Wednesday, August 30, 2017

watercolors-post eclipse

                                                              Mountain Purple wc 8x6

                                                                   Mountain Red wc 8x8

 These two mountain doodles may be the best work I`ve done lately. These came from a need for pure color and a subject that wasn`t trees. Neither took long and they satisfied my desires. I sometimes paint something other than my immediate surroundings because I need to see it.

                                                    Runoff watercolor and oil on Yupo 20x26

 I had been working on this for a week. It looked promising, then lost and eventually I sprayed the watercolor with a varnish and started in again with oils. I`ve done this before and it`s a viable process. Since the support is plastic and there is an acrylic barrier applied between the two mediums, I think it will be stable for millennia. Although Yupo is new, I`ve worked with it for twelve years without any changes at all in the pieces I have kept. My sense is that it`s sturdy and permanent.
But the painting above may lack the animating piece of the puzzle, I don`t know yet.
So I painted a couple of mountains in the interim.

                                                      Stream and Sunlight acrylic on paper 24x18

 And this too is new. When I began I actually thought I could do it in pure watercolor. Let the white paper reflect through and illuminate the vegetation. Somehow I would just intuit where the lightest values would be placed. So I began with no guiding marks whatsoever and was soon scrambling for the acrylic white for corrections. The greens in the upper left are exactly why I don`t particularly like acrylics. I had to add white to the green to achieve the right value and now the paint looks chalky and opaque. The rocks in the back were glazed repeatedly trying to give them some of the luminance of watercolor.

                                                                   by Rebecca de Figueiredo

I was about to go to bed but was still looking at art on Pinterest the other day when I stumbled on the work of Rebecca de Figueiredo. The color slapped me in the face. She paints complex botanicals and somewhat narrative abstract landscapes that are derived from the countryside where she lives in Botswana. All of her work pulsates with vitality and high spirits. She is also remarkably affordable.
Here`s a couple more;

                                                                   by Rebecca di Figueiredo

                                                                   by Rebecca di Figueiredo

 Finally some good news; Iceland has banned televangelists from their airways!
Now I`m a big fan of our first constitutional amendment allowing freedom of speech, but if other countries have conditions, so be it. My grandmother used to watch those vultures for hours and gave when she could. Such predators! Exploiting the vulnerable for cash. Not in Iceland anymore!

 I could have known with just a bit of research.
Early in the morning of the full eclipse of the sun, I received an email from France marked URGENT. A reader of this blog wrote emphatically that there was a world of difference between 99 and a 100% totality. He implored me to get into the full eclipse zone. That this stranger was urging me to do something I had already dismissed had a sickening ring of truth to it.
John was at a doctor`s appointment, we had no eclipse glasses and my traffic app showed the highways thoroughly clogged with cars. I was stuck.
The Oregon Department of Transportation had easily convinced me to stay home. Disliking crowds and traffic, I had decided to accept 99% of the spectacle and realized too late this was a huge mistake! At the peak, my house looked like this;

 Interesting sure, but not the once in a lifetime experience happening a mere 20 miles south. Soon I started hearing from friends and family that had made the effort to see the totality. They all said it was unlike anything they had ever witnessed, it had been marvelous. Then I saw the videos and when John`s Mom told us she could see the stars from her home near Salem, I knew I had made one of the biggest blunders of my life. One million visitors to Oregon that morning could not be wrong.
I`m still upset with myself.

 Life goes on.
I delivered my show to the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach yesterday with a sense of success. Getting it painted and then exhibition ready was a real challenge as I still can`t stand for too long.
Here is an article about it.


available work mostly in my studio

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