Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Small New Mexico Landscapes

  I`m working on a big boggy oil painting and photographing each stage. I like seeing order emerge out of the chaos and even though I will paint it, I can never remember how. Most decisions in the process are automatic revisions  and additions done in reaction to what I just did previously. These impulses are not verbal but I`ve been asked to make them so when I teach. That`s a fair request so when I do, it`s like watching myself. Sometimes I learn something too and think I should do that more often.    
 These are little paintings from the early 90`s, maybe a bit more allegorical than they are now but it`s obvious from my work that I find something restorative and even redemptive in nature. I think most of us do.

updated available work in my studio

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Coastal Rainforest[s]

                                                            watermedia on Yupo 10x5

 Once again this configuration of trees near the Sitka Center has claimed my attention. They are growing in a little watershed flowing off Cascade Head. I walked by them almost daily when I was there. I don`t understand why something purely visual would have such a grip. There is no story here, yet this arrangement is so compelling I would just stand there and admire all the different elements. It`s an archetype for me, something I`ll see even in a dream. Below are some earlier versions.
 Twenty one paintings left the studio this week for three different galleries. All of my representatives do the majority of their business in the summer so spring has become a very busy time. Big relief to get them out the door and on their way to new lives [hopefully] out in the world. My relationship with finished work is as conflicted as everything else in being a painter. I`m protective and often proud but once they`re gone, they`re gone. It`s strange to care so deeply about something and then be so utterly detached.

                                                                oil on canvas 40x30

                                                    oil on canvas mounted on panel 12x9

                                                                  oil on panel 14x11

updated available work now in my studio

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Weak Winter Sun

                                                               oil on Yupo 20x26

From last December.
Beyond the cold, a winter walk is different. With a sharp austere beauty, embracing the season directly by being outdoors, is the best way to counter the dampness and darkness. Works for me. I`m out and about in nature much more in winter.

available work in my studio

Friday, April 18, 2014

Tangerines and Tulips - class demo

                                                     mixed watermedia on paper 24x18

My demonstration from the class today.
Even though I`m not a still life guy, I wanted to work from something directly and show that the challenge was fun and rewarding. It was. With 16 sets of eyes watching and with constant, engaging conversation, nonetheless, it coalesced into something recognizable. It was an interactive experience with suggestions offered and acted upon. Painting always has a miraculous quality when it goes right but it seems especially amazing when this happens in a teaching situation. Yet I hear this is actually common. Something is afoot!

updated available work in the studio

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Painting from Life + Workshop

                                                     "Quince" watermedia on Yupo 12x9

I`m teaching this Friday and I`ve asked everyone to bring in something to paint from direct observation. It being April, I suspect we`ll all show up with flowers. I thought I should practice myself first, so I cut off a branch of the quince in my front yard and stared at it hard. This used to be commonplace but now that everyone has a camera in their pocket, it`s easier to work from a photo. I do it all the time. But something is missed in our hurry and efficiency. Looking closely at something and recording it with your own hand is an intimate act. It`s worthy just for the experience yet there is also the effect on memory it produces. That is what will serve a painter when painting. You will recognize it when you get it right.

I`ll be teaching in Lincoln City July 19 and 20.

updated available work

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Flooded Field

                                                                oil on canvas 40x30

From a Spring day I spent on Sauvie Island several years ago. Spring is beautiful everywhere, but in the wet Northwest, when it finally warms up some, it is explosive! Each day is noticeably different from the last and the unfurling gets faster with a real momentum to it. By late May there is the most extravagant lushness imaginable. It`s luxurious, I only wish it didn`t happen so quickly.

available work in my studio [updated]

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sitka Forest

                                                         watermedia on Yupo 10x20

This was wrestled into existence. Before packing up the studio at the Sitka Center, I was working on this last watercolor but didn`t finish. Back home, I couldn`t complete it successfully with my initial strategy so I started scraping, repainting, flooding with stains, more scraping, over painting previous 'good ideas' and eventually it became this fatigued abstract forest.  It just so happens to be a close representation of what the experience of being there was like.

Sitka Center residency deadline April 18

available work in my studio

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Chimayo Spring

                                                           watercolor on paper 22x15

Nice to be home again, nice to be working in my cozy man-cave/studio.
This is from the late 80`s, one of hundreds of images I had transferred from slides to DVD this winter. To my shock, a great many of them I have no memory of. I know what time of my life they were from, where I was living and by the execution, what my motives were but actual pieces, like this one, no recall. This was a prosperous time in my life, between recessions, and I think lots of stuff went out the door quickly. Anyway, I kind of like it. It will take me awhile to digest my month at Sitka, meanwhile here is a hopeful painting of spring for my friends in the East.

some available work

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Estuary Overlook - Goodbye Sitka!

                                                                 oil on panel 20x20

Tomorrow I leave. What a dreamy intense time it`s been. These things are not vacations. With everything set up to assist you in your work, the artist is faced with himself. It`s somewhat daunting because the institution has said in effect they believe in you. You want to do right by that faith as well as explore your imagination and express your vision.
I took my last hike out onto Cascade Head yesterday and took a few photos including my first selfies! I was here! On the trail I startled a herd of elk. This inattention to their surroundings is how they end up tasty elk burgers.

some available work

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Rainforest Studies + Legacy Questions

                                                                    oil on Yupo 12x9

                                                                  oil on Yupo 15x15

                                                                oil on Yupo 10.5x5.75

An art consultant was telling me about an elderly painter she knew who was extremely concerned about all the work she would be leaving behind. It is a distressing issue. Even if there were enough venues to carry it, you can`t just dump a lot of art on the market without significant demand. Prices, which increased over the career of the artist, would plummet and upset existing collectors. But to leave your loved ones this burden is really unfair. The anxiety between loyalty and duty and practicality would be enormous. What to do? The nightmare is it ending up in a landfill.
Start giving it away was the consultants advice. To institutions who will accept it, to individuals who would love it.
I work with this matter by painting on paper as much as possible. Now that I have experimented with oils on Yupo successfully, that option is even better. Paper is much easier to store and my heirs won`t have to rent storage space.

available work in my studio