Sunday, June 28, 2015

Fanno Creek Fog - marriage equality in every state!

                                                             oil on canvas 36x36

It is a familiar motif and I know the area well, but this did not come easy and I think I know why. Since I`ve been involved with plein air painting recently, I`ve been surprised how most oil painters keep their paint opaque out in the field. Even for water! They will render the underwater rocks in exactly the color they appear using buttery thick paint. And  they look realistic, like they are beneath the surface! I think because I`m a watercolorist at heart, I`m always using thin paint and thinking transparency. I try to make an equivalent of water or atmosphere or foliage out of the paint itself. Instead of painting what is there. This is fine but can lead to the dark and murky if it isn`t right early on. In oils, the paint dries darker if it`s thinned whereas in watercolor, a fading of intensity occurs as it dries. So in the grappling way I work, I`m often drowning in gooey runny paint that will solidify into sludge.
Maybe the progression below will make this clearer. The photos aren`t great but show how I got to this. The earliest is at the bottom.

Here is another recent piece that I also had to repaint entirely three times because it would lose the glow through overworking;

                                                 Winter River 2 oil on canvas 20x20

 My dynamic young cousin Anya Cloud is coming to town to dance. She will perform as part of the Conduit Dance Festival July 8 through the 11th at Reed College. We were talking at a family gathering recently about survival, jobs and money, what else? This is what artists are concerned about, how to keep going. Her piece was mentioned in the New York Times when she performed there a couple of months ago, so I`m pleased this is an advance in a meaningful career.You can be sure if someone is devoted to modern dance, they are true believers in the power of art. I`m curious to see what she has created!

Seeing all the tears of joy yesterday was certainly moving yet I felt like I was missing something. When the Supremes overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and agreed Proposition 8 was unconstitutional two years ago, it was like an Emancipation Proclamation! That sweeping and profound. The analysts speculated that the decisions were 'narrow' so the country could get used to this new idea. Everyone knew this would be revisited for a final judgement. Having read Anthony Kennedy`s opinion back then, I had no fear at all he would reverse himself. This is why the jubilation surprised me. It seemed like a foregone conclusion.
Hey, joy is joy! The massive shift in our culture is just stunning!
Marriage equality is so important, such a litmus test because gay people know we`re exactly as we should be. There is nothing wrong with us. Let this comfort and assure the odd child, the sensitive and the different, that this is for them. To be who you are.
As I`ve said, going from reviled to celebrated is confusing, the ground does not feel steady yet!
When the open hearted people of Washington State voted in marriage equality in 2012,  John and I started talking about a wedding. Soon we realized we were way too introverted for involving others. Yet Washington required two witnesses, so 'eloping' was not going to work. The timing turned on practicality; tax advantages and open enrollment with John`s health care benefit. Without any ideas of our own  whatsoever, we hired the minister who solicited us by mail, and asked my mother and John`s sister to be our witnesses. We had written no vows, sent no announcements, had no celebrations planned and we did not have permission to use the Fort Vancouver gazebo. Luckily my sisters in law Mary and Norma crashed the event and a young mother with a stroller stood on the sidewalk and watched as well. They made it more real. What is a gay wedding anyway? We had no idea. Because we did not write original vows, the minister used the traditional ones, the ones we all have and to hold, in sickness and in health...
Oh my God, the minute he began speaking, the magnitude of what was happening rained down on me in a torrent. Each word he said seared me. This was serious business. The concepts in those words, as cliche as they might be, are vivid and comprehensive. I listened very carefully through my tears and felt transformed at the conclusion. As I should have. That is the point! The sublimation of two wills to create one new, better entity; a family! It is ennobling and dignifying just as Justice Kennedy said. Why would anyone want to deny this to us?
Well, for the religious opponents from any faith, the elephant in the room is the sanctity and veracity of scripture. On this subject, they all got it wrong. The Bible, Koran, Buddhist texts, the Torah, all of them.
If a believer accepts homosexuality as a normal part of nature, what else in the teachings are false? What to make of the evidence supporting evolution? The stakes are high, faith can fall like a house of cards.
I`m not too sympathetic.
I had to work through this at 14. Alone. To have any kind of health and happiness, I had to accept myself. I had to find my own way of believing. It can be done.

                                   me and my husband on a beautiful Oregon evening

work for sale in my studio


RH Carpenter said...

Sometimes the struggles, whether they be in your work or in your life, make a person much more human - more aware, open and understanding and less judgmental. Your work is open, lovely, and all your own - and so is your life and your marriage! I am glad I can be a tiny little part of it all :) Have a wonderful Sunday.

Mitch said...

Thank you for sharing not only your artwork (which again is beautiful, soft and filled with a love of nature) but also your personal life, your thoughts, your politics, impressions of other artwork, etc. Your posts are always a delight to read.

Libby Fife said...

I had to laugh about you and John being introverts and about you experience at your wedding. We got married at the county clerk's office for reasons similar to what you cited. My experience was the same-the magnitude of the thing. I had never looked at my husband so closely!

All marriage that is meaningful and committed between two people is a delight and joy. (And I say that from both a religious ans secular viewpoint too.) I salute you!

As for the oil paints drying darker when thinned, I didn't know that. I've only learned how to work with acrylics and their drying quirks. Pays to know your materials, as you certainly do:)

Thank you again for a lovely post.

Angelique said...

I absolutely love the finished painting! I'm a sucker for foggy days, and this so beautifully captures the feeling that I get out hiking in the fog. Thank you for showing your progression -- I learned in oils, picked up encaustics about 10 years ago, and am just now trying out watercolors. I'm finding I need a little different mindset for each one, which is interesting.

Randall David Tipton said...

Yes, they all act differently! To me, oils are the most versatile and the easiest to use. And absolutely, fog is my favorite weather, always has been. There is a dreaminess to it that suits me. The colder the better too! Thanks for your thoughts Angelique!

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Randall,
We could not be happier for you two. For us, the news came as the most wonderful shock as we greeted the morning. What joy! To see the Justices strongly decide to do the right thing was almost shocking. It's something we didn't expect to see in our lifetime.
It's such fun to watch history unfold before your eyes!
Your post was sensitive and beautifully written.
PS Loved the paintings, as always.