Friday, April 25, 2014

Alberto Morrocco

I've just finished reading a book on Alberto Morrocco (1917-1998),  by Atelier books. The artworks featured in the book were nicely reproduced and the text consisted of a variety of conversational interviews drawn together.

watermelon seller

In truth, it is only in recent years that I have stopped to consider this artists work.  I realize this view point may have been somewhat unfair, especially when you consider locationally we had so much in common. Both of us were born and brought up in Aberdeen, Scotland (though admittedly in different eras). He also taught at 'Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art' in Dundee, around the same period that I was a student there (though my types of classes never would have intersected his). Indeed, I should add, we may have just missed each other altogether; for he went back to Aberdeen to work at 'Grays school of art' around this time. 'Grays' was where he originally attended and learned fine art.

3 young clowns with birds

I mentioned having dismissed his work in the past, and I can only explain this as follows. I believe it's fair to say even in Scotland his work is not terribly well known, when compared to other Scottish peers from this period. The little I personally knew of his work, I felt to be derirative of Picasso. It was only in recent times when I came into contact with more of his paintings, that I realized he had greater depth than my previous views and there was a lot to love about his work.

Fishermen & boats

Within his work he is very technically proficient and quite varied within his treatments. In many ways he's most known for his paintings of the Mediterranean figure. Streets scenes, stalls, Watermelon sellers, sun bathers and men riding horses by the ocean are all common subjects of these paintings.   These works are filled with a light confident touch, but also a more contemplative understanding of form and composition structure. They demand attention;  he is an artist who understands that paint can be a powerful thing on its own, and presents confident color blocks and color relationships. He has a beautifully controlled careful brush stroke, with considered value choices. This when combined with his expressionist modern figure paintings give his work a strong power, and one that I regret overlooking for so long.

Santa Fe Chapel Study

A little study of a Santa Fe church. I love the Adobe style buildings in New Mexico, the architecture always seems so fitting to the environment. Looking forward to being back there next month!

'San Miguel Chapel study' 
Acrylic on panel    16X20

Friday, April 11, 2014

Energy and color

This painting is about energy and color. I see the style of it as an extension of my more usual colorist
style, however it has a clear modernist/contemporary aesthetic and mood. I enjoy painting in this style, with bold brush strokes and irregular expressionist color passages through the canvas. It gives the subject so much life and energy.

Painting animals is almost always fun, and dog portraits are great, (though I tend to find the tongue thing a bit of problem). Finding a moment when the mouth is closed avoids that, and there's still so much life and expression in a dogs face around the eyes, ears and brow.

 'Samuel after the goats' 
Acrylic on panel           24X18

The painting color themes were pulled from some goat paintings I did a couple of years ago (hence the title). Here's the old blog post of those, for those who are interested? -

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Ghost Ranch

Next month I have a show in New Mexico with Ventana Gallery in Santa Fe, so it's got me thinking about the beautiful countryside in the state....

 Mesa Study (Ghost Ranch) 
Acrylic                  12X16

Monday, April 7, 2014

Euan Uglow

My favorite Arts writer talking about one of my favorite artists Euan Uglow... what could be better?