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.


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Pastel 115 - Summer Storm


This one gave me particular joy when I did it two weekends ago.  I've always been enchanted by light through tree trunks, the light beyond, the dark of summer storms, the small local rain shower.  I love this time of year (though there isn't a time of year I don't love).  Again, it's feelings that are on display here.

More play.  That's what I'm going for.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pastel 113 - Koi


I love watching koi in ponds, like Maymont in Richmond or Duke Gardens in Durham.  I'm not excited about this pastel, but it was what showed up and I followed through.  I'm more excited about the next one, about weather.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Pastel 114


About two weeks ago I posted Dreaming of Dragons (Pastel 109).  This is Nightmare of Cats.  I was surprised to have it show up so soon after the other.

I put Dreaming of Dragons in my office at work this week, along with Pastel 106 (Landscape).

I went to Jerry's Artarama this afternoon on the way home from work and went a little crazy...  I am going to see how this process translates to acrylic on linen paper (in the air conditioning - the pastels are banished to the garage because they are amazingly messy - and when the last hour of the sun is shining full into the garage door it turns my "studio" into a solar cooker).  I'm curious what happens when I handle a brush again after the pastel detour.  None of my acrylic brushes have names (yet).  The watercolor brushes (Abner, Louise, Frondine, Tildie) will never be used with any other paint... acrylic, in particular, would destroy their ability to carry and smoothly release water.