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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Todays Work

Recycled Cardboard, Acrylic Paint on Arches Watercolor Paper

Friday, November 11, 2016

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Worked Outside Today

It was 73 degrees in Chicago today so I took advantage and worked outside in the back courtyard. I dyed a few large sheets of watercolor paper with bright colors this morning, then a quick lunch on Argyle Street while they dried. Then this afternnon I made a series of quick India ink studies inspired by a sculpture I saw over the weekend. These drawings relate to the basket drawings I made a few years ago, but in my mind I have been referring to them an 'Arks' all afternoon.

Home to watch baseball this evening. Game six, I won't say anything, afraid to jinx.
Michael McGuire - 'Ark' Studies - India Ink on Arches - 10''x14''

Monday, October 24, 2016

New Drawing

I'm posting a photo of this brand new drawing in order that I will be able to look at it online over the next couple days. I have been wanting to make a somewhat more complex 'Girder and Panel' drawing for awhile now.  I had completed the pencil under-drawing last spring and stashed it away in a drawer. I had the ink out today and pushed through this drawing in addition to a smaller commissioned one. Now I will have quick access to this image on various online platforms to view and contemplate when I get the impulse. I like to think about my work in this way: Out of the studio, when I get the urge, wherever I happen to be. I am going to look at it on my phone right now!

Michael McGuire - Untitled - Acrylic Paint on Arches Watercolor Paper - 40''x26''

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Photographs of Grid Drawings

I recently sent photos of grid drawings to an out of town client that had inquired about them. Looking at the photos I was taken by there utter plainness, and yet how describe so much: the gallery floor, the measure to indicate scale, the toe of my shoe in a couple of them... I generally have a few of these studies on hand as I test brushes and try out various media, and I will often use unused portions of watercolor paper so I end up with some unusual sizes.


Sunday, October 9, 2016

2 New Indigo Studies

Two new indigo studies, both 40'' x 26''. The media on each is; Windsor Newton Indigo watercolor paint, acrylic paint, pencil on Arches cold press watercolor paper.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Recent Commissions

It has been a week full of commissions. That is good new in terms of the rent, but sometimes bad news in terms of creative output. But not always, and this week turned out to be quite worthwhile.

A return to the indigo drawings that some refer to as 'Winter Lake' pieces. There was a happy accident and the top portion of the indigo watercolor and it came out quite wonderfully. Perhaps I can make that accident happen again?
Michael McGuire - Untitled Drawing - Watercolor and Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40'' x 26''
The next three commissions all relate directly to drawings I have made in the past. The good new is that in the course of making each one many new ideas occurred to me. Perhaps I did not initially fully explore each of these concepts. And it is interesting to me that each of these could be seen as an interpretation of the architecture and urban scheme of Chicago.
Michael McGuire - Untitled Drawing - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40'' x 26''
Michael McGuire - Untitled Drawing (Triple Cross 2) - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 40'' x 26''
Michael McGuire - Girder and Panel 18 - India Ink on Arches Paper - 40'' x 26''
This final commission is a throwback to my architectural school days. I was not entirely comfortable in the process, too tight, too much preparatory drawing. But there are some aspects of the results that evoke some of my favorite illustrators and graphic novelists. Not likely to repeat this on any time soon.
Michael McGuire - Empire State Building - Acrylic Paint on Arches Paper - 36'' x 24''