the boxes adjustable, which is a detail that was present on the Craftech Sienna Supply Box design. I ordered luggage latches and added a bar across one of the two panel lids, so latching one side restrained the other – two latched on the side tension down the lid with the keeper bar attached. I’m cutting plexiglas to line the interior compartments, because I work in acrylic, and plexi works better for a paint palette surface (glass is even better than that, but heavy and dangerous…).

I was originally going to use these portable boxes, and the adapted plein air system pieces in my studio for working on multiple works in the same session. But along the way I had another idea, and worked through that. I kept mixing paint from my large tubs of paint, and using it and then having to discard what was left, then mix the same or similar color for another work in progress a few minutes later. I designed and built a couple of four-work easel panels – they fit stably into my Klopfenstein metal studio easel – two of them encompasses 4 works x2 for eight works in progress and actively worked in a session. I completed these Sunday, but sanding and lacquering them started last evening.

Once the lacquer is finished, I’ll photograph the results and post them.

 

—spence

 

Zen and Painting-a-Day – Stop Thinking, Paint

 

Sunset 23 | Off State Street

Sunset 23 | Off State Street

 

Painting is motion and intuitive sensing and feeling of aesthetic and emotion. It is fluid, and for me heavily influenced by gesture and music, like a dance between the reality of light and form and shadow and the paint on the surface.

I was reading an artist who was writing that Painting-a-Day wasn’t really one painting one day. Her objection was that layers of thought and composition could take months to discover and place. I believe that. I believe that each painting is its own time frame, its own requirements. But – if each will take you months, then you need to have 25 or 50 or more going at the same time. Take the time on each one, but make them come to an ending, to a completion.

I think Painting-a-Day is exactly that. I think most artists can complete a painting a day in their practice. I don’t believe any single individual flow of creativity works out longer than a couple of hours at a stretch. I used to start a painting and work straight through until it was done – that could be many hours, through the night and into the next day to complete. I do not do that anymore. There is drying time, for the technique I use now. There is just creative reach. Once I start feeling that I’ve gone too far and the painting is going off the rails, it’s time to stop, step back and come back to it later. That’s usually two hours at a stretch or less.

So to shoot for completing a painting-a-day, I start 8 paintings. I work through all of them, four at a time, bringing each set along. This widens the dance. I have been trying this using multiple easels, but it used up a lot of space, and required a lot of motion. I’m building a four-painting-at-a-time easel board – a 2′ x 4′ piece of plywood with four panel holder blocks adjustable along 1/4″ slots. I’m making two of them, and I think I’ll work four paintings, set them aside hanging on the wall, set up the second board on my steel easel, and work the next four. That should allow me to mix a color that would work on more than one, use it, mix the next, use it – measuring the time painting, perhaps 2/3rds of the time is mixing and adjusting colors, so making that more efficient is huge.

Once I have it built and any bugs worked out, I’ll post pictures of it. Might come in handy for paintings on multiple panels as well…

 

—spence

 

pay me or the painting gets it…

Blazing Saddles, Cleavon Little’s Sheriff Bart threatens his own self with his own gun, holding himself hostage while he drags (himself) out of a confrontation with the townsfolk…

Sheriff Bart

Blazing Saddles, Cleavon Little

[Townspeople drop their guns. Bart jams the gun into his neck and drags himself through the crowd towards the station]
Harriet Johnson: Isn’t anybody going to help that poor man?
Dr. Sam Johnson: Hush, Harriet! That’s a sure way to get him killed!
Bart: [high-pitched voice] Oooh! He’p me, he’p me! Somebody he’p me! He’p me! He’p me! He’p me!
Bart: [low voice] Shut up!
[Bart places his hand over his own mouth, then drags himself through the door into his office]

I had a thought. From the pattern I’m following to create work and make it have a market, I could have several hundred paintings, all of which have been offered for sale, and none of which have been bid on as yet. I held an artistic practice, and nobody showed up. Not impossible at all, and a deep fear.

What do I do? Keep painting, ignore the complete lack of sales and watch the paintings mount up in storage? Or threaten to destroy a painting a week until someone buys one. At a specific number of accumulated works – say, 240 paintings.

Just like Sheriff Bart…

 

—spence

 

Banksy

The Art we look at is made by only a select few.
A small group create, promote, purchase, exhibit and decide the success of Art.
Only a few hundred people in the world have any real say.
When you go to an Art gallery
you are simply a tourist looking at the trophy cabinet of a few millionaires…

— BANKSY

 

BANKSY | Removing Graffiti

BANKSY | Removing Graffiti