Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Near and Far - Cape Arago

                                                  Near and Far - Cape Arago oil on canvas 30x22

 Georgia O`Keefe famously titled a painting " From the Faraway Nearby". With great poetry she contrasted the temporal with the eternal. It`s an existential image of yearning. I`ve experienced that in looking at the stars or out to sea. It`s been a wake up call to make everything count. When I saw this young spruce and the exposed roots of a fallen tree beside it, silhouetted against the ocean, I had that bittersweet sensation again. As I worked on this, I thought a lot about color temperature and its conveyance of emotion. This was a view in summer so I wanted a benign mood lightening the sober and stark.

 We secured the financing and I had a check for earnest money. So when the prospect of owning the blue house I posted last week fell through, I thought 'I can`t do this!'. Which of course means 'I don`t want to do this!'. It was suddenly very clear I didn`t want this giant upheaval after all. When my Mom died and I made the decision to move, it seemed absolutely correct to be closer to my family but I couldn`t do it then because of commitments. My resolve must have faded and I was in denial. I feel stupid and sorry.
My family is 30 miles away which isn`t far, it`s just the traffic in between. I will work it just like I did when Mom was alive.

How about some schadenfreude? That will cheer us all up!
Both of these may have gone viral, I have no idea, but they are hilarious! Be sure to have the sound on!

Neither the Brazilian government nor any US court of law could punish the Olympian Ryan Lochte more thoroughly than these two TV anchors.

I never condone violence but listen to this account from an observer of a traffic accident.

Check out Joel Janowitz. Because of his first name, I figured he was a recent MFA prodigy but no, this guy is venerable!

                                                                      Joel Janovitz

                                                                      Joel Janowitz

Great painter! I approve!

And here is one of the late masterpieces of Franz Kline;

                                                              Scudera by Franz Kline

And an I-pad thing of mine;

                                                         Randall David Tipton I-pad

Not as charming as I thought coming after a mighty Kline!

I`m ready to love again, we are looking for a kitten! Is it wrong to want an orange one?

work for sale in my studio

"New Landscapes" Coos Art Museum until Oct. 1.  [Southern Oregon Coast]

"On Paper" Marcia Burtt Gallery, Santa Barbara Aug.26 - Oct.2

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Cape Arago Forest - Oregon

                                                      watercolor on Yupo 13.5x40

 Iceland had some trees but nothing like the rainforests of the Oregon coast.
In black and white, I began on the right and worked to the left completing each section as I moved. The larger trees and the dark shapes I had photographed and could refer to. But I never paint this way. Generally the whole thing is in motion for quite some time. This felt like a narrative of just visual elements and I felt more like a scribe than an artist. Walk in the woods enough and these 'facts' become part of the painter.


 Let me tell you, a happy bride getting down on the dance floor in her puffy dress is a beautiful sight!
Luckily they didn`t ask but if they had, I would have said keep it simple, elope, save some money! No, Liz and Eric had a vision and they saw it through! And I am grateful as it was pure joy! The ceremony was at 5:30 in full sun and 99 degrees. It didn`t matter. In fact I think it enhanced it. After the short vows we raced to the dim air conditioned ballroom for the reception. It was lovely, like a cool cave! When the dancing began the wedding party and friends went tribal moving in a pulsating circle. The event was the best three days I`ve had in a long time!

 We are looking at houses with potential studio space in Camas or Washougal WA. Not easy. This has to be my last move and I know it will nearly kill me. So the new home must feel right. It is hard to leave this;

But maybe this one if I can figure out where to paint;

Words elude me right now so here are some flowers, past and present.

                                                         John and Randall Iceland selfie

work for sale in my studio

"On Paper" [group] Marcia Burtt Studio Gallery, Santa Barbara CA Aug.26-Oct.2
"New Landscapes" Coos Art Museum July 9 - Oct. 1

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Fjaorgliufur ! [Icelandic Canyon]

                                                       watercolor on Yupo 12x12

 Just like painting the geothermal pools in Yellowstone, this canyon in South Iceland was so ornate and unbelievable there wasn`t a credible visual 'center' to work from. When the facts are so odd and unfamiliar, questions about realism are irrelevant. Any rendering will be as strange as the site itself. So after traveling so far and at considerable expense to see this wonder, I`m sort of paralyzed as to how to proceed with painting it. I was there for a couple of hours but there was a lifetime of material.

