Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Oxbow Slough 2 - magnolia demo - elderly artists

                                                         oil on canvas 20x16

 This was many paintings before Oxbow Slough 2. Sometimes I forget how to paint. I suspect the reason is too much 'life' not enough solitude.

                                             Magnolia 2015 oil on canvas 12x12

I had painted this earlier in the week so I figured I`d use this motif during my demonstration at my show in the Museum 510. But instead of predictable oil paints, I would use transparent watercolor on the slippery plastic paper 'Yupo'. Feeling confident, I thought I`d add about a hundred more blossoms. Thank god I wore a short sleeve shirt as the eastern sun shining through the huge windows was creating greenhouse heat. I wasn`t 20 minutes into the painting before realizing I was in way over my head. With maybe 34 eye balls watching my every move, I valiantly tried to find a composition. Someone asked if I used color or tonal studies. No I explained, I just wing it. I truly believe improvisation makes for more personal work and exciting exploration.
 Or terror. T S Eliot said anxiety was the handmaiden of creativity.
 Ultimately, improv might be best for the privacy of my studio but I walked my talk that morning.
 This is what it looked like when I brought it home;

 Once I was safe and alone, I labored to create the buoyancy that attracted me to this subject. First I shaped it up with acrylics but it still wasn`t sparking so I took it to the oil painting area. Because Yupo is plastic and the earlier layers were sealed with spray acrylic, I went in with oils. I surrendered at this point;

                                     Magnolia and Sky watermedia and oil 20x20

 A photo of the demo;

 The Colorado artist, Ken Elliott, wrote a blog post in 2013 about elderly artists with links to an article from Time. There were many photos of some older painters including the wonderful Wayne Thiebaud;

This is of interest to me because it will be me soon enough.
It`s encouraging to know that most painters continue on even when the body is failing. Wolf Kahn says he is doing some of his best work ever, despite macular degeneration. Matisse created his radical paper cut outs while confined to a wheelchair.
I will be one of those obsessed, rickety artists if I`m lucky.

 Snack tip. I recently bought a package of fresh Shishito chile peppers at Trader Joes. They looked sort of like the Padron peppers I had found at the farmers market so I prepared them the same way. I seared them in a very hot skillet with a little olive oil shaking it constantly after they began to sizzle. When browned a bit I removed them from the heat and sprinkled with salt. They are not too spicy hot and I think they would be great with an icy cold gin martini.

 Finally a woodcut from the German immigrant Gustave Baumann. He settled in New Mexico and his landscape prints are some of the most evocative images of that beautiful state. Produced in multiple, they were once inexpensive. When I lived there, an elderly cousin told me they had been popular as wedding presents. He had three of them.

work for sale in my studio

the next demonstration in my studio, April 11, 10 am, will be the last one for a while. 5373 Lakeview Blvd, Lake oswego OR 97035


Gary L. Everest said...

"Elderly Artists!" Are you talkin' to ME?!! I SAID, ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?
Just kidding Randall. :)))
Really enjoy this post, especially admitting to forgetting how to paint every once-in-awhile. The anxiety, angst, horror, frustration and fear sure can creep into one's cranium now-and-then. I speak from experience!
We just turned-in the keys to our former abode and our landlords returned our deposit on the spot. So, after a day or two to let down and relax, it's back to the easel. Wonder what it'll be like...
Have a great tomorrow.

Betsy said...

If you like shishito peppers you must try them at the restaurant Bamboo on NW 23rd in Portland

SamArtDog said...

Like I said, Randall, you do make me laugh!
By the way, If those gorgeous magnolias are you winging it, then you're skimming heaven.

Ironically (ahem), we went out for tapas last night and did in a whole platter of padrons. Yum. Ice-cold beer worked well.

E.M. Corsa said...

I'm jealous of you and your reader who have access to great food items. My island is limited and we are 2 hours from anything.

The Magnolia and Sky is stunning. Is there anything you can't do?

Loved the quote; had serious bout with anxiety this winter. At least now I know it's just part of my creative brain!

Mitch said...

I see that Maureen at Writing Without Paper has given you a write up, on Escape Into Life as well, so you might receive a wave of new applications to join your academy. (She mentioned you also taught painting.)

Sorry to hear that the demonstrations are coming to a close, but I understand that they can bring some unwanted stress into your life, and you've been very generous to have given how many in the past year? Six or seven or more?

I think the magnolia demo turned out beautiful.

RH Carpenter said...

Thought I'd better come over and read this since it is about me! ha ha So many of us were late bloomers or are just now finding ourselves within our art and I hope we continue for many years to come - one never knows what the next decade will bring!! The magnolia blossoms seem to be striving towards the sun and sky :)

Patrice said...

Hey Randall - great post. Saw your feature article on Writing Without Paper. Congratulations! Love the new work and to catch up on what you are doing.