It’s 96 degrees outside: the perfect time to hunker down in my subterranean lair and take a dip, vicariously, in my new vernacular photo inspired drawings. This series centers around bathing and boating. David kindly indulged my request to use the furnace room as a drying room, so my collection of wet canvas boards is growing. Seen above in various stages of underpainting, they range from 16×20″ to 24×30″ — I might do some smaller pieces too.

Oil sticks are so darned messy, but I love the textures!

I really like to look at drawings that cause you to shift your attention back and forth between a figural image and the surface of the paint, so that’s what I’m up to here. The hardest part is to stop before I get fussy and start modeling. Flat! I love flat!

Why bathing and boating? Aside from the magical ability of water pictures to make me feel cooler, I’ve always liked photos taken against the backlight of reflected sky on water. It tends to produce degraded silhouettes and cause mysterious things to happen. Floating heads… Weird skinny bodies with strangely simplified noggins… Plus, reflections in water are prone to taking on an abstract life of their own. It encourages me to loosen up a little.

I also like the expressions and postures of the people. Swimming and floating are so inherently happy-making. When did you ever see someone weeping while wading? Never!

This summer’s series is also a great excuse to go downstairs into the art kitchen (67 degrees – in fact, I need a sweater down there!) to hang out until the heat of the day simmers down a bit. I use bits of Pupperoni to entice my dog to join me. Otherwise, he’d sit out in the back yard and toast his brain!

I’m not sure if/when/where this series will be shown, but if you know of a suitable venue to hang them, let me know! I’d love to see them in an appropriately swimming-related place, or at least a public spot where they might give people a mini vacation from summer heat.

Meanwhile, I’m “testing the waters” with a couple large 24×30 drawings from this series at my Etsy store, Kitschatorium. If you’re about to melt, or you have a pool changing room, lake cabin or beach house to decorate, here’s your chance to… Oh, I can’t resist: dive in.