Sunday, November 24, 2019


                     From Across the Meadow watermedia on paper 30x22 inches, 76x56 cm

 Last week I worked with a local group of watermedia artists for the fourth time. They are extremely nice, pay well and listen carefully. I wasn`t at all nervous even though I rarely teach.  I wanted to show them something they may not have thought of. The idea came to me out of necessity as a way to anchor a complicated composition when my first movements cover everything in a messy wet layer. We painted from a drawing we did of a photo. Sounds dumb and I don`t do it often but the group was game;

                                                                    my drawing

                                                                photo reference

 As I painted I found myself glancing at the drawing more than I expected. It was just the center of the photo I was interested in and drew.
 Nearly every representational painter uses photography in some way. Including more of the artists interpretation was the point I was making with this extra step.
 This had me thinking about other educational matters this past week.

                                                                    David Dunlop

 I learned this fellow, who I`ve become acquainted with on Instagram because we both love wetlands, is the ultimate educator. Somehow he managed to have an award winning series on PBS that I was ignorant of.
In a comment on one of David`s paintings I said I`d love to watch him paint. He replies I can by going to his web page. I do and yes indeed he has many instructional videos, online workshops, the TV programs and several free Youtubes. I choose one randomly, an 11 minute video about painting water lilies at Monet`s home in Giverny France. He doesn`t mess around. Almost instantly he`s introducing principles that probably took me years to figure out. He has me thinking I should have stayed in school! My hermetic inclination may not have been so wise. But who knows? When I was art school age, conceptual art was dominant. A close cousin was majoring in fine arts at a California University and her reports were bewildering. It did not appeal to me at all. What did, was holing up somewhere beautiful and painting landscapes. So I did and with a determined independence too.
David Dunlop seems to have spent his time making art understandable and yet also painting his own unique vision.

                                                        Red Sky by David Dunlop

                                          Wild Meadow in Cloisonne by David Dunlop

                                           Randall`s Pond Mosaic by David Dunlop

David also shows locally at the Attic Gallery in Camas WA.

The wonderful painter Michael Ferguson is back showing at the Attic too!
The gallery has expanded which is a good sign of health.

                                                                      by Ken Kewley

More food for thought [for painters]. Read Ken`s Studio Notes from the great blog Painting Perceptions. It`s a stream of consciousness ramble about the mind in its relation to painting. Most of his observations have never occurred to me but I was fascinated by his analysis.

                                                                  Fiona Hill

She is an American hero! This is why America is great! A young woman from the north of England comes to this country for opportunities unavailable to her in the UK because of her working class background. She excels and chooses to serve her adopted country as a diplomat.
At the impeachment hearings she says the one thing that explains this big mess. The president and his Republican protectors are doing the bidding of Russia whether they understand that or not. Our intelligence community has been warning us for years that the nasty divisions in our politics are fostered by Vladimir Putin. The Russians want us at each others throats. A country so divided is weakened. Their interference in the 2016 election continues on into the 2020 contest. Why do they like Trump? They know how to make him dance. And he knows how to make us hate each other. He has completely corrupted a once patriotic political party. We all should be wary of these new Republicans. They don`t care about your monthly social security checks, your student loans, the climate or your schools, roads or jobs. Only power motivates them.

 The paintings above are the work of Alex Brewer, a.k.a. Hense. He took abstraction off the canvas and then covered walls and buildings with his exuberant compositions. What a great idea! Why did this take so long? Why have murals mostly been realistic and narrative? Just at a glance you can see how energizing they are! How beneficial to the human spirit! Color heals! Thank you Alex!

                                                                  Alex Brewer

                                   Underbog watermedia on paper 21x20 inches 53.5x51 cm   

To set the mood and have something to react to, I did an underpainting that was just too luminous. When I started to add landscape elements it was completely awkward, an imposition even. Yet I was loving the Hahnemuhle watercolor paper and it was early in the process,  so I flipped it upside down and tried to keep pushing forward. This time with no objective. It was slow going but eventually a composition presented itself and I strengthened the color. Like every 'purely' abstract painting I do, the landscape is always present.   

