Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Winter Morning-Fanno Creek Wetlands + other marshes

                                        watercolor and oil on yupo 26x20

 This was my demonstration painting from last Saturday. The day before I had walked around the Fanno Creek wetlands in Cook`s Park taking mental notes. So as I began the demo with watercolors, I was confident about my intention. The subject was the dormant grasses in the foreground water with bleak bare trees and brambles behind. Illuminating it all was to be a cloudy sky in Easter egg colors. Things went south quickly as my sky refused to take shape and I re-emulsified it repeatedly. With 20 eyes watching me, I just wanted to set the mood in the hour and a half I had with them. Nope, even alone that night not much went right. Getting desperate, I went nuclear. I sealed it all up with a spray acrylic and took it to the oil painting side of my studio. I`m always telling frustrated watercolorists to work in oils. Much easier to control! Usually so. This was a defeat and I`m posting it because I told my guests I would. We all want to see how the story ends.
Below are some earlier, more successful marshes.

                                                  oil on paper 12x9

                                                 oil on canvas 10x30

                                         watermedia on Yupo 12x12

 When I posted a Mary Oliver poem recently, others wrote me who loved her work as well. I`ve never heard or read any dismissive comment about her from anyone. I tried to think of other artists so unanimously admired. My list was short. One was Johnny Cash. Has there ever been a more convincing voice of moral authority? Another was Andy Goldsworthy, that magician who uses the earth itself for his art. I actually have an little issue with him though he is innocent. All of the projects, stunts and happenings that exist only to be photographed or videoed, then posted on the internet, I think derive from his marvelous, temporary works of art. I had had enough when I saw a clip of balls rolling down through a forest hitting bamboo planks with the sound recreating a Bach concerto. Why?
 Here`s an interesting video of the man himself talking about what he does. Here is one of his simple elegant works;

 Now for a recipe, yes, a recipe. This is good, easy and my own little accidental invention.
 one package of Trader Joe`s Belgian Endive [3 small heads]
 one ripe avocado
 one large red grapefruit
  Slice the endive into 1/4 rounds and place in a large bowl. Dice the avocado and add. Peel the grapefruit by scoring it into quarters first, then use a paring knife to remove any pith. Slice into small pieces like in the photo below. Be careful to remove any seeds. Sprinkle with good salt, pepper and a little olive oil. Toss.

See this cat? See that rug?

 That`s Jackson, my cat with 'issues'.
In a classic example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions, we found him a companion, a playmate 13 years ago. He does indeed play with Lincoln yet also nurses a bitter resentment. The new member of our household has never been welcome by Jackson and he reminds us by vomiting. Oh the remedies, foods, medications, and therapies we`ve tried!
 We`ve sorely needed new furniture for a long time now but have held off as we`ve searched for the holy grail that would solve this matter. After finally casting out a particularly hideous coffee table that I literally found on the side of the road, we were left with a giant void of a bare floor. Now, we really needed at least a rug. So off I went to IKEA with a mission. This floor covering had to be densely woven, with a complicated pattern, short easy to clean fibers and Big. I had budgeted a whopping $700, this was how urgent our situation was!
But this marvelous rug was only $65! Thank you IKEA!!
 'Problem' pets can teach us how to do the impossible, love unconditionally. That`s no small thing.

work for sale in my studio

next open demonstration, Sat. Feb. 14, 10 am


Libby Fife said...

Where to start?

The pieces you showed all look like places that I would like to be in, regardless of any fails. The fourth piece in particular seems compelling.

I appreciate Jackson's feelings and the quest for a rug that will do multiple things. Our girl cat Hannah died a couple of years ago. Toby, our young boy cat, seemed bereft. In an effort to get him a girlfriend, we adopted two girl cats from our shelter. They turned out to be a couple of She Devils disguised as regular cats and Toby now licks himself neurotically and is a bit of a wreck at times. Maddie loves Toby in the worst way-sort of a Fatal Attraction kind of a way. Honestly.

Hope the demo was good despite the bit of frustration.

Melody Cleary said...

Sounds like you have a good group at your demos...I've shared with friends about it. Is the watermedia acrylic? Oil on paper - is that gessoed paper? Pretend I'm at your demo :-) Thank you for sharing....good recipe!! Nice Rug!

Sheri Trepina said...

We get recipes and cat stories along with adventures in Art.....Fabulous! Love it and thank you....

Mitch said...

It's hard to see how much of the demo painting is new and how much remains from Saturday, but certainly the cloud is more "cloud-like" and the dead trees have changed somewhat. I am always amazed that you can work while also talking and listening to a group pressing in around you, making changes to your work that almost seem to be in response to questions put to you, and since the image is in your head and not from any reference, it's hard to see where you are headed. I guess that's one reason why your work seems so magical to me. But if you want to call this one less than successful, I will use that to give myself a little forgiveness for my many failed attempts.

And now I am off to the store to buy endive and grapefruit to try your salad.

Thanks again for all you give.

Mitch said...

Randall, I tried your salad recipe for lunch and it was deliciously refreshing! Now it's my understanding that it is so healthy and nutritious that I can eat endless servings of it, right?