Sunday, December 18, 2016

Wet Snow on the Marsh

                                             Wet Snow on the Marsh oil on panel 26x24

Our annual two inches of snow fell this week and Portland was predictably paralyzed. It`s not a metropolis of bad drivers, it`s just that the roads were built for a much smaller population and our snow is so wet. The temperature fluctuates several degrees around freezing and this means constant thawing and refreezing which makes for icy streets. It`s a mess. So bad last week in fact, the bright green state of Oregon is going to allow limited salting of the roads. This has been anathema because the runoff is so toxic. But kids stuck on school buses in traffic jams well into nightfall is not acceptable.
 Meanwhile this lucky guy was able to walk around the woods and admire it. What always impresses me is how sound is muffled and color is drained from the landscape. A tiny amount of snow can transform the world for a while.

                                                         Nov. 10 oil on panel 26x24

 This comes from a walk taken two days after the election. I was desperately trying to imagine a way forward. The country had done what I believed was impossible. The horror is a little bit more familiar now but it`s reinforced daily by the insulting appointments the president elect is making. He finds a rich unqualified individual for each department whose personal philosophy is antithetical to the mission of that agency.
The apprehension mounts each day.
When the electoral college meets tomorrow, they will rubber stamp their states often narrow margins of victory and award the presidency to someone who has never held office and who lost by over 2.5 million votes. Even if they managed the ultimate courage and denied Trump his 270, when it then went to the House of Representatives for resolution, that snake-in-the-grass Paul Ryan would insure his win there. We are doomed.
For the time being anyway. I think we will see 1960`s style activism return and a much greater involvement in political matters by ordinary citizens. Democrats did not go to the polls in numbers like Obama received. Hillary was said to have a 90% chance of winning and I think those polls played a major part in her defeat. We thought she had it.
 The great writer Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote a beautiful piece on the Obama presidency and it`s aftermath in the Atlantic. It is well worth reading.

 Trae Crowder, the Liberal Redneck, has had provocative and wise comments on the election. I hope the Democratic Party listens carefully. The affection he has for his granddads in this Thanksgiving clip is the way forward.

                                                      Light in the Forest oil on canvas 20x16

                                                                Lacamas Meadows

This is now a jigsaw puzzle.
I can`t imagine anyone actually putting it together, but then again I have never been someone for games. Of any sort. My whole family was like that, you had to tell us the rules over and over.

                                                               Mary Tonkin

Mary Tonkin is my new landscape love, look at that command of color and value!
Here is a video where she describes her process. Most of her work is done on location with drawing being a key component.

                                                              Damp Lyndon

 Ok, for you kitten owners trying to get some sleep, here is my new trick.
As I`m getting ready for bed, my huge kitten Lyndon comes alive and wants to play. Every night. If I let him into the bedroom he will root around looking for nonexistent prey for 15-20 minutes keeping me awake. I tried to tire him out with fetching the mouse first but he is still fresh when I want to go to bed. We like him to sleep with us, it feels like the family is complete, so I needed to find a way to calm him...Distraction!
I get my hands wet and rough up his fur. Not enough to annoy him really but he HAS to attend to it. When he`s groomed enough he lays down to sleep.
You`re welcome.

                                                                    dry Lyndon

It`s not Christmas music but it is Baroque. The handsome countertenor Andreas Scholl sings Ombra mai fu, the gorgeous opening aria from Handel`s opera Xeres.

                            "Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no-one was listening, everything must be said again." - André Gide

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Libby Fife said...


I don't know a lot about the designation of vocal range for singers so I had to look things up. Andreas has a lovely and surprisingly high voice. It isn't hard to watch him sing either!

I've seen Mary's work and like it a lot. I marvel at painters who can successfully sort out something so complex and make it look organized and inviting; like you might just want to step right into the picture.

Seeing the snow in your first piece is so surprising. I had no idea Portland even got snow. And I really like that last forest piece shown. To me it looks like being in the woods where I live.

Lyndon, wet and dry. If you come up with a way to settle three cats down at 1AM let me know. I'd be interested!

E.M. Corsa said...

I'm going to email Lyndon and give him a head's up!

RH Carpenter said...

You are just too clever with the damp kitty ruse!!! And love the paintings, as always. Wishing you and John a very Merry and quite bearable 2017 :)