                                                            Fjaorgliufur photo

 For the ten days since our return my head has been spinning with confusion about whether to even try to paint what I saw. I`ll probably do some watercolors and feel it out, over time.
Before leaving, I had been in Coos Bay and exploring the preserves and parks in that part of the southern Oregon coast. No problems with that landscape.

 My brilliant niece Elizabeth is getting married the day after tomorrow. To a fine young man and an original thinker. Lots of relatives about and joy in the air. My brother Gary would have been so proud of this moment, he loved her exuberant spirit. She truly is unique and it`s been fascinating watching her grow up.
So, with all the commotion I`ve had to clean my house! Big project!
Interesting thing, as soon as I start, I`m suddenly filled with artistic inspiration. Dying to get into the studio after doing nothing for a week.
In his illuminating book "The Erotic Mind", Jack Morin explains the one thing that will intensify desire is an obstacle. Too busy scrubbing the stove, well of course my authentic destiny as a painter will beckon!
The opposite can be true as well. Clear the decks of any and all intrusions into quality painting time and you may enter the studio empty of ideas. It`s maddening and perverse and all too human.

                                                    Gjian panorama by John Sanders

 The utopian, impossible paradise set in the badlands of interior Iceland.


 My new favorite brush; sharp point, heavy load, cheap and imitation squirrel!


 Most of the watermedia supplies I use. The Holbein watercolors are key.

From the files;

                                                      Snowfield Auke Bay oil on canvas 40x30

Painted from a drawing done on a ferry in Alaska.

work for sale in my studio

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Siuslaw Study - Iceland

                                                              Siuslaw Study watermedia on Yupo 12x9

 Driving home from Coos Bay a couple of weeks ago, we stopped along a road in Appleton to get a good look at the Siuslaw River. It was flowing quietly in the evening light and the riverbank was in full summer flush.

 Iceland delivered! The beauty was everywhere, ridiculously casual! The most astounding sights breezed past our moving car. We took many photos while in motion because there were very few places where the road was wide enough to pull over. This was one of those;

 Just a farm with a waterfall and canyon in the backyard.

Many places were quite similar to New Mexico but with even less people. The place was immaculate too. No litter, billboards, crappy tourist attractions, or distractions of any kind other than the extraordinary landscape. The smallest waterways were lush with healthy vegetation;

 Art Travel booked us into a remarkable place called Solheimar, the oldest intentional community on earth. It was our base as we explored the South.
Word to the wise, get Icelandic made GPS if at all possible. We had two that often proved worthless. The small, tasteful roadsigns were barely legible so maps became much more necessary. Although  everyone graciously speaks English, the language is still ball busting. With seven extra letters, the pronunciation of anything is an embarrassing guess. John was making some headway, he loves languages, but Icelandic is a tough nut. Place names are naturally in the mother tongue, and that makes talking about them very difficult. But with lots of stops to confer with the locals, we found our destinations. Gjian was one of them. In dusty terrain that could have been Utah, one tiny sign directed us to this extravagant oasis;

 So over the top magical, it reminded me of a hippie, back to the earth poster from the sixties. BTW, you pronounce it gal-win. It wasn`t easy to find and    Fjaorgliufur wasn`t either;

 Even though I was there less than a week ago, it`s hard to believe something so completely fantastical exists. Look at those curves!
We also saw some of the more famous sites too, such as Gullfoss;

 Although geothermal activity was visible with steaming fumaroles throughout the landscape, there were also concentrations of features like at Yellowstone.

Now being so far north, the day stretched on endlessly. As a night owl who wishes he could be a morning person, the vast daylight was a total luxury. One can go visit Geysir at 11 pm! or 2 am! Plenty of light in July and no tour busses then! Sunset at midnight is a beautiful thing!

 Not much artwork was made except for I-pad doodles drawn on the plane or in downtime;

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Final demo - JFK suggestions?

                                          Iron Mt. Fog 5 watermedia on Yupo 13x20

 This is the fourth demonstration painting I did for my workshops last weekend in Coos Bay.

