Carol and Randall in Hood River 9-2-14
[photo by Sarah Peroutka]
This is a very interesting Do It Yourself era. Along with the 'Sharing Economy', commerce is being remade in a decentralized, less regulated, more individualistic model. Uber, Air BnB, Kickstarter, Angie`s List, Yelp and TaskRabbit are all internet based, innovative businesses meant to empower the consumer with custom fitted choices at friendly prices. I find this a really exciting new order. The arts too are involved and turning traditional venues on their head. A homebound Mormon mother in Arizona self publishes a book about Vampires in the Northwest, and we all know about 'Twilight'! Well, painters got proactive too. Several years ago, Duane Keiser challenged himself to complete a painting every day. He posted photos of these small paintings on his new blog. People noticed, they sold and soon Ebay auctions were needed because of the demand. Carol Marine saw the fun in this early on and stepped up to this daunting challenge too. She had graduated with a Fine Arts degree but was having dismal experiences with galleries and meager sales. Many other artists, including me, followed suit and we rapidly improved our game and soon a movement was born. Carol is a thoughtful, analytical painter with a dead perfect sense of color and value. Her work was soon popular as well and the disillusioned young painter was now self supporting without any assistance from an established gallery. The comprehensive reach of the internet made this all possible. By taking control of their careers themselves, many artists began to flourish. Next Carol had the inspired idea to bring her friends and fellow daily painters together into a website dedicated to the premise. Her husband David designed a site of beautiful ease and elegance.
When fires burnt out of control in the hill country of Texas in 2011, the Marines lost their home and studio to the flames. They moved to the wet part of Oregon and we became friends.
There is a generosity to Carol that is spontaneous and genuine. Take a look at her new book all about the daily painting movement! She included one of mine!
Sauvie Island Road watercolor 18x24
Sauvie Island Fields watercolor 24x18
Sauvie Island-Circle of Stones watermedia 24x18
Sauvie Island Dike watermedia 24x18
Foothills Storm oil on paper 24x18
Early Fall oil on paper 24x18
Reed Canyon Fall oil on paper 18x24
April Hillside oil on Yupo 20x26
Creekside oil on Yupo 12x30
For this last weekend of the Open Studio Tour, I`ve pulled these older paintings out of retirement and am offering them with nice discounts.
Randall David Tipton
5373 Lakeview Blvd.
Lake Oswego OR
97035 [near I-5]
"When bankers get together they talk about art, when artists get together they talk about money". I read this quote years ago and think it`s still somewhat true, at least the part about artists. Livelihood is a concern for most people yet I think artists fetishize the idea of being self supporting. I sure did when I was younger. My restaurant work felt like it was thwarting my artistic destiny. I was envious of other young painters that were successful and they were numerous in Santa Fe in the 1980s. Eventually I came to see that my waiter`s income actually allowed for more freedom and stability. My work could evolve and though it sold, it was never 'hot'. In Portland, I found a nice job and after that a nice man and it was good.
Economic success for a painter can turn the practice into a manufacturing process through repetition. I`ve seen it and it hasn`t looked happy. Should anyone ask, I would always advise someone to find some independent income. Get a job. Live simply. Focus on your work.
The visitors to my Open Studio last weekend were quite interesting. It`s a true believer that gets into a car and drives down the freeway to watch an artist work on one of the last golden days before the rain. Everyone has such intricate stories, most were creative in some way and all had relevant questions.
I sold some paintings, I had splendid conversations and I received a lot of praise and respect. Good weekend! One more to go, come see me!
5373 Lakeview Blvd
Lake Oswego OR 97035
[I have some free maps to the other studios]
I`m ready for my close up.
I even had time for this drawing and being born a painter, I could not just let it be dry graphite. No, soon I had watercolors involved. Then ink. Which brings me to something I discovered years ago in life drawing groups. If I used a pencil which erased, I made many corrections. If I drew with a brush dipped in ink, I did not need to. There`s a life lesson there but don`t ask me what it is.
