Sunday, July 23, 2006

Warm Garage

Warm Garage 20 x16 oil on wood.
This is a corner of a small parking garage in the late afternoon where I was struck by the light and the effect and shape of it on the ground. I was on the fence about how abstract I wanted to to with it as I was afraid that if I when too abstract there would be no references for people to be able to see what it was. I started it once and trashed it for being to "small separate piece like", wiping it down so it was more massed. I like it better, but still feel like I can visit this subject again and do a better, more simple, braver painting. Must... let go... of my realism crutch. I ended up doing a little glazing in the shadows to darken them. Not my favorite way to work, but necessary in this case. The car was added for life and context, I think that works.


Blogger tonypetersart said...

Looks excellent, dude. The limited palette really works. I know it feels like it's outside the world of "alla-prima painting", but there's nothing wrong with glazing.

10:45 PM  
Blogger Marlo said...

this is very nice

10:50 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

I am only able to do it to based on your encouragement. I have unrealistic expectations of getting what I want just from painting Alla Prima.

10:50 PM  
Blogger william wray said...


Whoosh, So is that new photo! Movie star.

10:54 PM  
Blogger glamaFez said...

This painting reminds me of the work of Richard Diebenkorn, but your work is far more interesting to me, because it has more heart and soul, for want of better words.

8:19 AM  
Blogger Mitch said...

I immediately recalled a memory of chasing down a giant moth into our garage with a squirt gun over a summer in my gradeschool years.

The warmth really does come through.

I'm not totally knowledgable on all this Alla Prima stuff, but I know that I like this.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Mitch said...

oh, and what happened to the post that was before this and after rubidoux 2?

1:08 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Glam,

Funny you mention Rich Diebenkorn, I just went to a tiny show of his at the Pasadena Museum of California art. (This panting was done before I went.)
The show mostly focus on his formative small work or studies done in the San cruse Islands, given or sold to his a long time friend. None of his be famous pieces. I've always be attracted and ultimately disappointed by Diebenkorn's work. I've picked his books up many times over the years hoping this would be the time that I'd "get it." I've always looked for an abstract artist who held on to convention just enough for me to relate to his work and to be "shown the way." This show didn't change my mind yet, but did hint at it. His early more conventional work was not that good, the cross over work looked shaky but interesting, the abstract a little better. I need to see a big retrospective to really decide if I like him. I can't escape the notion he's wasn't good enough to start abstracting when he did.

I'd my belief that most abstract artists are weak because they didn't learn how to paint traditionally so the act of going abstract has a solid foundation. When I do see abstract work that I like, inevitably the artist could draw and paint well and made the choice to evolve deliberately and did not "jump the shark" before they learned how to fish with the right bait.

1:46 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Mitchl. Alla Prima basically means you paint it on one shot, wet into wet.

I killed the other thread as the paintings were a little ho hum.

I did one today that is really in the direction I want to go. Rough, simple and abstract. I almost started rendering and stopped. I dieing to know if people will like it or think I'm losing my mind.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Mitch said...

Is you not letting us see it all part of this method of restraint as well?

10:29 PM  
Blogger william wray said...


No it just has to dry.

10:43 PM  
Blogger harold hollingsworth said...

either that or you are trying the new method of using art to the point where the objects will be removed and there will be no objects: no paintings, no sculptures, no installations, whatever. There will just be William Wray directly translating energy through the public, with no object in between...
or not...

11:10 PM  
Blogger alberto mielgo said...

Beautifull new pieces William.
I love to look at them

12:14 PM  
Blogger BoneDaddy said...

There's a really stunning contrast between the cast light and the deep shadows around the car. I like that violent change-over.
It's funny, I've never really heard of realism being a crutch!
I suppose, though, if it's habit and you're going for something different, it can be frustrating. I try to do black & white comic styles somewhere along the lines of Paul Chadwick, but I get shade-happy myself.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Tom Christopher said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:13 PM  
Blogger william wray said...



6:56 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

thanks Alberto-- Nice of you to drop in.

6:58 PM  
Blogger Rob Mackintosh said...

There's nothing like light when properly painted to make you feel like your right there. Well done!

9:10 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks BG -- Yes I actually think tight realism is easy to do. It just time consuming. That’s why there are so many pretty good realistic painters and so few good abstract artists or Bravura brushy painters on a Sergeant level.

10:20 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

Thanks Rob,

It's true, value is everthing.

10:31 PM  
Blogger the doodlers said...

I like the scraped feel of the concrete areas in this one. Evocative of footsteps echoing... o.s. right maybe someone coming for that car.... jingling the car keys.

8:39 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey Dood,

Very poetic, your words are as textured as my concrete. Thank you

2:29 PM  
Blogger Steven LaRose said...

Sorry for not striking at the bait sooner. Damn web is thick. Gauntlets have been thrown all over my blog, I can't remember which is mine. Actually, I like this one with a mild squint. Very strong composition. Where are these all going? Are you working towards a show? Do they fly off the shelf so there is no need for a show? Prices? Trades? Do you ever show your sketchbook? Do you ever come up Oregon way?

10:17 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:11 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

How nice of you to brave your trepidations and explores the idea that PA painting might have some tiny bit of merit, a very bold stance to take in the close-minded world of modern art. I don't know weather to be insulted or flattered by your apologetic, but daring suggestion that my landscape work could have some merit and might bear some deeper scrutiny if one was so inclined to dare believe landscapes are worth a damn. What I do appreciate is that with an open mind you did your faux landscape and not to bad first try either, if I may praise so. You have a brave pair of balls and I'll try to treat them gently for the moment. As far as that tool High and Low who shit on my carpet on your blog comments... He’s a bad doggie and I hope you will forgive the fact I spanked the bitch.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Steven LaRose said...