                                   Forest Edge watermedia on Yupo 26x20 inches 66x51 cm

 This one had no reference other than memory. Mine is not photographic in any way. I had noticed the bright yellow bracken ferns as they turned dormant and thought  I`d paint the transition from meadow into forest With watercolor on the slippery plastic paper Yupo, I could literally carve out some ferns with a q-tip. If it didn`t look right I`d re-emulsify the yellow paint and try again. Drawing in negative shapes. This suits my temperament far more than painting all those rows of fern leaves directly. That would be tedium which is not an experience I want.

                                                         Koko and Mr. Rogers

 She was a fan and could speak over a thousand words in sign language. When they met, she took off his shoes.


click HERE for paintings for sale in my studio

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

more watercolors!

                          Rainforest Winter Study watermedia on paper 22x15 inches, 56x38 cm

  I`ve admired Joan Nelson`s work forever. Her landscapes have a mythic quality that stirs a peculiar longing inside me. Months ago I tried to paint something with her vision in mind and I did not succeed.
 Last winter I began a search for a paper that would be a 'soft' alternative to the plastic paper Yupo I use so often. This search for the 'right' paper has been a neurotic journey for years. I`ve tried many papers, all decidedly unsuitable and all with the one common denominator of me. My mental health isn`t too sturdy when it cones to paper. Check my pockets and you`ll find napkins and kleenex I might 'need' again. Visit my studio and you`ll see papers lying everywhere. I seem unable to throw them away.
 I had heard of Hahnemuhle papers as being beautiful to work on so I found a supplier and asked for some samples. Mark, at Acuity Papers, balked, then reconsidered and sent me a nice selection. I tested them all, was unimpressed but ordered a few sheets and the package sat in my studio unopened until now. I had been too involved in oil painting to give watercolor any more than an occasional plein air effort. Now that my oil paintings had been delivered to the gallery, I was ready.

                         Rainforest Summer watermedia on paper 30x22 inches, 76x56 cm

 The painting above and the opening image are painted on Hahnemuhle`s Cezanne Hot Press watercolor paper 140 lb. and it is a complete joy! I am hard on papers, I revise constantly and this stuff is tough. And there is enough sizing to keep the paint on the surface longer which allows for a versatility in techniques.
 I think I got much closer to a Joan Nelson in Rainforest Winter Study and I think the otherworldly quality in her work may come as much from her materials as her intentions. My composition was a repeat but the way the watercolor sat and shimmered was different. It was softer and more atmospheric than on Yupo. I think I have what I`ve wanted for so long! Be careful what you ask for.

                           Stafford Valley October 1 watercolor on Yupo 26x20 inches, 66x51 cm

                        Stafford Valley October 2 watercolor on Yupo 26x20 inches, 66x51 cm

 I also bought a bunch of new Yupo including a roll 30 inches by 10 yards.
I am so happy to be working in watermedia right now. This is the best run of work since before my legs were so messed up in 2017.

 Two weeks ago I was in the Bitterroot Valley in Montana visiting a beloved cousin. Once we were close, living nearby, both young artists open to the world. Yet nothing is stable for young adults. She soon left California for upstate New York, I had my year of farm living on the Mendocino coast and then moved to New Mexico. We drifted apart.
Our parents died one by one and some of our siblings left too. At a family gathering last summer she invited me to come see her in Montana. My brother Mike and I flew into Missoula and were welcomed with a reunion/love fest like no other. There is nothing like being wanted. Her home, her family, her world were works of art!
I met Bobbi McKibben in her studio and saw her moody emotionally charged pastel landscapes and impressive collection of other artists work. Including two Ben Aronson landscapes.
 At the Missoula Art Museum [free!] was a retrospective of the great Oregon artist Rick Bartow. I had seen this show in Eugene OR with Carol Marine a couple of years prior.
Just that morning in my hotel room I had received an email from a mutual friend who said Carol was moving to Missoula! Synchronicity sure gets my attention.

