I want to thank all of you who told me what we should discuss when I teach next weekend. My first thought was to emphasize technique but I heard that I should address color choice, emotion and the landscape and selecting personal subjects. So I`ve been thinking. Of course this is the stuff that never is verbalized by me even to myself. I know instinctively what to draw or photograph when I`m out in nature. Now I`m figuring out how to talk about it. It`s uncomfortable. There is a yearning quality in my response to nature that I don`t understand. Beyond Romanticism. I find ephemeral scenes lit temporarily in a poetic manner and I`ll take a picture. If what I`m seeing is really striking, I`ll remember it too. Then I begin painting but it`s more like an excavation, subtracting to find my painting. This is better shown than explained.
Cape Arago watercolor on Terraskin 14x11
From my time in Coos Bay a couple of years ago. That eroded coast would provide a lifetime of subjects if I lived near. Without bias, the Oregon Coast is the most astonishing, compact, jewel like series of landscapes, one after another. And it`s never crowded other than Cannon Beach. If I lived in the interior of the US again, I would come here to this coast to be by this sea. Not Hawaii or Mexico or Greece. There is a wild, interactive relationship between the water, sky and land that`s palpable.
I should have left it alone but it wasn`t finished. I thought last night.
Now this no longer exists but that`s ok.
If there is time in my workshop I`ll demonstrate a do or die effort to rescue something that`s ruined. Good things can happen if there is nothing to lose. I once said to Don Gray that all my paintings were better 20 minutes before I finally stopped. He said that`s true for all artists. We keep pushing for more clarity until we go too far and then backtrack as best we can.
Eadweard Muybridge was a bookseller until he cracked his head in an accident and became a determined innovator of photography. It appears that brain damage can unleash tremendous creative potential. This article in the BBC explains how even dementia can unlock hidden talents.
It does not mention if the poor high school football players with concussions become more creative. I wish it would have included this kind of trauma.
Igor Mosiychuk, have you heard of him? I sure hadn`t but apparently he`s quite well known in his own country, Ukraine. He`s a watercolor wizard unlike any other;
Yes, they have a traditional sensibility but who cares? They are so dense with lyrical color and mood.
If you have an extra hour or so you can watch him demonstrate here.
For the first time in my 25 years in the Pacific Northwest, winter is bugging me. It`s too cold. Usually I`m head cheerleader for all things gloomy and wet but not this year. Now I don`t want sunshine mind you, that low angle light is blinding this time of year but a warm breeze would be nice. Here`s to Spring and its gentle promise.
Goodbye Mary Oliver, thank you!
work for sale in my studio
prints on Fine Art America