Monday, February 22, 2016

New Work No Titles

                                                                      1. oil on canvas 20x16

                                                                   2. oil on canvas 20x16

 Same old problem, what to title new paintings of familiar subjects?
I`ll get to it later.
Every painting begins with an intention that originates from an experience. How they conclude is more often than not quite different. There is a point in the process where to insist on the 'vision' would sacrifice what is happening before me, the true pleasure of exploration. Forget about the idea that launched it! Funny thing though, it usually circles back around and reclaims the most important part.
 The wetlands in #1 were inspired by the Fanno Creek marshes near where they join the Tualatin River. They`re near my home and I visit a lot in winter. What I love about them is the dense variety. So many textures and colors doubled by the reflections and amplified by the bird sounds! And so inhospitable to anything heavy! Like me as I sink into the mud. When I paint them, I want to layer all the elements into an interconnected teeming whole. So while I may have photos or sketches of particular clumps of grasses and trees, ultimately they may be included or not as I grope toward something serene yet kinetic.
 #2 comes from viewing the autumn color against the bright reflections of clouds on the river. I began by including the wavering reflections of trees and soon realized it was too confusing. In removing them my vividly colored leaves were visually unanchored. So I added chunks of green vegetation with spidery stems linking each mass together. Now it doesn`t exactly look like what I saw, but the buoyancy of that sunny Fall day is there.

 As this election season came to life I thought, this year I`m going to vote from my heart. I`m going to vote for Bernie Sanders. He has walked his talk for decades and his decency is obvious.
I believe politics is the real world enactment of our spiritual values. This is why I`m a Democrat. My Dad explained it very simply, 'Democrats are for the little guy'. This is also in accord with the Christian teachings I was raised with.
So I planned to vote for Bernie in the primary and I hoped his success would keep Hillary humble and honest. I believe it has. Then I read this article claiming a vote for Sanders was a vote for Trump. That`s so provocative! But it made sense and caused me to remember the McGovern campaign I worked on in 1972. That good man was slimed beyond recognition, he never had a chance. The same would happen with Sanders I fear. I`ve decided it`s not worth the risk. President Trump? That is too scary to imagine.

                                                             Miroco Machiko

 I`m crazy about Miroco! She completely turns distinctions between illustration and fine art on their head! She`s bold and playful, inventive and fearless! Such fresh air!

 This photo is so painterly! The color alone is gorgeous and the composition is both stylized and dynamic! 'Dalmatian Pelicans' by Marko Konig

work for sale in my studio


Libby Fife said...


I read that article that you mentioned (from your FB post) and I agree with you. I thought the author's argument was sound. And I am emigrating to Canada if Trump makes it. Rue the day!

And I liked Miroco's work. I love how her animals completely fill the frame!

Beautiful work as always. The first one reminds me of our creek area here (a tangled mess of goodness) and the second seems delicate and fluttery, just like looking up through our oak trees in CA. (They are leafing out now, poor things. I think they are confused!)

Another good post, thank you! Hope you are doing well.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randall,
Good post. I was interested to read that piece on Bernie's electability that you sent. I will give this some thought. Old socialist wannabe that I am, I still really want him to win.
Love the Miroco website too.
And your painting of the blue sky and orange leaves makes me happy on a grey cold rainy day in PA with Poppy.
Love you, Lake

Melody Cleary said...

We will see how things go for Bernie now....his message has spoken to me from the first get-go of this election. We really need a revolution, for sure, and I'll be a bit sad if he doesn't make it.
I have trouble with titles, too....good luck!!