 On our return from Iceland July 28, we have a 7 hour holdover in the Jet Blue terminal at JFK, 12:30 pm to nearly 8 pm ! Any ideas to gainfully use that time are greatly appreciated! Suggestions for interesting stuff in that area of Queens are too! Especially with transportation instructions. Or, if anyone would like to visit, I`ll buy you lunch and promise to be entertaining.

                                                                 Washougal River

 Taken yesterday on the new greenway in Camas/Washougal WA. This is where I want to live. House hunting and moving are the next big projects in my life once we get back.

work for sale in my studio

"New Landscapes" Coos Art Museum July 9 - Oct.1

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Demos - Iceland

                                                   Summer Marsh watermedia on paper 18x24

                                                       Evening Oaks watermedia on paper 18x24

                                             Stone at Bunk Creek watermedia on Yupo 26x20

 Three of the four demonstration paintings I did for my workshops at the Coos Art Museum a few days ago. Each was completed back in my studio. The demos all begin the same way, I`m trying everything to establish a mood which looks only vague and nebulous to the group. Nervously I assure them I know what I`m doing and slowly it begins to develop. I can feel as confused as the participants as I grope for something to build on. Suddenly something falls into place and the fun begins! No logical procedure, my moves are as much random as deliberate. From this, I hope to show that pleasure is more important than planning, to trust their memories, become inventors of technique and to be guided by impulse. Action painting in other words, even if it`s 70 years beyond De Kooning`s innovations and even if their subject is the lake they were camping at last weekend.

 My show in the museum was beautifully presented and the paintings had a dignity I hadn`t noticed when they were stacked against each other in my studio. The gallery was climate controlled with closed doors and I smiled to think of the damp underground space they were created in. Here`s a panorama;

                                                                "New Landscapes" Coos Art Museum


 That canyon was made for me, yes it was! Next week at long last, Randy goes to Iceland! My timing is terrible however, everyone seems to be going! Its 300,000 residents are expecting 1,250,000 tourists this year! My ace in the hole is a native tour guide for artists. She`ll know where to go, and it won`t be the Blue Lagoon! That landscape screams 'solitude', I will find it!

 In the perfect painting category, behold Margaret Glew`s 'Hot Salsa';

                                                              Margaret Glew - Hot Salsa

 She`s Canadian and gets it right nearly every time! I admire her so much. Look at this collage!!;

                                                                     Margaret Glew

 Another favorite abstractionist is Mary Nomencos.

                                                                     Mary Nomencos

 Check out this charming little video about her, she has landscape within!

                                                     South Slough Johnny!

work for sale in my studio

"New Landscapes" Coos Art Museum July 9 through Oct. 1


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Plein Air & "New Landscapes"

                                                     Edge of the Orchard watercolor 12x9

 Painted on the 4th of July with Jean Gale who did her first yupo watercolor! It was a cool cloudy summer day. Like they used to be. So far it`s been a sweet season; no oppressive temperatures, no smoke from forest fires, no series of teenage boys drowning in our frigid rivers, and the air quality has been great! An embarrassment of riches. I`ve felt really lucky especially after reading Phoenix reached 120 degrees last week.

 Below are the nineteen paintings in my "New Landscapes" exhibit at the Coos Art Museum in Coos Bay Oregon. It runs from July 9th through Oct.1st.

                                                         Coastal Stream Study watercolor 12x9

                                           Calypooya Mountain Summer watermedia 9x12

                                                       Hiver Marais 1 watercolor 12x9

                                                     Hiver Marais 2 watermedia 12x9

                                                     Scent in the Morning watermedia 12x9

                                                          Metolius Morning oil 30x48

                                                                 Camassia oil 56x44

                                                           Circle of Cypress oil 40x56

                                                            Coastal Stream oil 48x36

                                                               Winter Lagoon oil 30x30

                                                                Estuary Rainforest oil 40x60

                                                                       Logjam oil 56x40

                                                             Bryant Woods Spring oil 40x40

                                                               Autumn Slough oil 50x40

                                                                    Shinrin-yoku oil 40x40

                                                               Autumn River oil 58x44

                                                                                Oneanta oil 40x40

                                                                   Boundary Marsh oil 50x36

                                                             Slow Summer Water oil 56x44

work for sale in my studio