Thursday, November 26, 2015

Red Surf-hospice

                                                                 oil on canvas 8x8 2010

The ocean is the source of life on earth and our blood is the same salinity as the sea.

My mother entered hospice this week and all trajectory stopped. At 88, after a lifetime of health problems, she said no more treatment. I admire her decision. How marvelous it is to see someone face imminent death without fear. That is a gift to the living. I`ve been present for a birth  and a death and the profound gravity and intimacy are similar. It`s a privilege to be there.
She`s watching a movie tonight, so it appears Mom lives another day!

                                        Barcelona triptych three oil on panels each 24x24

I delivered this commission to the building site of the Barcelona apartments. The project is to provide low income housing in the 'old town' part of Beaverton. I was 'hired' by the Kimberly Kent Art Brokerage. I find commissions really tricky because there isn`t a personal motivation propelling the painting. But the client liked my work, I was given the theme and the specs and I thought I can do this, I`m a professional.

My show in Oregon City continues through Dec. 23, though a couple of holiday related closures are happening. If you`d like to view it, give a call first.

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Columbia Demo and Impressionism

                                         The Storm Lifts off the River watercolor 18x24

 This was the demonstration painting I did at the In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art gallery yesterday. While I`m often told these demos are helpful to others, they sure seem repetitive to me. Yet some of the same people keep watching. To describe the way I work sounds disingenuous, 'I keep moving the paint around until it looks like what I want', but it`s true. So many of my color choices and marks are close to random. Little experiments happening all over the surface. Eventually they coalesce into something like what I remember.
This painting was based on a 20 year old drawing;

                                                               Gorge Sketch

 I was probably with some out of town friends when we pulled off the road into a turnout. While admiring the view, I did this sketch in a tiny book I used to take everywhere in my pocket. The spot is on Highway 14 in Washington and one of the few places one can see an open expanse unobstructed by trees.
This watercolor was painted from the sketch back in the 90`s sometime;

                                                            Columbia Study

                                                         Leaf Light oil on panel 12x12

Also new. This magnificent tree grows on a golf course I walk by. I think it`s interesting that I`m always astonished at the vivid color of Fall. As if I haven`t ever seen it! I bet everyone has that experience.

 It`s blasphemy and I thought I was all alone with my submerged feelings but just recently I learned I`m just one in a large tribe of politically incorrect art lovers who believe Renoir sucks. Yes he does! Look at my comrades;

 Now this is not a great time to be beating up on anything French.
France was our country`s first ally and its noble culture will not be damaged by acts of cowardly violence. Lovers of peace and freedom worldwide, mourn with the French and share their rightful anger.

But Renoir is awful.
Not so crazy about Monet either. There, I said it.
For the best impressionism, look to America even if one of the Americans was in France like Mary Cassat. Now that was a painter! Has anyone ever depicted the mother and child bond as well?

                                                            Mary Cassat

And Daniel Garber was a master of color and light but certainly under celebrated.

                                                           Daniel Garber

My favorite and the most ambitious American impressionist was Frederick Childe Hassam.

                                                      Frederick Childe Hassam

                                                     Frederick Childe Hassam

                                                        Frederick Childe Hassam

France gave birth to impressionism but Americans brought it to fruition. My humble opinion!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Old, New and Exhibition Shots

                                                     Balch Creek 2 oil on canvas 40x28 1993

 When I moved to the Northwest for good in Nov. 1993, I first lived in a studio apartment near Forest Park. Deliberately. Having fled New Mexico with its 300+ days of sunshine, all I wanted was to hang out in a dark wet forest. My closest access was along Balch Creek and I remember being captivated by the green glowing trees. I still am. Every winter I`m surprised at how electric they look.

 Since hanging my show last Tues. my painting efforts have been pitiful. I was excited to have the time to resume working on paper but nothing really succeeded. These two were the best of the bunch;

                                               Arcadia Moonlight watercolor on Yupo 10x8

                                               Ice Fog and Oaks watercolor on Terraskin 8x8

Before the opening reception last Saturday, I took some pictures of my show;

I will be demonstrating in watercolor this Sat. the 14th at 11 am at the gallery. I`ll show you my tricks.

Though most of his work doesn`t appeal to me much, when it does I`m smitten. Everyone has an opinion about Julian Schnabel, he`s bigger than life and his paintings are enormous! In the 80s I used to go to a local bookstore and flip through a coffee table book of his work just to see this painting;

                                                      Julian Schnabel "Portrait of God"

I still love it!

Take a look at my show!

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Water Woods and Stone Opening Nov. 7 - watercolors

                                             Rainforest Autumn 3 oil on canvas 30x24

This is the last painting I did for my show 'Water Woods and Stone' opening Sat.evening Nov. 7 at In Bocca al Lupo Fine Art in Oregon City. It`s address is  820 Main St. but the entrance is on 9th. Come say hello!

This was John as I prepared for this, the largest show I`ve done;

Here is Roxanne and her able intern Julia installing it yesterday;

Since it`s been finished I`ve done a couple of watercolors on the strange new paper called Terraskin;

                                                       Southeast Wyoming wc 9.5x13.75

                                                     Headland and Moonlight wc 8x8

This morning my friend Leigh sent me a pdf catalog of the Danish artist Henrik Simonsen. This guy is a laser sharp observer of natural phenomena and then he draws what he sees! So accurately the work can look like it was derived from photography. But not the color!

                                                                Henrik Simonsen

The catalog is from his recent show at the Wally Findlay Gallery. If you`d like to see it, contact me and I`ll email it to you.

At the top of my list of places to see is the John Day Fossil Beds. This National Monument has an artist in residency program but they`ve rejected me twice, so I`ll have to go on my own. If any of you kind visitors have recommendations for lodging or restaurants, I`d love to hear from you! It`s only two hundred miles away  or so but the park is in three separate sections with many miles in between. And not close to any sizable towns, so I`ve always felt stymied in planning a trip. I`m not a camper unless I have to and this might be the time.
This is a part of it from above;

                                                           Painted Hills photo by Q Myers

                                                          Painted Hills photo by Q Myers

Q Myers has other interesting aerial views on his/her Flickr page.

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