October 26th, 2008 Mountainside Stream
Recently, I have been asked by a few followers of my work, to do a blog on paintings in progress, keeping them up to date. This is a 30" X 40" oil on canvas, that was _started early on a September morning. I had gone out to take photos for reference. I was intrigued by the abstract patterns of light, sky and evergreens that were reflected on the water. This was a fairly rock laden riverbed, leading away from the mountain, where the river was created by two separate streams flowing from the left and right. I did not begin to paint the painting there. Instead I sketched, wrote and sat, looking around, letting the memories and feelings I hold about nature and this place take hold. The paintings I create are not exact replications of the area I use as reference. They can end up being distinctly different in appearance than the actual location which I had observed. I am not trying to copy a specific location or view, but to capture that elusive feeling of the place that inspired me to stop there in the first place. In this case, the dark silhouette of the pines in the foreground stood like guardians of the river. In symbolism, the river represents universal potential, that of life, death and renewal. For some reason, as I work on this painting I want to add a figure standing on the rocks in the middle, "crossing over "so to speak. I am not sure if that figure will win its way into the painting at this point, or not. Stay tuned...
October 23, 2008 Spirit Rising Painting
There is a lot of heart and symbolism in this painting, which was researched over a five year period. It represents my views on the journey we all take in this life, from both a spiritual aspect and a more realistic one. I used the graphic shapes as a representation of the four stages of life, one rising out of the experiences of the other. I wanted a juxtaposition of the eye, bouncing between the realistic picture plane and the shapes that hover over it. This was done to represent our own inner journey as a soul spirit and the contrasting journey as a human spirit. Moreover, the conflict on where we should focus our attentions, as we journey through life. Each element in the picture has a specific symbolic meaning behind it. My hope is to take others on a similar uplifting journey as they experience the painting.Is the conscious, soulful life just as important as what we view as our "real" everyday life? This is the question I was asking when working on this painting.
October 20th, 2008
Recent Thoughts and Images
Welcome, I hope you are stirred by my work. Currently I have three large 30" X 40" paintings I am working on in the studio. One is titled "Mountainside Stream", another is titled "Fire" (the image at left is part of the painting,"Fire"), the third is not yet titled. Soon I'll be updating this blog to include pictures of paintings in progress. Stay tuned.
I prefer working on larger format, so each painting takes weeks to months. Right now, I have two other images that I am in the process of transferring to canvas, then I will block them in during the second week, and go on from there. Therefore, I work on a few at a time, based on which aspect I want to explore of my own life. I believe each painting reveals a part of the painter never before explored by ones self. It is a constant changing of perspective. My work tends to run in themes that reflect the perspective I am exploring. I find most often they relate to how much I am gardening, and how much of an influence nature is at any given time in my life. In between, I often go out on trips and do plein air paintings to keep my eye fresh.
The image of the crane that comes from the painting "Spirit Rising" has become my logo of sorts. That painting was a turning point in my career and life, so I want to keep it fresh in my mind as I work. It is a reminder to always be grateful for the changes in our lives, even when they seem the worst--there is always a rainbow on the other side of the haze we may be walking through. I also had another website at GailAllenPainter.com which opened with the crane "logo" I spoke about earlier. Having a koi pond outside of my studio, that is visited each day by a large heron, the crane figure is a constant image in my own daily life. Recently the GailAllenPainter.com website was taken down and GailAllenArtist.com has replaced it.
I hope you enjoy the insights into my work. Please return to see the current pieces as they are updated.
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