Monday, February 22, 2016

New Work No Titles

                                                                      1. oil on canvas 20x16

                                                                   2. oil on canvas 20x16

 Same old problem, what to title new paintings of familiar subjects?
I`ll get to it later.
Every painting begins with an intention that originates from an experience. How they conclude is more often than not quite different. There is a point in the process where to insist on the 'vision' would sacrifice what is happening before me, the true pleasure of exploration. Forget about the idea that launched it! Funny thing though, it usually circles back around and reclaims the most important part.
 The wetlands in #1 were inspired by the Fanno Creek marshes near where they join the Tualatin River. They`re near my home and I visit a lot in winter. What I love about them is the dense variety. So many textures and colors doubled by the reflections and amplified by the bird sounds! And so inhospitable to anything heavy! Like me as I sink into the mud. When I paint them, I want to layer all the elements into an interconnected teeming whole. So while I may have photos or sketches of particular clumps of grasses and trees, ultimately they may be included or not as I grope toward something serene yet kinetic.
 #2 comes from viewing the autumn color against the bright reflections of clouds on the river. I began by including the wavering reflections of trees and soon realized it was too confusing. In removing them my vividly colored leaves were visually unanchored. So I added chunks of green vegetation with spidery stems linking each mass together. Now it doesn`t exactly look like what I saw, but the buoyancy of that sunny Fall day is there.

 As this election season came to life I thought, this year I`m going to vote from my heart. I`m going to vote for Bernie Sanders. He has walked his talk for decades and his decency is obvious.
I believe politics is the real world enactment of our spiritual values. This is why I`m a Democrat. My Dad explained it very simply, 'Democrats are for the little guy'. This is also in accord with the Christian teachings I was raised with.
So I planned to vote for Bernie in the primary and I hoped his success would keep Hillary humble and honest. I believe it has. Then I read this article claiming a vote for Sanders was a vote for Trump. That`s so provocative! But it made sense and caused me to remember the McGovern campaign I worked on in 1972. That good man was slimed beyond recognition, he never had a chance. The same would happen with Sanders I fear. I`ve decided it`s not worth the risk. President Trump? That is too scary to imagine.

                                                             Miroco Machiko

 I`m crazy about Miroco! She completely turns distinctions between illustration and fine art on their head! She`s bold and playful, inventive and fearless! Such fresh air!

 This photo is so painterly! The color alone is gorgeous and the composition is both stylized and dynamic! 'Dalmatian Pelicans' by Marko Konig

work for sale in my studio

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Camassia Oaks

                                                        Camassia Oaks oil on canvas 20x16

 I`ve painted these three oaks several times but never felt I succeeded. So when I was in Camassia last week, I stood on a rock above them and studied them carefully. I`m getting closer.

Laura Foster became my friend years ago after she bought a painting. When we met, she told me she wrote walking guidebooks. Later while shopping I saw "Portland Hill Walks" at Fred Meyer [northwest mega grocery store] and I bought it.
This was way more than maps and landmarks, it was crammed full of history, cultural context, botanical and architectural details, vintage photography and practical information such as where to get a drink of water and use a restroom. John and I would do one of the 'walks' every Sunday followed by Burgerville. The Oregon City walk was one surprise after another, sort of like a scavenger hunt.
 The morning after my mother died and my studio flooded she was at my house  hauling away wet cardboard, organizing my packing supplies and offering needed moral support. Within an hour, her wonderful hydrologist husband Kevin arrived and assessed the situation and told me what I would need to do. Though I refused to even shake his hand, he still caught the wicked chest cold I had.
True, selfless friends.
Laura is publishing a new book on the Columbia River Gorge and I can`t wait to get a hold of it. I want to know where to go that does not involve a waterfall! And where to eat!! When we`re living in Camas, the Gorge will be near and beckoning, and I know the guide will be super helpful. Watch her describe the book in this video.

 You visitors that are artists, listen up. Imagine you get out of bed in the morning and before you`ve even had your coffee, you`re at the kitchen table drawing! Yes drawing, dreaded drawing! I swear, this Procreate drawing app with the pressure sensitive drawing stylus is mesmerizing! No more tedium! Putting in a background color is instantaneous, shading is fast and easy, corrections are immediate! I could spend all day with this thing! Its great advantage is there is no artifact. And that is precisely why I don`t give it all my time. I need to make a living. But for 'research' such as life drawing and location studies, it is ideal.
This was a quick one;

                                                                Oswego Lagoon-Ipad

This is how I did it;

Here are a couple of others;

                                                            Oregon Refuge-ipad

                                                                    Forest Details-Ipad

 Now that we finally have an open door with Cuba, I hope to see one of the lyrical, dreamlike paintings of Tomas Sanchez some day.

                                                                         Tomas Sanchez

Ongoing through March during regular business hours at the Johnstone Financial Advisors;

work for sale in my studio

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fanno Creek February

                                               Fanno Creek February oil on canvas 30x24

 My first painting of Feb., from the acre or so of wetlands where Fanno Creek joins the Tualatin River. [Easy to get to from Durham Park] Certain little places in the landscape grab and hold me, this is one.

We`re planning to move to Camas WA in the Fall to be nearer to my family. The hospice experience with my Mom made me realize I wanted to be closer to my brother and sisters in law. We worked so well together in caring for her.
But I will miss the special places in and around Lake Oswego I`ve become attached to.

 And speaking of Mom, she left her sons a little money! It is a bittersweet gift because she worried she`d outlive her funds but she didn`t.
Now I`m spending it and this would please her.
We`ve ordered a new sofa which is being made in a neighboring community.
I bought a painting! This is something I rarely do because I already have a couple  thousand paintings of my own. Look at this gem!;

                                                                 Melody Cleary

 There is no way I can look at this and not feel better. Thank you Melody!

In December I was in the home of Ruth Armitage and she showed me her new Ipad Pro as well as her snazzy new drawing stylus which she used with the drawing app called Procreate. I have used Art Rage and Brushes and found them complicated and frustrating while using my finger as the 'pencil'. But David Hockney, who is older than me, had mastered them so I kept trying. Ruth said Procreate was easy and she handed it to me. Within seconds I could tell this was altogether different. The great innovation was the pressure sensitive stylus. This allows for all the nuance in human emotion that comes through the hand. And it`s fast! So I just bought one too and I`m very excited. It will be terrific to take out on location with my plein air friends. These are my first attempts;

 Separated by an ocean and a continent, I have finally found my soulmate in painting. She lives in London but loves what I love. Elizabeth McGill paints the ambiance of forests and parks through painterly, expressive means;

                                                                 Elizabeth Mcgill

 Nice little reception last night at the Johnstone Financial Advisors. Turns out deep blue is the optimal color to display my work against!  The building is a wonderful example of optimistic, flamboyant 1970`s architecture. Take a look, get some advice!

work for sale in my studio