Sunday, February 22, 2009

something to chew on

This video comes from a photography viewpoint, but I think any creative person can relate to it...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

prep work

I stretched my first canvases in months today. I like the prep work. Stretching my own canvases makes me feel that there is more of "me" in the final work. I also get a feeling of accomplishment every time I finish one. The flip side is that stretching canvases can be a huge pain, especially larger ones. I'm constantly having to check the corners to make sure that they are square, especially when the stretcher bar tongue and grooves have too much play, causing there to be too much movement. I have a system for cross-bracing that works...most of the time. 

Today, was one of those days when I had to practice a lot of patience with the larger of the two canvases above. A lot of turning on the edges, checking with an L-square, and taps from a rubber mallet finally got me where I wanted to be. That's part of why I chose to work on wood panels over the past few months. Aside from wanting to work with a different surface, all I have to do with panels is seal the surfaces and paint. There's much less time and work involved. The problem now was that I was getting tired of working only on the wood surfaces and started longing for the feel of canvas again. I also like the absorbent nature and slight give of canvas when it's being painted on.  I'll probably keep going back and forth between the two surfaces for some time to come.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Yesterday, I was feeling a bit panicky about the amount of work that I had ready for the show coming up in April, but I'm a bit farther along than I thought. All it took to ease my mind was a good look at what I had completed already. So far, so good. I still want and need to get a few more pieces done over the next month and-a-half, but I think I'm on a good time line now. Now, I have to get into mild adjustments, attaching hanging hardware, signing the pieces and wrapping them so the chances of wandering paint spatters from things I'm still working don't find their way to completed surfaces. One of my least favorite tasks is having to deal with unwanted surprises and repainting a piece with a show coming up.

All the work for the airport show is done. I still have to go through and select what I consider the best of the lot and that's that. Those works have had a profound effect on the direction that I'm taking some of the paintings and other works I'm preparing for my solo show. 


"...we create problems to push the work forward..." In conversation with painter, Keith Crowley last night.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

winter walk

A small sampling of what I saw yesterday while walking to work.

Snow Fairy
The coolest snow fairy you never made. Seen on Carpenter Street near 8th Street.

Snow fairy closeup. Note the colorful mixed media approach to defining the features.

Winter Path
We finally got a real snowfall for the first time this winter.

Crossing Washington
9th and Washington Avenue, nexus of the Italian Market-Philadelphia

(all photos ©tim mcfarlane)

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

good vibes break

Winter Blooms I

Winter Blooms II

Winter Blooms III

(all photos ©tim mcfarlane)

Some brightness to ease some of the gloom of winter. I don't know what the name of these flowers are, but they've been blooming in the employee lounge at work for a couple of weeks now.

Here's something else that's been making winter a little more bearable:

This is what you are - Mario Biondi & The High Five Quintet