Thursday, January 12, 2017

What A Difference Six Months Makes?

I had to got out onto my balcony this morning to pick up a cushion the wind had blown over yesterday. As I looked down to my condo buildings pool I saw this.

Wintery and graphic, we had a dusting of snow early this morning. I have frequently shot the pool form this vantage point with no particular goal in mind other than the documenting changing seasons, made visible via my condo swimming pool.

Here is the summer version to remind you that the days are getting longer and warmer weather is on its way.


This week I also remade/updated a drawing I made last summer. I have an opportunity to send a few drawings to a show in Guatemala City and I wanted to include a drawing from my 'Overlapping Grids' series. My instinct was to rework one of the more complicated of the grid drawing,s but shift the arrangement somewhat. Formally each of the grids in this drawing are drawn with one half heavy line weight and one half lighter line weight. At the time I did not fully understand the result. Why the asymmetry? 

Michael McGuire - Overlapping Grids 4 - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40"x26"
So in the newest drawing I shifted where the heavier lines weigh occurs. It changed the drawing, but I'm still unsure why. Note how the NW and SE corners have changed. Perhaps this imagery deserves a full series to explore each of the possible variations.

Michael McGuire - Overlapping Grids 11 - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40"x26"

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Back From Puerto Rico - New Watercolors and a Few Photos

I was in Puerto Rico last week. Saw two old friends and met four amazing new friends. I worked hard too. For me there is not much else to do in the heat of the day - I don't sit in the sun and I get bored easily. Consequently I have come back to Chicago with thirteen new water colors. I will post the in chronological order, the progression is apparent. I still struggle with both the watercolor media and color in general. But being in such a colorful, sunlit place made it easy to riff on the take inspiration from the environment around me.

Michael McGuire - Untitled Watercolor Drawings - 12''x 9'' each
In the first watercolor drawing I was once again exploring the array of colors in the small Windsor Newton watercolor set I brought with me. The second is still exploration but I returned to a motif I have used before, the graduated grid. And the third drawing was about mixing grays and again a graduated grid of sorts.



These next three watercolors are still about mixing grays and blacks. The middle black drawing refers to drawings I had been making in Chicago before I left. Hints of the landscape in two of them.


These two drawings introduce the 'Wave' motif and this photo is a reminder that all of these drawings can be rotated ninety degrees for a different perspective. I'm still timid with the color but taking inspiration for the beach that was just outside my door.


Here the motif has been established and I'm trying not to over-think the color.


The end of my stay in Puerto Rico is approaching. I'm actually working harder because I like the direction these watercolors are going. Trying to be a little more thoughtful about the color.

The last three watercolors. I relaxed a bit about the color. These drawings really are studies in the sense that I worked in a somewhat uncomfortable media with color, and maybe I learned a thing or two that will inform my work back in the studio.

Below is a photo of my painting set up in P.R. just out side my room at the 'Numero Uno' Guest house. The ocean is just on the other side of the wall.



I did not shoot as many photos as in years past while visiting Puerto Rico but below are a few from my walks around the 'Ocean Park' neighborhood of San Juan where my guest house was situated.  These photos are a little unfair in that they make the place look like a bombed out city which it is not at all. It is lively and full of businesses and a lot of development is going on. But at the same time there are abandoned buildings and empty lots everywhere. I think it is the product of probate rules in Puerto Rico, and the tropical environment is very hard on any structure. But a lot of great architecture that runs from Miami Art Deco to some of the original wood beach shacks that have been lovingly restored.






Friday, December 9, 2016

New Drawings

Michael McGuire - Untitled - India Ink, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40"x 26"
Michael McGuire - Untitled - India Ink, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper - 40"x 26"

Michael McGuire - 2 Untitled Drawings - Pencil on Arches Watercolor Paper - 26.25" x20"
Michael McGuire - 2 Untitled Drawings - India Ink on Arches Watercolor Paper - 26.25" x20"
Michael McGuire - Untitled Drawing - India Ink, Acrylic Paint, Arches Watercolor Paper - 26"x 40"

Monday, December 5, 2016

More Current Drawings

I emailed quite a few  photos of current drawings to a client this afternoon. A lot of color, I went directly to the high key acid colors of 60's psychedelic rock posters as I was creating these. I'm still using the acrylic paint pens on densely colored watercolor paper. I can never quite anticipate the results and I'm still taking these in.









Sunday, December 4, 2016

Color Studies Based on Rothko

Michael McGuire - Untitled Color Study - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint on Arches - 30"x22.75"
Michael McGuire - Untitled Color Study - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint on Arches - 30"x22.75"
Michael McGuire - Untitled Color Study - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint on Arches - 30"x22.75"
Michael McGuire - Untitled Color Study - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint on Arches - 30"x22.75"

Friday, December 2, 2016

Work Seems To Be The Only Refuge

Michael McGuire - 2 Untitled Color Studies - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint on Arches Watercolor Paper - 30 x 22.75 inches
Michael McGuire - 2 Indigo Drawings - Watercolor, Acrylic Paint on Arches Watercolor Paper - 40 x 26.25 inches each

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A New Large Collage and Two Unusual Photographs

Michael McGuire - Untitled Collage - Acrylic Paint, Recycled Cardboard - 60"x40"
Michael McGuire - Untitled Watercolor Studies - Windsor Newton Watercolor on Arches Paper - 30"x22.75" each
I thought this was an unusual photograph. I could almost be read as a narrative, if that had been my intention. I like it as a photograph too, the image might make a good photo based print.