Filed under: art, Fort Bragg paintings, Landscape Ptgs, Paintings -Inspiration, Paintings-stories | Tags: black and white paintings, gesso on paper, marion epting, Monterey pines painting, susan canavarro
In 1992, I was fortunate to be in a printmaking class where my teacher, Marion Epting, Professor of Art at California State University, Chico, encouraged me to experiment with black and white print images. With his encouragement to do as I pleased with the Intaglio (etching) plate, I discovered an appreciation for the spontaneity of monotypes and collographs and the inherent simplicity and unity of a black and white image. After I graduated, I continued with the black and white image making I had enjoyed while making prints, but instead, painted with black and white Gesso directly on printmaking paper.
The complexity of value changes in the interaction of black ink on white paper left so much to the imagination of the viewer, yet at the same time, because of its association with newspaper photographic images, black and white could carry the weight: the importance and truth of reality. It connotes a documentation of real life. Somebody once told me that photographs always tell the truth, but the truth is they don’t. From the beginning the photographer’s eye and mental process influences his/her process and product, just like painting a painting. The “manipulation” used to happen in a dark photo lab developing process with chemical solutions and expensive photo equipment, but today it happens in the camera with the artist’s ideas and touch, and on one’s home computer.
In the sense of black and white photos, my black and white Gesso landscapes of the Fort Bragg and Monterey Bay area document a local landscape as seen through my eyes and influenced by my moods and skills. I manipulated my images. They are not truth. They are illusions. They give a glimpse of a truth within me. I like the confluence of truth and illusion signified by the black and white in these paintings.
Guided by my penchant for simplicity and aversion to detail, I honed a landscape out of black and white Gesso and tried to express the image that first caught my eye, focusing on light and dark shapes, patterns, and large simple flat shapes juxtaposed against a sense of distance and atmosphere. I enjoyed the inherent contradiction of push/pull created by the flat shapes against deep space.
Black and white Gesso satisfied my need for simplicity: it was easy to manipulate and was transparent or opaque depending on how I applied it. It still entices me away from color. I use it on paper or canvas.
Filed under: art, Fort Bragg paintings, Landscape Ptgs, Paintings -Inspiration, Paintings-stories | Tags: Beachcomer Motel, Fort Bragg, Northern California coast, susan canavarro
Filed under: art, Fort Bragg paintings, Paintings -Inspiration, Paintings-stories | Tags: Fort Bragg, fort bragg paintings, pudding creek
I’ve uploaded four of my Fort Bragg landscapes, painted during the time I lived in Fort Bragg. I painted with black and white Gesso and watercolors. This combination of media gives the paintings a milky appearance. Despite the awful events occurring behind my apartment, Fort Bragg inspired the creation of many paintings…which are now sold.
These four images are of a coastal park at Pudding Creek, about one mile north of Fort Bragg proper. I fell in love with these bluffs and trees and the small beach and cove at the mouth of Pudding Creek. A very active logging and supply rail-line crossed this creek high above on a trestle bridge. The natural cove and ocean sparkle provided a stunning backdrop for this man-made structure.
The Park area had seven miles of paved recreational trail from the bridge north. Off the paved trail were smaller trails leading out to the edge of the land, to the area where the trees were leaning with the force of prevailing winds. I had hoped for the bicycle/walking trail to be extended over the bridge one day so one could ride or walk the rest of the distance into town, but while I was there it remained closed and inaccessible. A non-functiong structure except for the beautiful enhancing contrast to nature that it provided.