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.
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.
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.
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!
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;
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