From August through the beginning of October, I've been working on three 36" x 36" paintings.
I've never thought of my work as realistic, but I do use realistic elements to make representational images that are slightly exaggerated and fantastical. My template of water, horizon, and sky is my starting point. As I progress with the painting, I'm more interested in color, form, and brushstroke than I am concerned about whether it looks like something I've ever seen in real life.
This comes through clearly in the first two paintings, Whip Waves #600 and A Flare of Red and Blue #601.
Of these three paintings, it's the last one, Light on the Horizon #602, that corresponds most closely to something I've actually seen while swimming in Lake Michigan.
Whip Waves #600, oil on panel, 36" x 36", 2018
A Flare of Red and Blue #601, oil on panel, 36" x 36", 2018
Light at the Horizon #602, oil on panel, 36" x 36", 2018
In Light at the Horizon #602, I'm aware that the horizon line is obscured by the waves. I wanted to create a painting that shows what it's like to swim in wavy water. When you swim in big waves, you never know you'll be on top of a wave or in a trough when you lift your head to sight. Often, you see only a mass of water instead of the landmarks that guide your progress. Sometimes it takes several tries to see land.
In this painting, I wanted to contrast a sense of foreboding with a sense of assurance--that the glow in the distance means that the sun is about to show itself above the horizon.
Just for Fun
Speaking of high waves, here are two photos, shot four seconds apart, that my friend the photographer David Travis took of me as I was attempting to exit the water on an early fall day in which the lake was wild and crazy.
It took a couple of tries, but I made it out safe and sound.
Upcoming Group Shows in New York and San Francisco
I'm am thrilled to participate in two group shows this fall. I plan to be at both openings, so if you're in NYC on Thursday, November 8, or in SF on Thursday, December 6, I'd love to see you there.
MIA in MIA
Lyons Wier Gallery
542 West 24th Street
New York, NY 10011
November 8 through December 8
Opening Thursday, November 8, 6-8pm
Here and Now
Dolby Chadwick Gallery
210 Post Street, Suite 205
San Francisco, CA 94108
December 6 through January 19, 2019
Opening Thursday, December 6, 5:30-7:30pm
|Looking Closely, Leaping In at the Chicago Cultural Center
l-r Barbara Koenan, Louise LeBourgeois, Paul D'Amato, Jin Lee, David Travis, Daniel Schulman
Painting in the background: Spheres of Influence by Alexis Rockman
Photo credit: Mimi LeBourgeois
On Sunday, September 9, I participated in a panel discussion with four other Chicago artists at the Chicago Cultural Center. Daniel Schulman, the Program Director/Visual Art at the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, moderated the panel.
Against the backdrop of Alexis Rockman's exhibition The Great Lakes Cycle, we spoke about the impact of Lake Michigan on our lives and our art work.
One of the highlights of our discussion was meeting Dr. Rachel Havrelock, who was in the audience. She founded The Freshwater Lab at the University of Illinois-Chicago, an initiative to facilitate conversation among groups and individuals about the Great Lakes and stewardship.
Here are links to all five artists' work:
Holiday Print Sale
I'm planning a 20% off holiday sale for my print website in late November. You may follow my Instagram @louiselebourgeois for updates. I'll have more details in my November newsletter.
Luminous Dance #507, oil on panel, 30" x 60", 2013
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