Tag Archives: California

The Lebowski Cycle – Sacred and Profane Love

Sacred and Profane Love (After Titian) • Joe Forkan 2011 oil on linen, 72" x 40" (182.88 cm x 101.60 cm)

I’m currently finishing the framing of the last of the paintings in the studio headed for the show at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. I framed 10 paintings this last weekend, with help from some friends. Delivering work on Monday.

Sacred and Profane Love Titian - c. 1513-1514 oil on canvas 118 cm × 279 cm (46" × 110") Galleria Borghese, Rome

My studio is going to seem really empty after sending off 14 large scale paintings for the show.

This piece is based on Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love. I’ll write more on the series once it is all installed, but wanted to post this recently completed painting from the Cycle.

Detail - Sacred and Profane Love (After Titian) • Joe Forkan 2011

The Lebowski Cycle at The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion, Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA • Sept 10 – Oct 28, 2011 – UPDATE

Paintings in progress in my Santa Ana studio

I’m pleased to announce that I will be having a large solo exhibition of  paintings from The Lebowski Cycle at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA from September 10 – October 28, 2011.

The exhibition will be the first show on the fall calendar for the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion and will include fourteen large scale paintings from The Lebowski Cycle, as well as many smaller works and sketches, painted over the last four and a half years. The timing couldn’t be better, as the series is currently close to completion.

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion is a beautiful 3,400 sq feet exhibition space, that has recently hosted shows by Ron English and Alex Grey, among others. I will be working with Director Andrea Harris in organizing the fall show, and it will be great to see the series installed there.

The Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College

I’m looking forward to a summer in the studio completing the paintings that are still underway, including a fairly new twelve foot diptych based on Géricault’s massive Raft of the Medusa.

I will be posting process images of paintings from the series as they move towards completion over the coming months, as well as more information about the exhibition.

An exhibition catalog is planned, and more information will be available at the time of the show.

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 10th 6-10pm
OCC Frank M Doyle Arts Pavilion
2701 Fairview Rd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Parking in lot D9 off Merrimac
For info and direction:

The Warmest Day of Winter

The Warmest Day of Winter • Joe Forkan 2010 Oil on canvas 12″ x 12″

The demands of perceptual based painting are very different from the demands of more open-ended studio work. Large figurative paintings like those in The Lebowski Cycle can be in progress for years, and undergo significant revisions, but perceptually based paintings are more direct expressions, and the entire process of painting them is compressed into a very short period of time.

Trying to capture the specifics of an experience of a place, or of the presence of a person in one session forces you to really focus on what you want to capture in the painting, to make quick decisions and to jettison extraneous information.

Regardless of the quality of the finished work, I always remember a place that I have painted much more vividly having painted it than if I had just spent the day there as an onlooker. Interpretation demands engagement in a different way. Painting is a way of knowing.

Landscape painting also offers a counterpoint to the more solitary nature of studio painting. Yesterday, after spending all morning painting in the studio, the warm weather encouraged an afternoon run down to Newport Beach to paint at Crystal Cove. It seemed a shame to spend such an amazing day inside painting three figures in the interior of a bowling alley.

New Spurgeon Paintings

Bush Street Summer Day (triptych) • Joe Forkan 2009 Oil on panel 14.25″ x 8.5″

Here are a couple of new paintings from the Spurgeon series. These are views from my studio in downtown Santa Ana. I’m finishing up some work for an upcoming show of landscape and cityscape paintings.

I’ll post more information on that soon.

Spurgeon Tower 11:45 winter • Joe Forkan 2010 Oil on panel 10″ x 10″

Big Sur

Big Sur, Noon looking North • Joe Forkan 2009 oil on panel 13" x 8"

Big Sur, Noon looking North • Joe Forkan 2009 oil on panel 13″ x 8″

In late October, I had the opportunity to take a painting trip to Big Sur with Andrew Dickson and Eric Merrell, two Southern California artists also interested in landscape painting. It was four solid days of painting, camped less than 50 yards from the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Big sur joe forkan

Big Sur, Midday Fog • Joe Forkan 2009 oil on panel 15.5″ x 8″

It’s interesting to paint with other artists, seeing how they approach the same subject – technically, formally, and also in terms of how they see. Each of us was using the interpretation of the landscape to explore something different.

joe forkan big sur IMG_3336

Rough Surf, Big Sur • Joe Forkan 2009 Oil on panel 15 x 7.5

Film critic Roger Ebert once wrote, “it’s not what the film is about, it’s how it’s about what it’s about.” I think that is also a fairly concise way of speaking about the challenges of perceptually based painting. The subject can often be confused with the content, and the intent of the painting (the conversation one is having about the subject, about perception and process – the act of painting). I actually find painting in beautiful places to be more difficult, as the tension and balance between picture and painting (between what and how), can be more difficult to maintain.