This extended series of paintings started from a simple brush-out of color on a scrap of linen. My primary interest is to create a series of Pure Paintings which develop from a directed focus and response to the support, pigments and tools. I am attempting to create paintings that are embedded with a familiar aura or mnemonic coding but are narrative neutral, self contained and free from reference to commercial, social or manufactured influences.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 1.Pure Painting Series
Protected Thought -oil on linen- 2013
ColorSpace -oil on linen- 2016
Test Pattern -oil on linen- 2014
-oil on vintage Fortuny fabric- 2016
Fault Line -oil on linen- 2013
Green Squares Opposed -oil on linen- 2013
Down Shift -oil on linen- 2014
Balance Point -oil on linen- 2014
Long Passage -oil on linen- 2016
Indigo Corner -oil on linen- 2013
Curvature of the Spline -oil on linen- 2013
Strata Study, ref. P. Klee -oil on linen- 2013
initial study in series -oil on linen- 2012
The Presence of Absence -oil on linen- 2013
Arabesque -oil on linen- 2013
Hung Over -oil on linen- 2014
Redacted Colorbar -oil on linen- 2013
Bent Grid -oil on linen- 2014
Growth Factors -oil on linen- 2014
Ten Un-Equal Rectangles -oil on linen- 2014
Resolution -oil on linen- 2013
Floating Rooms -oil on linen- 2016
Activated Charcoal (current work)
The dense meandering lines of coarse vine charcoal explode and blossom when over brushed with oil paint thinned with a generous amount of turpentine generating a dispersal of charcoal particles into the turpentine reduced oil paint and greatly affecting the value of the dominant color; creating an instant chiaroscuro.
I have been carefully studying Rothko's and Diebenkorn's early automatic/abstract drawings from 1950-55 and they have informed and influenced this extended series of over 300 works on paper.
These works are thinned oil paint on Arches Oil Prepared paper mounted on cradled panels. The sizes are mostly 12”x16” and 9”x12”.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 2.Activated Charcoal
Activated Charcoal.09 -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.22 -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.02 -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.04 -oil on paper- 2015
Internal Affairs/BODY MASS INDEX -oil on prepared paper- 2016 - 23" x 30"
Activated Charcoal.38 Cowshead -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.07 -oil on paper- 2015
A.C.29 Horizon -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.01 Lascaux -oil on prepared paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.16-oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.15 -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.12 -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.37 -oil on paper- 2015
Activated Charcoal.10 -oil on paper- 2015
Internal Affairs/ FREE RADICALS -oil on prepared paper- 2016, 23" x 30"
Painted Drawings (current work)
The primary act of drawing on paper energizes this current series. The provided structure is an armature that can be transformed into an edge, shape or remain an enhanced linear element.
Dense color blocks are interlocked with transparent amorphous cascading shapes all generated by the initial fugitive vine charcoal marks. The dominance of the line recedes as it is merged with the paint and amplifies the edges of the pictorial elements.
Similar to the PURE PAINTINGS, the painting alone is the subject/object. However, unintended visual elements have emerged, often upon rotation, producing partially recognizable features or objects to some.
These works are thinned oil paint on Arches Oil Prepared paper mounted on cradled panels. The sizes are mostly 12”x16” and 9”x12”.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 3.Painted Drawings
Painted Drawing.03 -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.41 Four Corners -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.21Blue Embryo -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.05 -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.07 -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.25 Yellow Knob -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.40 Gray Matter -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.26 Middle Ground -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.09 BlueKlee -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.28 Cardinal -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.04 -oil on paper 2015
Painted Drawing.39 -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Drawing.01 Lake District -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Building Plans (2015-16)
Fifteen years after discontinuing the practice of architecture, building plans have drifted into my paintings.
Thickened lines recalling walls and openings establish the enclosure of spaces and framing of light and views and establish the metrics of habitation and containment. Additional forms and marks are present, defining the site and addressing the placement of buildings and ancillary structures.
Architectural plan elements complicate the effort to seek purity in the paintings. They produce a readable, scalable event and a reference to dimensional habitable space. They assign a degree function to paintings which are resigned to being without purpose or actual usefulness.
The suggestion of building plans and site improvements in a non-objective painting directly violated the concept of abstraction in a real and symbolic fashion.
Meanwhile the elements of building plans have entered into my paintings possible as a reference to my previous profession or perhaps as nostalgia for a fading and disappearing mode of communication and construction. WTF.
