Sunday, May 28, 2017


                                        Above the Canal 2 watercolor on yupo 14x11

 A couple of friends and a Facebook algorithm have contacted me to see if I`m OK. They noticed I haven`t posted in a while. More often than not, when I sit down to write and show my new work, I really don`t know what to say. That doesn`t usually stop me. But I`m sick of my knees, sick about our country and until recently, didn`t have much painting to show either. But I began working outdoors in the warm light with my pals and it has helped me a lot. I painted the piece above last Friday on the bank above the canal. It began with lots of random brushstrokes and a poured on wash for a background. It didn`t take long for it to develop into an image of what I was feeling that morning, sitting in that rainforest above the water with my buddies.
We had two guest artists [anyone is welcome] along and the setting was lovely. Our long wet difficult winter has produced an even more extravagant spring than usual. Everything is huge and healthy.

                                                          watermedia on paper 24x18

 This is a rare commission. My cousin wanted something like the post card sized painting I had given her two years ago. I thought, 'I can do that'. The whole task of painting by request is tricky business, too much most of the time. The client has legitimate desires, the artist has a personal vision. Getting these in agreement is not something I`m good at. Yet I paint forests all the time so I thought it a small risk. She`s on vacation so I don`t know what her reaction will be but if it isn`t what she hoped for, I`m fine with that. It will find a home in due time.

                                                           watermedia on Terraskin 8x7

A practice exercise before hand.

                                                  Along the Canal watercolor on Yupo 12x9

 My plein air effort from a week ago.

                                                             watermedia on Yupo 26x20

 The demonstration painting I did in my studio on May 20th. I will revisit this I imagine. It doesn`t live up to its potential.

                                                        Cypress egg tempura 12x9 1972

 My first and only egg tempura, painted when I was nineteen. It`s a view from a tree I used to sit in, I was a devoted tree climber. I remember sometime in my 50`s realizing with sadness I wouldn`t be doing that ever again.

                                               Phantom Bluff 1 watermedia on Yupo 12x9

                                                    Phantom Bluff 2 watermedia on Yupo 12x9

 The two above were rescues of plein air attempts I made in a boat last year. They were awful and now are better but still fall short of doing that bluff justice. It`s an heroic mass of basalt rising out of the lake with all manner of colorful and decorative vegetation spilling from it. It reminds me of a Christmas tree.

 After the election, in my despair I wanted badly to be of use to someone. Use my white maleness to protect something. The fear of what had just been unloosed was palpable.
 Last Friday three men on a train in Portland were attacked for doing just that, shielding someone vulnerable, a muslim young woman and her friend. The men were stabbed in the throat and two of them died. Everyone is aware of the story.
That this unspeakable horror happened in daylight, on a commuter train in ultra liberal Portland has the community in shock. I`ve asked of myself since, would I have done anything? Would I be brave enough to confront a raving racist man? Would I remember and honor my instinct to protect?

                                                 The Deep Blue Sea by Fran Coca

work for sale in my studio


Ruth Armitage said...

Your post makes up for your recent absence. A richness of visual material here. I am sure you would have done the same as those young men. I am glad to know you. I was also a devoted tree climber. Maybe we can climb trees together sometime in our later years! An easy one...

Mitch said...

I love the new work, the reworked work, and especially the black and white piece. I think you have your groove back just in time to take advantage of all this glorious sunshine. Viva las lopas!

Melody Cleary said...

Those are all lovely works, Randall! I feel the same way about painting on seems to kill my creativity somehow. The freeness of the exploration enjoyed without any expectations but my own. I am so saddened by the MAX train event, as well....horrifying. Keep up the good work! said...

Great post - loved seeing the journey.
Good to see the vibe is back on track.
Weird how painting takes a while to get back into
it's rythm after an break. Not quite like riding a bike!
Happy you have broken through. Would love to be able to join you out there.

Donna Thibodeau said...

Your work is so unique and mesmerizing. You have something special to say artistically without trying. Oddly, I just stumbled and fell on my knees and am recovering from the injury. Healing is frustrating as it takes its own sweet time. You would think that all this sitting around would be a good time to make art but it just drains you. I've also been using plein air painting as my practice and expression. It is hard to be depressed with the sun, air and artist friends. Aren't we lucky to be artists and have friends who are ready to paint. Also, to really see the beauty around us. Keep trying. I will too.

Libby Fife said...

I like all of them for one reason or another. They all remind me of the places where I love to hike. And the black and white one feels like some kind of a memory.

What a terrible story about the two young women on the train. The losses are awful enough but it's bad too that it's history repeating itself over and over again.

Glad you are outside and painting and that it is helping. Seems like it is helping.


Randall David Tipton said...

Donna Thibodeau, I don`t have your email or I would write you directly. If you see this, please send it to me. I`m sorry for your fall and hope the knee isn`t hurting too much. Summer is here with lots of opportunities to paint outside. Let`s keep doing it!

E.M. Corsa said...

Well, you know my love of your black and white work. But the first one, Above the Canal really piqued my interest. Am I imagining it or are you using more brushstrokes/mark making in these plein air pieces? Maybe I just haven't noticed but I'm loving this.

RH Carpenter said...

Thanks for sharing these gorgeous paintings - and like Elizabeth, I am always drawn to your monotones (it really shows how you handle those values in your color work but your color choices seduce us!). Such lovely things. I know it's hard in these times and each day seems to be another WTF day. I didn't miss watching t.v. at all while we were gone and am trying to stay away from too much news - not burying my head in the sand but just relegating the news to times when I think I can take whatever they are talking about without raising my blood pressure too much! As long as you keep painting and going out to see beauty and nature, you'll be okay. As for the heroism of those men stepping up - no one knows until it happens and let's hope that situation never comes up to test us like that.