Wednesday, August 30, 2006

On a Roll Now Off a Roll

Wednesday, August 30, 2006
I had been on a roll this summer painting everyday several hours, completely innumerable paintings. Now as I have been preparing for the fall, registering for a drawing class at the university, preparing to teach my own classes, preparing for the work of exhibition chair, and setting up my son’s half days homeschooling subjects, while I oversee as he scrambles to complete his Biology before summer ends, my head spins and Duh ….I find it hard to focus on painting. I squared away time to work yesterday morning, but all I could do was pace or yawn in my upstairs studio. I was disgusted with myself and my lethargy, when I had looked up and noticed that the clouds and rain had dissipated. The sun is shinning. On the spot I realized I could finish my lagoon painting. Still a bit sluggish, I packed my gear into the back of the van, picked up something to drink and drove off.

The moment I unloaded the car and started walking down to the site, everything changed. I felt alive. This painting spot is a blessing. The world is good. Thank God I am a painter and can be surrounded by this teeming life and beauty. I set up and began painting, for several hours.

Many people walked by, asking the usual, making comments, and giving me the oohs and ahs. It was amazing the number of people yesterday who lived in the area 20 years but had never been in this park until their walk yesterday. They were like kids who had just seen their first fireworks. They were dizzy with exuberance.

As for my painting it is nearly done. I need to watch how far I push the detail. I am working on simplifying and getting the striking essence of the scene, not a photographic image. I want to keep the brush strokes loose and organic to the movement I see in the scene as well as motion record of brushing the paint. I was in a rut in my studio. I think I need to get out of my studio to paint, when I feel like I can’t focus at home. Trying to avoid become too detailed with the site in front of me, this morning I will finish the piece in my studio giving myself a 45min limit. Then I think I will work on anatomy drawing for several hours until lunch.

I am not going to touch my computer today again till after 3pm after I post this reflection.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Choice in the Rain

I seem to like to write when it rains. I enjoy the sound of the patter on the roof window overhead. There is a distant rumble of thunder. All this sentiment does not meet the bottom line of political correctness. We Americans pride ourselves in being practical, get the “job done” kind of people. It’s either political progression and social justice or meeting the region’s sales quota. It’s all about doing not listening. As a Congolese Doctor once expressed, "Americans have much to learn about listening. We in the Congo rather have you come alongside to listen, than to come and do." I think he did not know it know it but he was talking about gratitude within a relationship.

Whether we
listen to the rain or one another it is about time and choice. What do you value and choose?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Plein Aire Painting this Summer for Judith Reidy

This painting, Summer Stroll, is one of three paintings I made and sold at the June Cedarburg , Wisconsin Plein Aire Event. All three of the pieces were made with pastel. This is the only one I had time to capture the image of before it was sold.

These following paintings are made in oil, a media I returned to after years sabatical. This Arched Trellis is located on my front yard.

This view of my neighbors patio was a study in light and reflection. As I travel through the series of plein air painting I see my brush stokes loosen and and color explode.
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Summer Paintings from around my home.

This is a continuation of the experimenting with oil painting. This view is from my back patio.

This was a challenging morning to paint because the weather alternated between sunny and torential rain and mist. I painted this looking out from inside my garage to our neighbors across the street. I call this Across the Way.

The previous paintings were relatively small all around 10 x12 or 8 x10 inches. This unfinished piece is about three times that size. I have some questions about the buildings and the "veriticals" in this piece. Any critical comments would be appreciated.

This View from the Hammock gives you some idea of the lush greens in my shade garden in the front of the house.

I feel like I am growing in my use of paint and structuring form with color. I really feel a need to explore my "imagery." I have ideas about the power of the figure set in various settings. I would like to include the figure more in my painting. however, my neighborhood is very suburban and empty during the day. Studying the figure in various ways, anatomically, through gesture drawing and finally developing figure work from my imagination is one way I conceive of developing my work further. One of the reasons I took the CIVA workshop session Figure in the Environment was to get my visual mind immersed in the figure. I still feel a need to work with the figure. My sketchbook is developing into a place where I experiment with inventing figures in various postions and settings.
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