Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Process of Painting
by Michael Cross

This attempts to put into words the ideas behind my art making process. By writing this, I do not intend to say this is how all artists should or do work. It is an approach that I personally have arrived at over many years, and can be seen as a snapshot of how I work at this particular time. That will change. Change is a necessary part of the process.

As background, when I began to learn to draw and paint as a child, my goal was to reproduce the things around me. Being outdoors in my rural environment was important to me, so the landscape in particular was what I wanted to paint. Barns, fields, fences, rock formations all appeared on my canvas boards and in charcoal drawings. Learning the skills of rendering these as accurately as possible fascinated me.

By the time I was in my teens, my feelings began to connect with the paintings, and I found that particular kinds of features in a landscape could represent my specific feelings and emotions: dark clouds could seem ominous, bright sunlit wheat fields were cheerful, windswept trees and foliage could have a wildness about them. I began to let my work be influenced by emotions, while still using realistic depictions. Some of the paintings now included human faces and figures that could indicate emotions more directly than landscape could. The process of visually inspired depiction began transforming into a process of emotionally inspired depiction.

Through, and for a few years after, college my paintings continued to move between landscape and figure, but gradually with less emphasis on realistic rendering of forms. By the time I began painting full time several years later, I was almost completely working with expressionist landscape painting, mostly influenced by the New Mexico desert where I attended college, and the Kansas prairie where I had grown up.

A big change in my work came when the look and feel of the paint medium I used became more important to me than the objective forms and figures in the paintings. Forms themselves were interesting apart from what they represented, and my goal moved from describing something on canvas to letting natural effects take place more freely on the surface. I did not want my paintings to depict things as much as I wanted them to themselves become things in the physical world. I was losing interest in making paintings look like something other than paintings.
(end of Part One..... to be continued in next posting, along with photos to illustrate some of these points.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Title: " December 12, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper (Vellum)
63 x 42 inches

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Installation view of the four "Translucent Series" pieces in the current exhibit "Breaking News" which opened at Michael Cross Gallery in Dallas on December 2, and continues through December 30, 2007. These paintings are done in acrylic on vellum (translucent cotton paper). Each is suspended 3 inches from the wall from a 1/2-inch diameter plexiglas rod.
(Two of the individual pieces are shown in the posts below.)

Friday, October 05, 2007

" October 2, 2007 "
Acrylic & Gesso on Vellum Paper
68 x 42 inches (172 x 106 cm)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

" September 21, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent paper
63 x 42 inches

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

" August 12, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
" August 11, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

" August 10, 2007 #1 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
6 x 4 inches

Saturday, August 11, 2007

" August 10, 2007 #2 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

" July 19, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
6 x 4 inches
(to enlarge, please click on image)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Title: " JULY 10, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches
(to enlarge, please click on image)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

" SUMMER SOLSTICE 2007 "
Acrylic on Paper
30 x 22 inches
SOLD

Saturday, June 16, 2007

" JUNE 16, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
(click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

" May 31, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
6 x 4 inches
(Click on image to enlarge)

" May 30, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
6 x 4 inches
(Click on image to enlarge)

Friday, May 11, 2007

" May 11, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches
(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

" May 8, 2007 "
5 x 5 inches
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
(click on image to enlarge)
SOLD

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Title: " April 11, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent paper
6 x 4 inches (15.24 x 10.16 cm)
(click on image to enlarge)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

" April 8, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
6 x 4 inches (15.24 x 10.16 cm)
(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

" April 4, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
(click on image to enlarge)

Monday, April 02, 2007

" April 1, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
(click on image to enlarge)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

" March 29, 2007 "
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
(click on image to enlarge)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

" March 28, 2007 "
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
(click image to enlarge)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

" MARCH 24, 2007 "
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
(click on image to enlarge)

Friday, March 23, 2007

"March 23, 2007"
5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Acrylic on Translucent Paper

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"VERNAL EQUINOX 2007"
6 x 4 inches
Acrylic on Translucent Paper
This title of this painting refers to the day it was completed, March 21, 2007; the first full day of spring. You can click on the image for a more detailed view.

Monday, March 19, 2007

" Blues for Ray "
22 x 30 inches
Acrylic on Paper

This painting is the finished version of the "work in progress" shown in a posting below.

During the weekend, two public figures in Dallas passed away. One was Raymond Nasher, art collector and builder of the Nasher sculpture Center. The other was Wilfred Jones, better known as "Crazy Ray" the unofficial mascot of the Cowboys football team. Two very different lives and people, but both vital parts of the culture in Dallas. So, the work in progress was finished yesterday and became "Blues for Ray".


Thursday, March 15, 2007

" March 15, 2007 "
22 x 30 inches
Acrylic on Paper

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

" March 13, 2007 "
22 x 30 inches
Acrylic on Paper

Monday, March 05, 2007

"March 5, 2007"
Acrylic on Paper
22 x 30 inches

Friday, March 02, 2007

"March 1, 2007"
Acrylic, Charcoal, & Pastel on Translucent Paper
9 x 12 inches

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Work in Progress
February 27, 2007, Acrylic on Paper

Monday, February 05, 2007

" Study for Mural, February 2007"
Acrylic on Paper
15 x 44 inches

Friday, February 02, 2007

" February 2007 "
Acrylic on Paper
44.5 x 60 inches


Detail of " February 2007 "

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Winter Solstice / Seven-Eleven" 1999-2003
Diptych 77 x 132 inches overall
Acrylic & Charcoal on Canvas

Friday, January 12, 2007

Title: " CIBOLA "
by Michael Cross
Acrylic, Charcoal, & Mulberry Paper Collage on Canvas
61 1/2 x 49 1/2 inches
Year: 2007