                                                                   by Matthew Wong

 I had just become aware of him. Who was this guy? These paintings are original to say the least. The look of Outsider Art but with narratives and modernist insights. Matthew Wong died earlier this month, 35 years old. He was on the autism spectrum, with Tourette`s Syndrome and chronic depression. He was Canadian and self taught and that young man could paint!

                                                                 by Matthew Wong

                                                                by Matthew Wong

                                                                        by Matthew Wong

                                                                      Matthew Wong

                                                                          by Ed Clark

 Someone I learned of through his obituary. Ed Clark lived to be 93 but felt overlooked. He was African American and no doubt was. That painting just above is exquisite!
Likewise this one;

                                                                         by Ed Clark

 I`m posting this from Facebook and it allegedly comes from Jerry Saltz, that mensch of an art critic.
His humble humane advice to artists is worth listening to.

So with that preface, here is the work in my show at the White Bird Gallery in Cannon Beach. It just ended but everything is there still.

click HERE for paintings for sale in my studio

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Watercolors autumn 2019

                               Canyon Stream watercolor on Yupo 16x12 inches 40.5x30.5 cm

                                Coastal Nocturne watercolor on Yupo 26x20 inches 66x51 cm

                                   Cliff Corner watermedia on Yupo 26x20 inches 66x51 cm

                           Ice Fog Lichen Light watermedia on Yupo 20x20 inches 51x51 cm

                                Hog Island Study watercolor on Yupo 20x16 inches 51x40.5 cm

                                         North Coast watermedia on Yupo 26x20 66x51 cm

 I`ve been unusually happy painting on paper again with watercolor alone or mixed with ink, acrylic and watercolor crayons. These are larger than I have been doing and it feels good to scale up and use big brushes. Despite them all looking exactly like I did them, I`m always trying to say something new or personal, using any means that are exploratory and fun. I insist on fun.
Each bright white sheet of Yupo is as scary as the last one. That silly reaction has been there from the start, so I acknowledge it and then begin.

                                                                Arch Cape Creek

                                                          in Oswald West State Park

   Hug Point-best beach in the world! Cliffs to climb on, a waterfall, a cave big enough for shelter, odd rock formations and a rainforest just steps away.

                                                          photographing a cave

 My trip to the coast three weeks ago has sure stayed with me. It`s far enough away to keep each visit distinct. On damp gray days, the beaches seem most like the iconic Northwestern landscapes everyone imagines. Nature is dominant with islands of culture and comfort strung all along the coast. It is heartbreakingly beautiful and best of all, it`s not New Zealand or Greece or Patagonia. It`s Oregon and it`s not expensive.

It`s too soon for a wager but it`s beginning to look like #45 might experience some justice at last. But he`s an old white rich Republican not to mention "leader of the free world". We will see. Those children are still in cages. This cruel, immoral president is being shielded by his party. History will not be kind to those who enable him. As Nancy Pelosi said yesterday, with Trump, 'all roads lead to Putin'. I think a whole lot of corruption will be uncovered in this serious process.

 Her political instincts are razor sharp and clear headed. She waited as long as possible to begin impeachment proceedings, fearing what it would do to our country. Until there was no other way to defend our democracy. Impeachment is the remedy for the abuse of power. It is what the constitution requires.

 This is an extreme form of what we are up against. With over a quarter of our citizens, the president has become an idol.
God help us.

                                          Roofs and Gables, Santa Monica by Ben Aronson

 This is as good as painting gets in my opinion. Even though he`s from Boston, he exposes the soul of California like no other. These cityscapes are an homage to Richard Diebenkorn and his world, yet they extend his insights into a kind of language. I can tell you as a native, he nails it every time. San Francisco or Los Angeles, he knows both intimately.

