Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rock Circles at Playa

 In addition to painting while at Playa, I stuffed small stones into my pockets while walking back and forth from my cabin to the main building along the seemingly gray gravel paths. During my first visit I had made a long row showing the intense variation in rock color. This time I converted that idea into a kind of color wheel. I did a small version in my studio (see this post), then turned it into a larger one on a concrete platform atop small hillock near some of the cabins. I also made a black and white circle in a gravelled area up on a nearby hill across the road from the residency. The black and white circle kind of reminded me of the cold ashes of a fire-pit which ties in nicely with the paintings. Doing these was a pleasant, almost meditative way to leave something behind.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fire studies from Playa

Here are some better scans of the small (12"x16") fire studies that I completed while at my residency in Summer Lake, Oregon, plus a sample of some of my other studies of the same size. Thank you Playa! To see my big 4' x9.5' forest burn painting see my previous post. I'll get a better reproduction of that one posted once it is fully completed and stretched, which may take a while. My goals for this little project keep growing in my mind (not unlike a fire with plenty of fuel to burn)... more to come... eventually.

You can view any of the pieces slightly larger by clicking on the image.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Preview at Playa

Here's a quick look at the work set up in my studio at Playa for the "Playa Presents" tomorrow evening (see previous post). I've got three or four more small pieces on paper that should be done by then but this is pretty much the show. The centerpiece is my forest fire painting that will be 4 feet high and 9.5 feet long when it's eventually stretched onto a frame. Opposite are two series, one of close-ups of fires, the other of various objects lit at night (presumably by fires). There's also a painting that I jokingly think of as the "Truffula Seed". And just to mix things up I made a little rock color wheel on the studio floor from gravel gathered from the driveway.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Playa Presents

 Saturday, October 26, 2013, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The brilliance of autumn has arrived at Playa, and so has the energy and excitement of creative individuals! Please join us for an afternoon featuring the work of Playa's current roster of Fellowship Residents.

The event will begin with studio tours of the work of painter, David Carmack Lewis, of Portland, Oregon, and printmaker, Diane Sandall, of Eugene, Oregon. It will then conclude in the Commons building with literary readings by Kristin Berger, of Portland, Oregon; Jamie Houghton, of Bend, Oregon; and E. Amato, of Santa Monica, California. Refreshments will also be served.
Playa is located between mileposts 81 and 82 on Highway 31, about 20 miles north of Paisley and 10 miles south of the Summer Lake store and post office.

For more information, email:
or call Playa at 541-943-3983

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Getting Started on the Big One

Almost halfway through this residency, I figured it was time to get started on the forest fire centerpiece. After stretching the painting will be 48" high by 114" wide.

Hope I can get it done. This is probably the largest painting I've ever done. Which is sort of fun while I am, at the same time, doing all of these smaller studies. Here's one of an old airstream trailer parked on some nearby property imagined at night in front of the requisite fire:

oil on paper 11" x 14"

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Four Fire Studies

 These are pretty fun to do. My hope is to eventually do a series of twenty or so and pair them with images of objects and animals being lit from a low warm light source as if by fire. I've got a few other pieces and done and more of course in the works. I seem to be putting together some kind of thematic show, a sort of large visual essay on fire. I've got a piece on a forest fire in the works too. There's something about the fact that fire is both a natural and destructive force that makes it akin to human beings themselves. The way we were able to harness it for our own comfort and convenience plays no small role in what makes us so destructive and powerful force in the world.

The color on these may not totally accurate. When I get home I'll document everything more accurately.
Each one is oil on paper, approx. 11" x 17"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

2 days in

I arrived at Playa on Monday evening. Got up Tuesday and started working. I'm starting with a series of small fire paintings and to accompany them a series depicting objects or animals lit from below possibly by fire but not necessarily. I've also stretched a large canvas that will be about 4 feet by 9 when finished. Hopefully this will be a kind of anchor piece for the rest of the work; another night scene no doubt but nothing definitive yet. That comes out in the act of painting. Every time I think I know exactly what I want to paint it ends being something else. Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting loads of work done over the next 4 and half weeks. I'll post occasional pieces plus a few photos from this stunning part of the world. Then I'll post all the final work when I get back.