This collection of more than 50 paintings was exhibited recently as a solo exhibit entitled "The Building Plan Artistically Considered" as a reference to the late 19th century essay by Louis Sullivan.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 4.Painted Buildings
Emerging Building 2014 -oil on paper
Long Gray Corridor -oil on linen- 2016
Painted Plan.17 Industrial Site -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Plan.109 Central Space -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Plan.09 Random Layout -oil on paper -2015
Painted Plan.10 Collective Mass -oil on paper- 2015
Random House -oil on paper- 2016
Painted Plan.11 Baroque Park -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Plan.110 -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Building Plan.107Offset Entry -oil on paper- 2015
THICK WALLS (Green Rooms) -oil on paper- 2016
THE SIMPLE HOME
oil on mounted linen-2016
Painted Plan.330 Blue Hook -oil on prepared paper- 2016
Painted Building Plan.201Hidden Room Plan -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Building Plan.245House Shaped Room -oil on paper- 2015
Golden Rectangle-oil on linen- 2015
Painted Plan.07 Village Center -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Building Plan.264Attempted Order -oil on paper- 2016
Pool House -oil on paper- 2015 11" x 13"
House Divided -oil on prepared paper- 2016
Painted Plan.04 Renovation -oil on paper- 2015
Painted Plan.122 Long House -oil on prepared paper- 2016
Yellow Atrium -oil on prepared paper- 2015
Painted Plan.137 Meadow House -oil on paper- 2016
Loft Access -oil on paper- 2016
AC.52 Ghost House -oil on prepared paper- 2015
MASKbook (masks and marks)
A mask is a face removed from a state of personal ownership into an object of public transferable identity.
A mask is an assumable face; static and dependable without change or ambiguity.
While contemplating the subject of the human face and facial recall I started painting the MASKbook series which included more than 75 images. They were produced at a rate of one a day using the excess paint on my palette while I was cleaning up in the evening. This accounts for some of the colors not usually found in a portrait. The formal issues of painting the face were carefully investigated and reduced to basic head shape, eyes, nose and mouth; the metrics relied upon for analysis by facial recognition software (see Additional notes below). There are facial features/elements that are familiar to me randomly embedded across the series, recalled from observing faces over time and sourced from my sub-conscience. I have the opposite condition of prosopagnosia and remember faces well. The series produced some peculiar and awkward faces that only the artist could love.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 5.MASKbook
MASKbook A.F. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.G. -oil on paper- 2014
MASKbook A.H. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook C.F. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.C. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.O. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.G. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.C. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.D. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.E. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.J. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.U. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.I. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.K. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.R. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book B.C. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book B.O. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book B.U. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.D. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book B.X. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book B.L. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.E. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.P. -oil on paper- 2014
MASK book B.R. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.H. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.K. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book B.Q. -oil on paper- 2014
MASK book C.N. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.U. -2014- oil on paper
Painting Detail ONE (Louvre) -oil on paper- 2014
MASKbook A.M. -2014- oil on paper
MASKbook A.B. -2014- oil on paper
MASK book C.R. -oil on paper- 2014
Sculpture Study FIVE (Musee Guimet) -oil on paper- 2014
Sculpture Study TWO (Funikoshi) -oil on linen- 2014
Larger Oil Paintings (ongoing)
As a watercolor painter for over 30 years I only started painting with oil four or five years ago after viewing the Gerhard Richter exhibit at SFMOMA. I have no stylistic connection with his work but upon carefully observing his masterful use of oil paint I realize that I needed to change medium in order to increase the scale, presence and viability of my work if I was going to move forward and grow as a painter. It was a surprisingly difficult transition with all of my initial goals of simply translating my watercolors into oil paintings largely un-realized. I did however develop an unrelated direction that hopefully has the potential to produce substantive paintings.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 8.Larger Oil Paintings
Large Pool House-oil on linen-2016
30" x 40"
Trance -oil on linen- 2014
BlueDrops -oil on linen- 2014
Golden Rectangle -oil on linen- 2014
Blue Apart -oil on linen- 2013
Spacial Relationship -oil on gessoed panel- 2012
Green Belt -oil on linen- 2014
Emerging Architecture -oil on linen- 2014
Middle Two Rock Road -oil on linen- 2013
River Park -oil on gessoed panel- 2012
Long Joy -oil on linen- 2013-17
Left/Right Angles -oil on linen- 2017, 20" x 20"
Internal Affairs/STEADY STATE -oil on prepared paper- 2017 15" x 22"
Internal Affairs/HARA -oil on linen- 2016, 30" x 40"
Internal Affairs/BLOCKAGE -oil on prepared paper- 2016, 23" x 30"
Internal Affairs/ETERNAL EMBRYO -oil on linen-2015, 30" x 40"
Abstract Landscapes (2002-2009)
These loosely painted sumi-ink/watercolor sketches are an immediate and pre-conceptual communication with observed and remembered natural formations and phenomena. The study of Carl Gustav Carus, Chinese landscape paintings, Taoist writings, travel in Japan and China, and time spent in Kauai and the Sierra Nevada mountains provided a continual source of inspiration. In addition to mountain studies I painted an extended series of "Meadow Studies" inspired by our meadow at Sea Ranch. This body of work produced from 2002 to 2009 includes more that 500 paintings on paper.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 7.Abstract Landscapes
Sacred Source of Spring -w.c./sumi ink- 2008
Green Flash -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Rain Fade - w.c./sumi ink -2009
Balanced Light -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Ridgeback -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Blue Pond -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Orange Swath -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Kauai Ridge -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
TSR Hedgerow Study -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Mountain Message -oil on gesso panel- 2011
Residual Fogs -w.c./sumi ink- 2008v
Mountain Cliffs -w.c./sumi ink- 2008v
Fall Back -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Mountain Study -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Black Mist -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Verdant View -w.c./sumi ink- 2009
Rain Walk -w.c./sumi ink- 2003v
Second Growth -w.c./sumi ink- 2003v
Verdant View, Kauai -oil on gesso panel- 2009v.