                                             Moonrise watermedia on Yupo 12x12 2008

Ode to Tides, the traveling art exhibit about our coastal ecology, will soon be in Beaverton. This big body of work is intended to bring a closer awareness of our estuaries. The range of artwork within  this theme is remarkable, the cause is so worthy. As the sea level rises, healthy estuaries will help enormously with the expected storm surges.

Click HERE for art for sale in my studio

Friday, September 27, 2019

new revolution and an Anniversary

                                      Overgrowth watermedia on Yupo 8x26 inches 20x66 cm

 The week before I was practicing and this was one of those pieces. I wanted my demonstration at the White Bird Gallery to be credible. It was an 'event' in the first Earth and Ocean Arts Festival which was timed to coincide with last weeks Climate Strike.
Somehow, somewhere deep in our collective psyche, something turned. Did you feel it?

                                    Northwest Forest acrylic on Yupo 20x16 inches 51x45 cm

 This was the demo I began at the gallery. Below is how it looked when I stopped for the day.

 Believe it or not, I thought it was really promising when I concluded.
A reader of this blog asked me to record it live on Facebook. She said it was easy and it was. I taped my phone to a tripod and commenced painting. In my last post I mentioned I would try this so there were some viewers waiting. I chose a generic northwest forest as my subject because the motif is familiar. I learned the hard way to do something without too many surprises when demonstrating. Nonetheless, right from the start I had a major change of plans. Yupo has to be handled very carefully. If you touch it bare handed the oils on your skin will leave an area that resist the paint. Knowing this, I cleaned the surface carefully the night before. To no avail. My first strokes seized up as if I were painting on a waxed floor. The whole surface! The show must go on so I got out some acrylic medium to mix with the watercolor and squeezed out acrylic paint all around my mixing palette. This would have to be an acrylic painting. Improvisation is what I do and disastrous experiments are common in my studio. This time I just had an audience.
 Rather than having to figure out how to verbally explain my actions, I like it if I have questions. Christopher Mathie sat close by and we had a nice conversation while I painted.
 It is saved on my Randall David Tipton Studio page. If you take a look, two other videos show up first. They were done very crudely in my studio. Someone who had been watching earlier wanted me to proceed with the demo painting, so I tried to oblige her. I couldn`t find an option to just take a video, only one that would broadcast live. That would be ok I thought, no one knows I`m doing it. Wrong! Soon I was getting comments and some complaints about the lighting and hearing from people I had not had contact with for years! Sarah Peroutka watched it from her sleeping bag while camping! It was a real mess but also kind of fun.

                                                       Big thoughts at Pig and Pancake

 That is my husband John.
Twenty years ago I answered his personal ad on Yahoo. The whole online dating industry was still many years away. We had a long funny talk on the phone and agreed to meet at a Starbucks near his home. I had seen his photo and he was not there when I arrived. Considering  myself a good judge of character, I was surprised. After waiting twenty minutes I asked the barista if there was another Starbucks nearby. He said 'oh yes, right around the corner'. Soon I saw him sitting in the sun and there, for the first time, he said 'you`re late'.
Within a few months he had a key to my apartment and I began to notice his stuff in my closets. I`d come home from the restaurant late in the evening and he would be there. My experience with healthy romantic relationships was zero. But I had been diligent in pursuing why in therapy. When he sprang off the couch to clean up my diabetic cats vomit, I knew he was a keeper. They bonded before I did, also a good sign.
 So we count our time together from the day we met. Twenty years ago there was no cultural recognition of our kind of relationship. No rites of passage or celebrations except for the ones we created ourselves.
 Any marriage is a leap of faith. When they hold, over and again, it is so humbling.
That man reading his phone while waiting for breakfast is exactly who I want.

                                        Momento Mori watercolor by Richard Diebenkorn

 That is one of his last works, painted shortly before his death.
If you like his influential work, here is a wonderful essay by Diebenkorn`s student Tony Berlant. [He is phenomenal in his own right]

                                 From Laguna Pueblo, photo of her brother by Miriam Marmon

Click HERE for work for sale in my studio

Prints from Fine Art America