Thursday, January 21, 2016

Pastel Paintings of Waves

Wave #1

I conceived the wave paintings as an experiment in photo realism with one caveat. I wanted my process (the way I use the pastels) to be visible.

Wave #2

The first two wave paintings were done in 2012 and 13. It’s time I got back to that series. I have taken hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand photos of breaking waves over the years. I will begin the search through my morgue for new photos to work from this weekend. * The two paintings shown here are 30 by 40 inches and 32 by 40 inches respectively. I cropped the original photos, looking for a small section that was in perfect focus in order to freeze the water’s motion completely. These were then copied meticulously, but still using my direct application technique with the pastels rather than rubbing, blending and smearing as most pastel artists do. *1 Because of that technique, the paintings appear to be photographic upon first examination, but break down into individual chunks and strokes of color upon the viewer’s closer approach. I use the pastels themselves to blend one color into another. That makes the color lie on the paper surface allowing the white paper to show through rather than turning the white paper itself into a darker color.


* Morgue – a visual artist’s file of photographs used as an aid to drawing, painting and/or sculpting.

*1 Experts have told me that I use a contrary and actually improper technique. Too bad! I achieve a depth and intensity of color that it is impossible to achieve by rubbing, smearing and blending, the traditional pastel technique. That is why I call my large pastels, paintings!

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Blast From the Past

Isaac At Rehoboth Beach (circa 1957)

The journal entry is for November 22nd 2005. The entry is one of several written by “the professor,” in Isaac’s Family Photo Album, and was part of several alternate realities I created to illustrate psychological, sociological, and philosophical aspects of my doctoral dissertation (Isaac Stozfuts: Images About Male Sexuality and Culture). After completing the doctoral degree in 2000, I extended and elaborated these aspects in the virtual reality that is the Internet. I have since removed most though an abbreviated version of the photo album and a good portion of Isaac’s journal still exist out there in the “cybervoid.”* If anyone is interested the title page of my own journal, “The Art of John Bittinger Klomp” includes the links to “Isaac Stolzfuts’ Journal” and “Isaac’s Family Photo Album.”

* cybervoid – a term I invented in 1998 to describe the vast space - seemingly infinite and often vacuous though filled with information - that is the Internet.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Beach Walk

This is an updated version of an older pastel painting (2010). The newer work (February 2015) has additions that contribute to my (the artist’s) and hopefully to the viewer’s awareness of the natural theater present at water’s edge. I made it for the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida art auction to be held this month.

The young man walks by the light foamy aqua to deepest dark blue ocean waves that gently flow onto the brown sand with shells scattered on a low tide beach. Above his head pelicans fly, a full moon floats low and hazy in the daytime sky, and a sailboat cruises slowly in the sea breeze near the horizon. It is one of those perfect days, the wet sea sand glazed and reflecting a blue-mirror at waters edge, lambent zephyrs tugging at his hair and gently wafting cross sun warmed skin. He pushes grains of sand into small aqueous dents that disappear as he drifts through the picture plain, the sand grains scouring flakes of skin from the soles of his feet.

Never the less, he is unaware, cloaked in his virtual aural iPod reality. How easily he accepts the temple of sea and sky, not aware of God’s presence within or in the actual world that surrounds him.