Not really!! The top photo is of the late Francis Bacon`s famously chaotic workspace. An artist friend of mine once rudely commented that mine looked similar! Not any more!
I read that a museum has preserved Mr. Bacon`s studio just as it was when the painter was alive!
Go visit an artist this weekend. It`s so lonely in the studio, we need to talk! Portland Open Studios Oct. 11, 12 and 18, 19 10 to 5 pm. Demonstration each day at noon in my studio.
Randall David Tipton
5373 Lakeview Blvd
Lake Oswego OR 97035
From my plein air foray in the Columbia River Gorge in early September.
It was so refreshing to be in the golden East once again. The transition is swift, within 15 miles the landscape changes from rainforest to arid grasslands. From one side of the Cascades to the other.
It`s not the mountain, it`s not the trees, it`s the space between them and me. That third dimension expressed with just two. The classic artist`s dilemma from the caves to the present. How do you do it? How, is pretty much the history of art in Western civilization. Probably the most direct method is through scale. Things in the distance are smaller. Learning how to mimic visual reality was one of the great achievements of the Renaissance painters. In time though, exposure to other cultures caused artists to question this. Why not make everything sort of equal? My hero, Pierre Bonnard, did just that giving the same importance to his wife, her friend, the cat, the bowl of fruit, the floor tiles and the orchard through the window, all in a single painting! Wove it all together through color and pattern. His work ravishes the eyes.
My own approach is somewhat similar, I usually flatten the space out yet suggest atmosphere through gradations in the paint. Though I can`t say it`s a constant theme in my work, I`ve done quite a few paintings of trees from across a field. Again, the subject is really that distance between. There is just something so healthy to the human spirit to see just 'space', emptiness. A house with a view is often no more than a building without anything close to it. Just that unoccupied air. It makes us feel good, expansive and safe. Worth the higher price!
Across the Meadow watermedia on Yupo 20x20
From last summer, my beloved Bryant Woods.
Deep Summer Field watermedia on paper 10x7
This one was about the smell of damp grass, shadow and dusk.
Oregon Refuge oil 14x11
The Finley Wildlife Preserve near Corvallis. Created from former farm land and slowly being restored to an original native landscape. The sense of a promise fulfilled for the early settlers is palpable. The place is bursting with life.
Steigerwald Study 4 oil on paper 10x8
Steigerwald Study 5 oil on paper 12x9
Across Steigerwald watermedia on paper 16x12
Until it caught fire a couple of years ago, I spent considerable time at Steigerwald Wildlife Refuge. The burnt fields are coming back. The views from here into the mouth of the Columbia Gorge have a yearning quality. Like you really ought to go there. Now.
My studio is a disaster area as I try to make it presentable for my guests next weekend while still trying to paint. And of course, as a perverse human being, I`m being flooded with new ideas I`m dying to work on. This is the opposite of having ample time but the well being dry which is also common. Somebody please slap me.
Below are some paintings that had 'issues' that the deadline compelled me to resolve. See them in person during the Portland Open Studio Tour next weekend and the following.
#83 Randall David Tipton
5373 Lakeview Blvd
Lake Oswego OR
I blew it up.
I liked the watercolor, it soon sold and I`ve wanted to see it again. So I made a big one. The scene is just a creekbank illuminated at just such a moment, deep in the July rainforest of the North Umpqua River. The air was hot and cool depending where in the canyon you stepped. With such dense growth, it was also very quiet. Our day had not begun well and we entered that forest dutifully because we were there. Within minutes our foul moods were dismantled by beauty. The creeks formed 'rooms' whenever the ground leveled and through that dim filtered light everything seemed to move, sort of flicker. I remember walking much slower than usual, literally stunned by the ethereal landscape.
Her work didn`t do much for me but I sure loved her! Listen to Agnes Martin tell it like it is. That woman walked her talk! She wanted to be alone. So she up and leaves NYC and her brilliant career behind and moves to the barren, art colony-free, windy west of New Mexico. Built her a house, then she lived in it.