Oh, and here's the view from my cabin:

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Glass All Empty!

I photoshopped this pic of my last glass of beer at Playa Artist residency a little less than two years ago. In the four weeks that I was there (feb/mar 2012) I produced the same amount of work as I did in the following 10 months at home. In one week I will return to the same place on Summer Lake, Oregon; this time for five weeks as part of a special alumni program. I'd like to think of my previous experience as a "glass is totally empty" sort of thing, because I drank it all up, and it was fantastic. Thank you, may I have another?

You can see some of the results from my previous stay starting with this post and working your way forward through a few.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


"Audience"  53" x 38"  oil on canvas  2013

"Companion"  32" x 50" oil on canvas  2011
It's been a slow summer for sales as well as for production. But I just got word that these two pieces have found a new home. Interestingly, "Audience" is the most recent of my five theater pieces and the first one to sell. I kept painting them because I liked them despite the fact that they have remained in the gallery so long. Oh well. Art sales are a curious thing. I like the combination of these two pieces. I never would have thought of putting them together myself. But each one features an object as light source, something I've only played with a few times. And both my outdoor and interior works are represented. So thank you as yet unknown purchaser!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2 more small pieces on paper

Here's another study from the field museum in Chicago and one based on a photo from a 2003 issue of the Smithsonian. I'm having fun even if I don't have a clue what I'm doing or where any of this is going.
based on a photo from Smithsonian magazine, 2003 - oil on gessoed paper  11" x 17"

Pterodactyl at the Field Museum, Chicago - oil on gessoed paper  11" x 17"

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Small studies from the Field Museum

While in Chicago the family went to the field Museum of Natural History. And while they had some pretty interesting state of the art special exhibitions going on, nothing beats the taxidermy specimens and dioramas from the days of old in my book. Here's three small oil studies on paper based on some.

oil on gessoed paper 11" x 17"

oil on gessoed paper 11" x 15"

oil on gessoed paper 17" x 11"

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Identified Flying Object

 "Reflection of a Ceiling Lamp in a Cabin Window"
oil on gessoed 12" x 18" watercolor paper

It's been slow going getting back to work after my show in June. I knocked out this small oil on paper for my own amusement and, to be honest, just as an excuse to get back in the studio and do something... anything...

Although it may not be the most sophisticated conceptual framework it could be fun to do a whole series of Identified Flying Objects. I did a few more small oils on paper for the show just before the opening which I did not have time to scan. They did not sell (bad for me) so I'll get them back at some point and post them here soon (good for blog).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bigfoot Journey

"Bigfoot Journey"  triptych  oil on canvas paper  12" x 16" each
I did these more to entertain myself than as a serious attempt to make art. They're not very well crafted (I never have been much of a painter's painter). But they do amuse me so in that I guess they're a success. I'm not sure I want to include them in my June show. I'd be very curious to know what other people thought. Anyone?

(You can click on the image to view it larger)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Two more paintings

"Dawn"  oil on canvas 38" x 50"

"Discourse"  oil on canvas  50" x 37"

These will be included in my show at Attic Gallery this June. Announcement coming and two more paintings not yet stretched.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Chair Paintings at home

The owner of my painting "Loser" from way back in 2006 or something, commissioned these two small chair paintings to accompany it. It was a great idea. Here's what she wrote when she emailed me the photo, which I thought was a good insightful description of the whole deal:

Hi David, here is a photo of the paintings together. They work well. There is a whole other layer to the narrative of the main painting now, which I really like (as I think I noted to you earlier, I was looking for almost a forensic deconstruction--something has clearly happened in the main painting & the out takes are an attempt to piece together the events. The chairs themselves are pieces of evidence, yet what they tell us is ambiguous). I'm very pleased with the result and hope it was a fun exercise for you. Strange isn't it, how things evolve--but good, layers are good.

Best regards,