Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pastels 119 and 120 - Drawing Like a Child

These happened together in one afternoon.  I was letting go and trying to think and imagine more like a child.  I'm not able to reach it - I still know too much and I'm still guided too much by reason and ideas.  When some (few) artists achieve this later in life, I am impressed and delighted.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Pastel 118 - Moon and Mountain Fields

From the first time I really listened I have been powerfully moved by the words to Simon and Garfunkel's "America." The vivid way it captures the changing moods of two people on a long bus trip, and the introverted confession of the final verse, stir me deeply. The music supports those words in ways I never tire of hearing. Particularly the very quiet section behind this:
"Toss me a cigarette, I think there's one in my raincoat.
We smoked the last one an hour ago.
So I looked at the scenery,
She read her magazine,
And the moon rose over an open field."
The last line, in particular, feels like the heart of the song.

When I drew this pastel, several weeks ago, we were still lost in our fight with cancer, not knowing yet the good news we had shortly afterward.  And I was anticipating our annual trip to the mountains to put our lives back together.  And though I do not understand how all of these things align, I feel how deeply they do.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Painting - Something New

I started two acrylic paintings on paper.  This is the least bizarre of the two (the other involves coyotes).  My lifelong love and observation of trees is showing in this one.  This was done much the way the pastels are - the painting is "found" in a series of pen lines, pulled to the surface with Sharpies, and then (unlike the pastels) I moved in with acrylic paint.  This is a work in progress - I have no idea what will be next after the sky is all painted in.  These should be more likely as prospects for sale because they will not be the mess that pastels are.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pastel 121 - Out of Order - Boston 2

Second Boston Pastel - this one is in the North End.  This was done in a single two hour standing session in the garage on Sunday afternoon.  It felt great.  The photo I took (and used as reference) is below.  The chief change here is that I wanted the copper oxide and ornament to be a lot stronger on the building.  It's interesting for me to look at these a few days afterward and see how much I changed without even noticing I was.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pastels 116 and 117 - Figures

About two weeks passed between these two drawings.  The work since then has been different - so I don't know why these two are so similar.  That doesn't usually happen.  I also don't know why there are no faces; there just weren't any when the drawings emerged.  Heads and hair were indicated, but no hints of facial features, so I honored that.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Glory behind Everything

I often feel that we walk through our lives like someone on ice, with an enormous different reality beneath what we can see.  Hints gleam through and stop me.  Some late afternoons, in the last hour of sunlight, when my heart is opened by a tower of clouds or a dramatic mountainside, it will feel like I'm flying on the roaring updraft from this furnace within.  I will call at the top of my lungs, like a hawk, and I will know precisely where and who I am.  Sometimes I recognize this inner power in the eyes and actions of others.  Other times the hints are playful and teasing, like large orange koi in a pond, a fall of Ginkgo leaves on green grass, or the call of wood thrushes.

In Asheville, two weeks ago, we paid our usual visit to Thyme in the Garden and I caught several gleeful hints there.  I tried, as I sometimes do, to capture them on film.  It feels like photographing ghosts - the camera does not see what we do - but sometimes a glimmer makes it to the image.  This shot does that for me.  It's not the sunflower alone - it's the sunlit and dark grid against the bright blue sky, the oversize green leaves, the particular tilt of the flower heads high above my own, the sunlit porch of the house in the background which reminds me of the back of my grandparents' house in Highland, NY where a wellspring of that inner furnace seemed to bubble up with childhood love and warmth.  And describing this here makes me realize how unlikely you are to see the light burning through this image at me.  The glory is encrypted and my heart's past holds the key to read it and let it roar through me.  But I hope you have the same thing happen to you when the world touches the right combination in your own soul and wonder is released.