In the Studio #60

This was an unusual week for me in the studio with the holiday and all. I’ve been having a hard time in the past few weeks (actually maybe a month or so) to find the time to get into my studio on days that I don’t already have off, and that challenge was exasperated by Thanksgiving this week. Nevertheless, I made my 20 hours minimum that I require of myself in my little place of zen and peace, and I managed to be somewhat productive as well.

There’s a local billboard contest here in the Lehigh Valley, it used to be called Artpop, now because of “reasons” they call it “Creative Drive”. I’ve wanted to get one of the half a dozen or so billboards offered up each year for several years now and have always come up short. I decided for this time around to include one of the “Timmy Porch Petunias” pieces since it’s orientation closely matches a billboard. And so, over the last few weeks I pushed completing the second of the three paintings I’m working on for this series a little ahead – I originally didn’t think I would work on the piece till mid-December.

This piece is – even in its finished state – somewhat rough for me. I’m was trying to achieve a balance between the drawing – which I found so dynamic – and the effects I get with scrapping paint with the pallet knife. I feel like I was only partially successful, even though the work has most of the ghostly qualities I intended originally. I think the hard thing with this piece was getting the sky to the right quality of twilight to make the shadows in the petunias read as both a stencil and a three-dimensional object. There’s that magic time before the sun sets completely where objects can read as both present and shadow alike. I settled on a strategy that showed my bones a little, giving slight hints at my intentions. Ultimately though I think it’s going to be the third piece I’m working on now that resolves these issues. This is one of the reasons I paint in series, it’s usually not until the second of third try that I get to the essence of an idea.

Here’s the final piece of Timmy Porch Petunias No. 2

Anthony Smith Jr., Timmy's Porch Petunias No 2, 16 x 48 inches, acrylic, 2019


I’ve been listening to a lot of Radiohead and Atoms for Peace lately. Thom Yorke’s voice is so creepy it addictive. Here’s a piece from ‘A Moon Shaped Pool” I really like. It’s called “Identikit”.

I got an unexpected show in April that will push up a few series in the spring and so it looks like its planets till at least Valentine’s Day. Next, I’ll blog about my Venus piece and hopefully have my last petunia piece done along with those Boson works I’ve been playing with for a month. Until then do be well.

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