I read a lot of articles about the art world. I subscribe to current articles that often relate what happened at certain events or shows. They offer news from small galleries to big museums, auctions and art fairs around the world. These articles are shared and reposted over several platforms. They sometimes read like a red carpet review of “who wore what, where and when” but they also contain serious information like auction trends and percentages per genre. Topics may be about a particular artist, who has somehow busted an all time record for the sale of a single piece. This industry reading is part of what one does, when one does, what I do, make art. I wonder, is there a scenario of the Art Collector vs. the Art Collector? Continue reading “The Art Collector vs. The Art Collector”
When painting and sketching in the field, I am taking notes from nature. These little sketches are meant to be fast. Though the response is quick, observation should take time. Some meditations usually occur before the rapid action of painting begins. This morning I read a short passage in a book that refers to Psalm 104:24 which reads,
“O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creation.”
I can meditate on that and be reminded of a concept introduced to me as a painter several years ago. When painting nature in the field, one must take notes from her lessons directly from the source. The study of the landscape, the situation of the landscape, the little compositions that are happening here and there; her secrets reveal themselves and inform your future work, either in the studio or out in the open air. So many times the point of the work is the essence of the thing, not the thing itself. Continue reading “Painting Notes from Nature”
Painting in the straight up overhead sun is arguably one of the most difficult times to paint outdoors. Sometimes, even a friendly invasion of space makes painting a little difficult. I went to the gardens and I was intending to go for a shady spot under a tree to get this view of the trellis there. A family, walking next to me had their eyes on the same spot. Continue reading “A Friendly Invasion of Space”
Sometime in late summer I had my easel in the car and stopped my errands to venture into the Madrona Marsh in Torrance, CA. The light was good and the landscape is spare and weedy. An old California oak tree stands as a testament to time, the smells of dry grasses comes up and fills the air. I stood in the shade of a small tree, painting this scene and at one point two birds landed on a branch right behind me. Continue reading “Madrona Marsh Painting in the Less is More Show for Laguna Plein Air Painters Association”
Often, the simplicity of a painting will cause us to pause our critical thinking and allow us to just take in the image for its own sake. I liken it to A Philosophy of Simple Economics. This happens when a beautiful balance is struck “just so” between shape, proportion, light and shade and other components of a picture. Our visual senses somehow evaluate these things on an inate level and we may then respond favorably for reasons we can’t explain. Continue reading “A Philosophy of Simple Economics for Visual Dividends”
Spring is moving once again toward summer. The introspection and cuddled warmth of fall and winter give way to the exuberance of the brighter seasons. The sun is higher in the sky, the brilliance of the noonday is nearly blinding with light. The key of color and value is so near the brightest it can be that a painter is way up on the edges of the value scale. Continue reading “Spring is Moving Toward Summer”
With encouragement, I write these posts to invite appreciation of the visual arts. Each painting has a reason into how it came to be. Likewise, we as viewers can have many reasons for how we respond to it. Thus it begins, each time we go to a museum, to look at paintings, take them in and enjoy them for a while. This type of looking is not based so much on whether we prefer certain styles or colors, but a deeper kind of looking that guides our responses and shapes them into our own ideas or considerations. Continue reading ““The Breakfast”, by William Paxton”
I’m happy to be included in this years Art Auction at Long Beach Museum of Art. The show is going on now, May 1st – May 5th, 2019. Free to the public Friday and Saturday. The live auction is a private event happening on Sunday May 5th, 2019. Click below for info and tickets.
As a way to honor veterans and those currently serving, here is a painting by American artist and illustrator, Norman Rockwell. Most of us know that Mr. Rockwell provided nearly countless images for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, a magazine especially popular during the years of World War Two.
Interestingly, the title “War Hero” seems to be shrugged off by the expression of the soldier who has returned home. The Japanese flag is symbolic of the fact that he has returned, perhaps still processing his service to his country. Somehow, Rockwell was able to convey the soldier not so much in a posture of victor in battle but as one with a wider perspective of purpose and integrity. Clearly, he is held in high regard as the gathering of his friends and family admire him gratefully for his selflessness.
Rockwell’s images are sometimes knocked for being too “sepia toned” in their bucolic orchestration of sentiment, yet he remains as one of the greatest American artists for his ability to render and intrigue viewers with a visual narrative. Our civic respect still carries forward, as again today we pause to reflect on the men and women who serve for our security and our maintenance of peace.
Some evening, I think on the second or third day, I went to the headlands on the west end of Mendoncino. It is a popular point, especially during a sunset. I drove down to have a look and found this view looking southward down the coastline. The thing I found fascinating was the sparseness of the cliffsides. My usual environs have many homes crammed side by side without much space to really even see a coastline for what it is. I often think, when I stand at a place where the land meets the sea, about it being the edge of the continent on which I live. There might be only ten or twenty feet left of the land for me to travel before I can walk no further. Yet, I could walk three thousand miles in the opposite direction and experience all the life and sights the United States has to offer. Conversely, the rest of the world is out over the horizon somewhere should I be able to fly or sail across the open water.
The sun was setting on my right side as I turned my attention to the land capturing the last of the days light. Only a few indications of human tracks were noticeable. A pathway leading to a cliffside look out, or a structure, barely visible on the distant shore across the bay. I was virtually alone, able to tune into the sound and strength of the ocean the wind past my face, I could even hear the sound of the bristles across the course surface of my canvas.
The cliffside basks in the last light of the setting sun, the shadows indicate the waning of the day, wrapping itself into the promise of a new day only after the nights journey. The scene was an encompassing experience of the environment. Looking at it was like listening to a beautiful piece of music, even the gestures in the act of painting was an attenuation of focus and meditation. It was the word that came with the thought of visual music; Sonata.