Saturday, February 20, 2010

Staying in Front of Things

The weather here has been so gorgeous it is hard to stay in the studio -- what with the sunshine, beach, ocean and a dog that really wants to go running.

But I am painting for a show that is just a month away so I have to stay at it. There is nothing worse than hanging a show knowing you could'a / should'a had more and better paintings if you had only worked a little harder.

That being said, on our walk to the beach the other afternoon, we ran into a new friend, Pam, a wonderful painter with a gallery in Seaview. She was bemoaning not having painted more this winter, as she will be re-opening her gallery for the summer.

As we continued on our stroll, I noticed a group of plovers running in front of the tide. When the tide peaked and receded, they would chase it back and enjoy a rich harvest. There is a lesson here, said I. Stay in front of your deadlines and you will reap the rewards. What a blowhard!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Just try not to be distracted...

The only downfall of a studio at home (that I can see so far) is fighting distractions that happen just in daily living.

But I gotta say, the last few days have been the perfect storm. Saturday night the internet AND phone went down. Sunday morning the coffee pot and microwave kept blowing fuses. What, no coffee?!!! Oh, and the battery was dead in the car since Friday night. A little hard to ignore. Sunday is not a good day to get things fixed - at least on the Peninsula. And Monday was a holiday.

I've always fantasized about living off the grid, but just not right now.

Everything is up and running again so I am back to painting. I did get some good beach walking in which always makes for better art.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Fresh Eyes

OK. I finished my "Freeway" painting. The one I just knew was going to be the best painting I've ever done. Well, maybe it isn't. Maybe the one I am now working on will be it. If you didn't feel that way, I guess you'd never start a new painting...

I'm going to set this painting aside ("freeway") and look at it with "fresh eyes" next week.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What we see and don't see...

I am really "looking" at the painting I am working on today. A freeway bridge - I am looking at it for both the overall sense of it and the details that give it its "bridgeness." How the pillars connect. How the approach curves and slants. What can you see between its struts.

And color - not just gray -- green moss (mildew), purple stains, rusted iron, brown gray and blue gray.
Different angles.
Leaving things out.
Putting things in.

What do we miss when we look at our surroundings too quickly, in a conventional manner?

Monday, February 8, 2010

Anticipating the best painting I have ever done...

I am very excited because I am starting a series of 8 new paintings. I am always filled with anticipation that I just KNOW that each new painting is the best I have ever done. Unfortunately it never turns out that way... but it is probably for the best because you would probably never want to do a new painting, would you? And maybe the trying is the whole idea. So here we go, a painting a week for the next 6 weeks. They are not going to be my usual larger size canvases but I have learned something about painting smaller ... like in golf, the swing is the same, you just use smaller clubs. In painting, you just use smaller brushes -- a revelation! I'll let you know tomorrow how I progress today.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A place to paint

I am not going to write a blog today because I am painting. The sun is shining (a little). I just finished a painting of the Buffalo Gap Saloon on Macadam in Portland, a fun portrait to do. Yes, I call them portraits. When you do a portrait of a person's business, it is as important as their children. I try to give the portrait their personality. I missed on this one a little bit. It wasn't nearly as fun as they are -- maybe it had something to do with the cold weather we had in December and January and I did not have my studio finished & its so important for a painter to have a place to paint.

Well I guess I did write a blog today after all.