Thursday, February 27, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Willy was ecstatic (you can see him tearing out of the picture on the bottom), and Patrick was excited in his much quieter way. It was a relatively warm afternoon and a great time was had by all.
Monday, February 17, 2014
Why do I spend hours every day in pursuit of the elusive sink? My only answer is, why not?
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Well, the time I spent in Hampden was, I hope, the worst time of my life. Only my recent law suit over alimony can compare, though it is certainly a distant second. So this subject evokes both good and bad, resulting in a stalemate, I guess. Now it is watercolor on paper. My attention is on color and value as I work on it. Can I create a cloudy sky? Rocks? Bare trees? Architecture? No, of course not, but can I arrange paint on a piece of paper so that it makes one think of those things? Yes, but it will be a cloudy sky in someone else's life, a farm where somebody else visited or lived, was happy or sad.
It's interesting that people expect an artist to communicate with them. Many times even the artist thinks he or she (ooohh, that's hard on my learned version of the English language) is communicating, or even enlightening the viewer. All anybody can do is look in a mirror.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Today's effort in my pursuit of watercolor excellence.......I did this from an old painting of my backyard. It's not a good subject for trying to loosen up, but I did accomplish a couple of things. I maintained transparency for the most part. And I managed not to overwork a good part of it.The picture looks better than the painting in that respect, but I am pleased. Even though I didn't do this from life, the original painting I worked from was done that way. So I got the perspective one gets from standing in front of something. Cameras put the viewer at a distance........I used to tell my students that it was a "helicopter" view. They still had to learn to look down at their feet in composing a painting...........at least composing the way I was trying to teach them. It was so natural for them to look out across the landscape, ignoring what was directly in front of them. I used to tell them to look down at their feet for a good foreground and then up at the sky to make sure it isn't shaped like a rectangle. Then find something in between to paint. There were many things I liked about teaching, and tearing down everything the students thought made a good painting was one of them. It was fun to be shocking. Once they were used to everything I had to say and developed minds of their own I needed new blood. They didn't need me anymore.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Josie talked to a gallery owner in Rockland about my paintings and he said he would like to see them. No matter how often I have told Josie I am not interesting in selling, she doesn't seem to believe me.....or she can't help talking about me when she's in a gallery. Anyway, she gave me the name of the gallery so I looked it up on line. She had lead me to believe that I was as good as any of the artists represented there. The work I saw humbled me, and made me realize how amateurish my painting is. This took me back to Betty Lou and watercolor painting. I was much better at that than what I'm doing now. So I got out my watercolors, determined to regain some expertise. The painting here is my latest attempt, as this is certainly not the first or second or third time deciding this same course of action. I set up a still life of the dolls I made, hoping that part of my problem has been painting from photographs. I think I was right in that. Plein air painting was always my forte.......and always large format. This little painting, though, has some of the characteristics of my old self. It encouraged me. Photos have a static look that I can't help but capture. So I make plans once again to go outside, using my own old work as inspiration. I'll try to post a couple of those here, though I am having trouble getting pictures on line since my computer was "fixed."
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
Most of the snow we had has disappeared, but before it did, this picture of me and the dogs was taken by a photographer I ran into on my morning walk. He was doing some work for the Tides Institute, taking pictures of Eastport with a special camera. We talked about it for awhile, and then he asked if he could take my picture. Of course I said yes, but I never expected to see the results. This copy came to me by way of Hugh French, director of the Tides Institute. I love it. It sums up my life.......