Friday, August 14, 2020

Treading Water

                                        Untitled in Gray oil on Yupo 23x19 inches, 58.5x48 cm

                                Untitled in Yellow oil on canvas 15x30 inches, 38x76 cm

                                       Untitled-dusk oil on canvas 12x9 inches, 30.5x23 cm

  Hello again! Above are the best of what I`ve done in the 7 weeks or so since I posted. I thought by moving into oils my progress would be quicker. Oil paints are so much easier to handle than watermedia. But that ease might have played into a lot of indecision. Who knows?
 The pandemic seemed like a perfect time to paint abstractly. Develop a body of work, become comfortable in my process. I use the common advice I first heard of through Anne Lamott 'write the books you want to read'. Painting what I want to see is another matter it seems. I have such a strong interest and affinity for abstraction, I`ve thought with time a path would open up. A motif or kind of composition would present itself as a vehicle for what I want to do with color and texture. Prior to this current effort, I did them recreationally. A break from realism. This most unusual time has confounded many artists I know. My judgement seems off and my confidence elsewhere. But I`ll keep at it of course, this is the one part of my life I can control.

 165,000 now.
Obama sure got it right today; Trump is more interested in suppressing the vote than the virus. His attack on the postal service and bogus claims of voter fraud are the latest outrage. We`ve been voting by mail for 20 years in Oregon, we were the first state to do so. There have been no problems as any Republican Oregonian will tell you. As if dodging a serious illness weren`t hard enough, now we must protect the integrity of our elections. Ourselves. The president and his party are going down in a historic defeat and they know it. They are scared. Beware of insecure people, they are the most dangerous.

                                                             by David Shrigley

                                                       John by Lorrie McClanahan

 My virtual pal in Dallas, Lorrie, has spent her pandemic time quite productively honing her drawing skills on Procreate. She is part of a group of artists that have been doing a portrait a day using photos posted on Reddit for this purpose. She offered to draw my husband so I sent her a photo from when he was 40. I`ve always loved his contented expression in it and she nailed it.

                                                                   by Dorothy Hood

                                                                    by Dorothy Hood

                                                               by Dorothy Hood

 Another Texan, Dorothy Hood, just came to my attention 20 years after her death. She is in some important collections but never became known much outside of Houston. Her work is so dazzling, so deep with emotion, I swear I would have trekked through the desert to meet her.

                               Above the Cold Ocean watercolor on Yupo 20x26, 51x66 cm

 I painted this a couple of days ago while waiting for oil paint to dry. I enjoyed feeling competent. The composition originates from a photo I took on Cascade Head. As I worked, I was flooded with memories of camping trips on the northern Calif. and Oregon coasts as a kid. I will always be grateful for my parents doing this. Neither were outdoorsmen and getting four boys fed and safe in such rough situations couldn`t have been much fun. Gwen and Joe, may their names always be a blessing.

 Seen around town;

 From under the Highway 43 bridge, the only place grafiti would be tolerated longer than an hour in my community.       Tick Tock, your running outta time!   Noted!        I think they are by the same artist, do you?

 Hand painted calls for justice. Breonna`s killers are still free. Just ask yourself what would have happened had she been white? A trial would be scheduled by now. Black lives matter.

 What could go wrong?
The Cliff House actually survived the San Francisco Earthquake only to burn a few years later.

Click HERE for work in my studio for sale

prints from Fine Art America


Libby Fife said...


Dorothy Hood. I think she might be your artistic soul mate! Or something like that. Her work is wonderful. I didn't know about her either of course. And Lorrie McClanahan is amazing isn't she? I have been following her on IG.

It hasn't been a good time for me creatively. My ideas seemed to have slowed down and I seem to be moving in a different direction (or at least, out of touch with the part of me that I like and depend on, creatively speaking). Mostly I just don't get much done. It's hard and I think the difficulty of the pandemic is manifesting differently for everyone. If you can keep at something, anything, just do that.

Really hoping for a better time and soon. Not sure why I am surprised sometimes that things continue to be bad while Trump is around. It's lunacy is all I can say.

Hope you are taking care of yourself. Thank you for the post.

Maureen said...

Wonderful portrait of John.

Do you have the collected poems of Denise Levertov? I have an extra copy.

Lorrie Mcclanahan said...

Aww, thank you for posting the portrait, Randall. And Dorothy Hood is amazing, as are you.

Perhaps if you still thought of your abstracts as landscapes you’d have an easier time with the process? When you paint a landscape there’s an abstract phase. I wonder how often you have paused and thought, I could stop here. To me, there’s a wonderful overlap in viewing your body of work. Some are just more abstract, but I always see nature in them. Bringing an abstract back around to elements of landscape, at least mentally, might play into your instincts. As I think about it more, you probably already do that! Art can be so frustrating, and talking about it, even more so.

E.M. Corsa said...

Wonderful portrait of John. I am so envious of artists who can capture the essence of someone so beautifully.

Randall, that black and white painting is to die for. I would love to see a whole series of your work in black and white. It takes lots of talent to show color and emotion in black and white.

How many times have I said to you I just want to paint landscapes, and how many times do I go back to the animal drawings? I have decided, for me at least, this is what I was meant to do. I can dally every so often with other things but I always go back. I have finally accepted it. Instead of fighting it like I have for years, I've decided I will just find interesting ways to present it. I know that probably doesn't help you at all but...I'm (like everyone else) not myself these days.