You don't name your blog Fish or Cut Bait if you know what's going on. "Insulted or flattered" might be a great tag line. I swear by the "or". Doubt is my passion. Champion of the Grey. Splitting hairs for the Masses. The aforementioned balls resting on either side. Highlow is one smart cookie with a lot a faith in art, maybe even humanity through art, but you're right. . . to quote the ole Eight Ball Deluxe pinball game: "Quit talkin' and start chalkin"

I am sincere regarding all my questions in the previous comment.

12:41 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:58 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Sorry yes, I was still reeling from your blog and that twattie dog so I forgot your questions. May art is still low gallery newbie prices typically a 8x10 is $400/ 500. I'm new to the game and am still developing, finding myself. I'm selling some privately, doing commissions and I have some paintings at the galleries linked on my blog. I will be having a solo show at Segil fine art in the new year and 20 paintings in a gallery group show in September I will be announcing in a post soon. I can't afford to trade right now unless your an artist who's work I direly coveted for years and most of them won't trade me. I'd love to have a reason to come to Oregon as my family is considering selling houses and moving up to get to a cooler climate.

1:01 AM  
Blogger Steven LaRose said...

Southern Oregon = no galleries and not any cooler than Cali. No sales tax though. Lots more space.

$400 bones is cheap! Snatch'em up people!

1:11 AM  
Blogger Tom Christopher said...

Just checking Bill--am enjoying the exchange of ideas and suggestons from those who post..I am little intimidated by some as I lack formal training. However, it's a learning tool for me. I never tire of your work. Each piece is fresh and has a story to tell--Tom

7:11 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

william wray said...
thanks Tom,

Did you know your link dosen't work under your blog profile?

11:23 AM  
Blogger roque said...

I've never seen so much depth and character to a freaking parking garage. Beautiful body of work you've got here, Mr. Wray. Can't wait for the "Retrospective" book!

1:03 PM  
Blogger william wray said...

roque: A little book will soon be in the works.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

AWESOMe posting, love the painting, beautiful sky!

9:50 PM  
Blogger william wray said...


Maybe you mean the one below?

10:00 PM  
Blogger John Sanchez said...

I like when you make simple but powerful compositions like this one. I wonder if you can make it even more simple. There is a huge piece of canvas tacked up in my studio that reads; "Less Fussing, More Honesty." Our minds are good enough to "fill in" the supposed missing information. Simplicity well done is usually better than virtuosity and I am getting that from this painting. Thanks

12:49 AM  
Blogger william wray said...

Hey John,

It’s funny how we can’t project what we want from ourselves. ;-) If you read my description you would see I consider this compromised piece because I used a little too much rendering to achieve what I wanted. So your advices feels like a repackaging of what I already said and often repeat in my descriptions of my other work. Maybe it’s my mood tonight as did to a big failed painting. Maybe this reply will go in the trash in the light of day.
Anyway, I posted at your site sometime ago thinking you were a kindred sprit in subject matter, but wished you didn’t rely on the photo reference as heavily as you seem to do. Are you projecting? It feels a bit like it. I’m going to take you to task, because I totally disagree with the statement ” Simplicity well done is usually better than virtuosity” That’s like saying the less musician knows about playing his instrument the better he is. To me simplicity well done is virtuosity.
To do good simple work is not just a matter of less rendering, you have to be able to paint every aspect of realism, and then strip it away to its purest simple forms. You didn’t ask, but to be brutally blunt, there is a lot of broken up piecemeal painting in your work that comes from what I call “outside painting “were the surface is copied, but the structure is lacking. I use photos, but just glance at them when I’m on my game, it’s more drawing and painting rather that photocopying. You could be a great painter if your drawing, color/ value foundation was stronger and general confidence with technical brushwork was better.
A fear of foundation or virtuosity as you call it is the excuse for the lazy or misguided painter who listens to closely to the modern art teacher/ critic who is too quick to dismiss the lessons of the old masters. Sorry to be so tough on you, but you hit a nerve. Despite my bitchy arrogant tone I’d be happy to help you with your painting if you want to get better.

2:06 AM  
Blogger John Sanchez said...

I suppose your ego feels insulted. I certainly wasn't aiming for that. So from ego to ego I feel that a defense is necessary. With as little arrogance as possible here I go: I am not particularly interested in being "modern" or "traditional" I am just trying to paint. If YOU knew anything about my work, you would have known that it is completely with out shame based on Photos, so thanks for noticing. Because of my training at the Arts Students League ALSO from 99 through 03 under Peter Cox, Sherry Cahmy and Mary Beth Mckenzie you might want to know that I have the utmost respect for classical training and believe that it should be the basis for all art training(but probably for other reasons that would be too long to go into right now)-However I also found my self wanting to be more in touch with our kind of life i.e. fast paced, email, cellular phone technology etc... that I just wasn't getting from those "How to" painting books found in Barnes & Nobles. (Again they are valuable too!, but I wanted something more) So the photograph became my path to what I wanted. I am deliberately painting the effect of photograph as MY way to keep the work relevent to MY path. I also aim to NOT noodle away because it has to do with my sense/concept of speed in our lives. A moment, a glance is all that my work requires then the observer can go answer that text message or whatever gadget has them. I choose paint for those that are my kindred spirit(which I still believe we are). So can we now put away our egos? Peace and happy painting bro!

6:27 PM  

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