Saturday, August 19, 2017

Total Totality!

                                                                    watercolor 6x6

 It`s getting cosmic out there on the roads of Oregon, complete eclipse fever! Tiny central Oregon towns are overwhelmed with tourists. The coast is thronged. Lake Oswego, where I live, will only get 99% totality but that`s good enough for me. I`m going to sit in the backyard and watch what happens on the ground. I just don`t trust the $1.99 glasses for sale everywhere. Nonetheless it`s a festive atmosphere, I`m enjoying it.

Below are my last two plein air efforts;

                                              Riverbank Summer watercolor on Yupo 14x11

                                                              Pastel Orchard 12x9

                                                               Betsy Chang watercolor

 Betsy Chang was a guest artist painting with my plein air group on the banks of the quiet and grand Tualatin River.

 Finishing up the last details for my show at the White Bird and working on an ambitious big watercolor that hangs in the balance. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017


                                                                Window oil on panel 26x24

 When I paint purely from imagination, I can sure get bogged down in my compositions. Lots of trial and error to get this to look plausible. I`ve never seen such a view but I like the idea of openings leading to another 'reality'. Portals if you will. Coastal Oregon has so much in common with Hawaii, you can sit on the beach [with a blanket] and imagine the tropics just on the other side of those rocks.


                                                                            6x6 paper

                                                           Grove 11x9 Yupo [plein air]

And here are some paintings I reworked. When I`m lacking an agenda in the studio, there are always lots of paintings around to improve or ruin.

                                                       Rainforest Windfall oil on canvas 40x56

                                              Streamside Spring watermedia on yupo 14x11

                                                     Fog in the Forest oil on canvas 40x30

                                     From Albuquerque to Home watermedia on paper 16x12

 A non-Tipton relative sent me a large box of Tipton memorabilia she had come into possession of. I poked through it some and it was wonderful to see photos of some of the elders I knew in New Mexico, younger and having fun. I`m waiting to be with one of my brothers to really dig in together. Ultimately I`ll share it with my Mormon niece who will know exactly how significant the trove is.
What the box will not contain is any information on my grandfather.
Anthony Meyers was a Catholic priest in Watrous New Mexico. He had a love affair with my grandmother Mary Tipton. The community was tiny and this scandalous relationship had to be hidden. When she became pregnant she fled to Durango Colorado to a home for unwed mothers where my father was born. She returned to New Mexico saying she had adopted her baby. She maintained that fiction well into my Dad`s life and as you can imagine this damaged him in many ways. There are many reasons I have so little respect for religious institutions and this a major one. It`s my understanding my grandfather never acknowledged my Dad as his son and the 'sin' of my grandmothers` tortured her the rest of her life. She was no fool, he had to have had compelling characteristics but they were imprisoned by their time and could not be honest. How utterly sad.
Priests still cannot marry.

                                                           painting by Harry Stooshinoff

 Harry Stooshinoff is a painter from Ontario Canada that I admire very much and have written about before. He takes the modest landscape where he lives and mines it for gold. His work is a rich exploration of what surrounds him. Then he sells them at very affordable prices. He`s really prolific and explains how he came to his unusual self representation in this podcast. It`s well worth listening to as he talks about practical matters such as economic survival and his business model. Great interview!

                                                              Harry Stooshinoff

 A friend asked me recently what my take on this 'virtue' of looseness in painting. My thoughts seem, even to me,  too extreme on the subject. Unfortunately it looks to me as just another way to impose hierarchy. The idea that an improvisatory technique is a pinnacle to strive for is absurd. Even if my own methods are described this way. I have the chaotic closets that prove it but others like more structure in their work [and lives too maybe]. The motives and means for painting are vast. It irks me to see earnest painters condemned for being 'tight' or careful or meticulous. Everyones nature is different! And the term plays into the worse stereotypes of artists. That we are irresponsible, libertine, unrealistic hedonists. Artists are so carefree!
Not at all, but we are resourceful. If you have a problem and a limited budget, talk to an artist before a lawyer.
 I can be an opinionated asshole about painting too but I try hard not to be. I shouldn`t criticize others. All life suffers, we know that. The painting path is rewarding but certainly not easy. Let`s try to be respectful and tolerant of all artists.

some work for sale in my studio

White Bird Show in Cannon Beach OR - September 1 through October 16
watercolor on yupo demonstration Sept. 23, 2 pm