Thoughts About A Few of My Paintings

On the Waterfront   oil, graphite on canvas 60 x 48 inches

This painting won a 2015 Blue Dot Award at an exhibition at the Phyllis Harriman Gallery in the Art Students League of New York!  At the reception, someone said to me, "Your paintings don't jump out at you, but invite you in."  I like that!

I know it’s a good one, because I don’t remember how I did it!  That’s always a good sign - it means I was “in the zone” and not thinking about what it’s going to look like.  All I remember is that there was a bit of a battle, a bit of chaos.  It always amazes me how my paintings often end up looking so peaceful.

Picasso Black and White book with my painting Cops & Robbers as a backdrop  

Ever since I saw the Picasso Black and White exhibition at the Guggenheim a couple of years ago, and reading the accompanying book, I have been focussing on giving my colors space.  I have been utilizing more and different greys, which have a lot of color themselves.  It may not look like it, but On the Waterfront (60 x 48 inches) actually has a lot of paint on it (Several big tubes)!  My process lately has been that of adding and taking away.  I love to get depth and not have the surface all seem like one layer.

I usually like to start with a base of white, continuing right into the wet paint, but I decided to try somethting different and for I Am Woman (below);  I started with bold vivid pinks as a base.  The challenge was to tame the pink.  A whole huge canvas of super bright paint just doesn’t do it for me anymore.  I think it worked out well, but we’ll see if I get that urge again!

I Am Woman  oil, graphite on canvas 48 x 48 inches

Below is something totally different - my big woman!  This canvas is 8 feet x 4 feet.  Even though it is figurative, it does have a controlled amount of color that I think adds to its power.  If it was all “colored in” it would be lousy.  I love the way she is a part of the whole, part of the abstract surroundings.  She isn’t just on top of it or beside it. When I look at I Am Woman, I see echoes of Big Girl with Weights.  They were both done withing a few weeks of each other.

Big Girl with Weight   graphite, charcoal, acrylic on raw canvas 84 x 48 inches

© Trixie Pitts 2009