A Private Architecture (1982-99)
The Invention of an Architectural World
Keith Wilson’s early paintings are icons; they are dedicated to an architecture that is no longer conceived or constructed. They also represent his continuous study of architectural form and the history of the place of buildings in paintings. He uses building structures and details in juxtaposition, allowing classical elements and vernacular constructions to reveal themselves, proliferating variations. His color is similarly the product of memory, imagination, and intuitive application inspired by the painted buildings observed in Italy and Greece. The tall buildings were part of a series of "The Skyscraper Artistically Considered" paintings and reflect on his time in the Building Design section of SOM Architects, SF mid-1980's.
READ MORE ON: CONVERSATION 9.A Private Architecture Series
Protected Place to Think (detail) -w.c.- 1987v
The Secret Gardener -w.c./india ink- 1988
Genis Loci -w.c./india ink/gold leaf- 1987
The Quiet Zone -w.c./india ink- 2000
Temple of NIKE -w.c./gold leaf/india ink- 1987
The Decoration of Towers -w.c./india ink- 1987
Building on the Spanish Steps -w.c.- 1987v
Indirect Passage -w.c./india ink/gold leaf- 1988
New Building for Chicago -w.c./India ink- 1988
World's Tallest Building (ongoing competition at SOM-SF)
X-Wing Tower -w.c./india ink- 2000
Tower of Color -w.c./india ink- 1988
Black Ground Buildings -w.c./india ink/gold leaf- 1987
Home On The Range -w.c./ink lines- 2004
House Party -waterccolor- 2005v
Acropolis -w.c./ink lines- 2006v
Yellow House (detail) -watercolor- 2005v
Implied Narrative -w.c. w/india ink- 2004
Protected Place to Think (detail) -w.c.- 1987
Lucca Church -w.c.- 1989v
The Ancient City Below (detail) -w.c- 2000
Urban Undulations -w.c.- 2004v
The Ascent of Architecture -w.c./gold leaf/india ink- 1985
ARCHITECTURAL WORLD -copperplate etching- edition of 48 plate prepared/proofed in 1981. Edition printed by KALA Institute 2016 from plates that were recently located.
A TALE OF THREE CITIES/ONE -copperplate etching- edition of 48 Plate prepared/proofed in 1981. Edition printed by KALA Institute 2016 from plates that were recently located.
A TALE OF THREE CITIES/TWO -copperplate etching- edition of 48 Plate prepared/proofed in 1981. Edition printed by KALA Institute 2016 from plates that were recently located.
A TALE OF THREE CITIES/THREE -copperplate etching- edition of 48. Plate prepared/proofed in 1981. Edition printed by KALA Institute 2016 from plates that were recently located.
ARCHITECTURAL WORLD -copperplate etching- Unique hand colored print. Plate prepared/proofed in 1981. Edition printed by KALA Institute 2016 from plates that were recently located.
The origins of the architectural watercolors were simple grids lightly drawn with a hard lead pencil on Arches text paper. The rectangular shapes were carefully and deliberately painted in with dry brushed watercolor. Over time, diagonal lines bisected some of the squares and the suggestion of a simple house form developed.
The grid or matrix has been the foundation for most of my paintings over the years. The grid is the primary generative source and also the default position for restarting painting after a completed artistic investigation or after exhausting my creative intelligence.