Saturday, October 29, 2016

October watercolors - O J Bundy - Dakota

                                                     Storm Break watermedia on Yupo 16x16

 My demonstration painting done at the Portland Dick Blick last Sunday to promote the Sitka Invitational. A small but intent group kept me company as I found my way to this. My source material was a tiny sketch I did in Oaks Bottom ten years ago. It was fun showing them how I do it.

                                                Theater of Trees Study watercolor on Yupo 14x11

 This is an ambitious doodle trying to imagine in paint the beautiful sight I witnessed at Minto Brown a couple of weeks ago. Cloudy day and a gloomy forest, with a delicate sapling illuminated within the shadows.

                                                        Bandon Cave Study watercolor on Yupo 12x9

 From my visit to Bandon earlier in the month to retrieve my show from the Coos Art Museum. The southern Oregon coast is quite different from the north, less volcanic and 'softer'. More playground less existential seascape. Closer to California!

 Nearly everyone I know is outraged by the acquittal of the armed invaders of the Malhuer National Wildlife Refuge last winter. The righteous entitlement of this group was utterly discouraging to hear. For 41 days the occupation was front and center in the news of Oregon and all of their time there was televised, tweeted, Facebooked or broadcast. That all were found 'not guilty' of every charge had the bitter sting of injustice. I immediately remembered the verdict of OJ Simpson and the breathtaking horror of him set free. It seems this just invites more right wing religious fanatics to claim what is 'theirs'.
Talk about White Privilege, this is classic.
 It was so baffling and upsetting I figured there was more to the story. Indeed. Prosecutorial over reach. They had to prove a conspiracy and they couldn`t. Lesser charges probably would have produced convictions.

 That the verdict of the Bundy group came as the peaceful protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline were being forcibly disrupted made the week ugly.

If you missed it, listen to Lawrence O`Donnell eloquently remind us exactly how we`ve treated the natives of our country, and what is at stake in North Dakota.

                                                                 Nicolas Sanchez

                                                                 Nicolas Sanchez

                                                                Nicolas Sanchez

                                                               Nicolas Sanchez

 Here`s a gifted artist for you, Nicolas Sanchez. This man is a virtuoso! Exquisite realism to expressionism. When artists of his caliber have such technical prowess, there is a risk of perfectionism. But his humanity leavens the work, the regard he has for his subjects shines through. Watch the video, he has an unusual take on success.

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Untitled Rainforest + Sitka Invitational!

                                            Rainforest Fall oil on canvas 36x50

 I will probably use google translator to help find a different title but not now. The challenge here was keeping this fallen tree, a tree. Not so easy for me! People are always saying my trees are dancers so I worked hard to thwart any creature associations. In the dense forests along the coast, immense specimens will topple in a windstorm and soon be colonized by mosses and ferns. The hole in the canopy allows more light until the surrounding trees close in.

 The annual Sitka Invitational is coming up soon, just days before the election. This is about the best opportunity to see a whole lot of quality landscapes and nature inspired art work, ever! It`s huge!  I`ve written a lot about the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology on the central Oregon coast and this massive exhibition is in support of this worthy institution. They offer terrific unusual classes all summer and artist residencies in winter. I`ve had the great fortune to have painted there for a month, two different times. It sits on a flank of Cascade Head, a biologically diverse and protected rainforest and it is stunning!
 To promote the show, I will be doing a demonstration at the Dick Blick art supply downtown this Sunday [Oct. 23] 1 - 3 pm. I`ll be painting in watermedia, probably on Yupo.
On the last day of the exhibit, Nov. 6, I will speak about my work at 3pm.
Hope you can make it!

 If you haven`t seen it, let the Canadians comfort you in this bitter election season. We`re going to be OK but this sure hurts.

 And let David Hockney explain how image making is utterly human. That wonderful Brit, by the way, has spent a big chunk of his career celebrating America.

This week`s masterpiece is by Karl Klingbiel;

                                                    Lester Leaps In by Karl Klingbiel

 Isn`t that rich?! Oh my god, I could look at it the rest of my life! I love this guy!!

 Cat owners, I suspect that`s all of you who read this, are you tired of those plastic scoops breaking when you`re trying to pry up a urine soaked corner in the litter box? After buying dozens throughout my life, I finally had enough. Behold the Dura Scoop!;

$9.99! I could clean up after a lion with this beauty!

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Sunday, October 9, 2016

Two Watercolors and a road trip

                                                       September Marsh watermedia on Yupo 12x9

 A little corner of Bryant Woods where I walk frequently. Looks nothing like I intended but feels like what I saw. That keeps happening and I think it`s interesting. Same with this one;

                                                            Untitled Iceland watermedia on Yupo 12x9

 I found the south Icelandic landscape to have a raw austerity yet it was lush. Every day was overcast and it often rained. Green mountains like in Kauai rose just beyond bleak windswept beaches. Being there in mid July, I probably saw the island as verdant and benign as it ever is. Watching storms roll over the mountains was a daily experience.

 My show in Coos Bay ended on Oct. 1st and we decided to retrieve it ourselves and make the trip a little holiday. I rented a van and got inside information on the good stuff in Bandon OR. I wanted to be near the ocean and Coos Bay is a port. My source delivered. We stayed in an old motel perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific and the beach below was crowded with sea stacks, riddled with caves! My inner twelve year old flipped out!

 Near minus tides with the weather parting as we arrived and closing in as we left. The drive on OR highway #138 was sublime in the gentle rain.

 Guess what, I won the Lake Oswego plein air prize with my big watercolor "Iron Mountain";

                                                          watercolor on Yupo 26x40

 I had a piece of sheet insulation that was almost the exact same size as a large sheet of Yupo that could be my support. I figured if I worked fast in black and white in sunny weather, I could manage the big dimensions. Here is a process shot;

 I was with my friend Mitch and he was painting me as I painted;

                                                                 by Mitch Burrel

 Really fun plus I won some bucks and a set of Gamblin alkyd oil paints!

  Mary Alice Beard is spending her retirement savings buying my paintings. God bless her. I just sent Metolius Morning to her and she wrote a poem about the painting;

                                         Wordless, the morning sun
                                          slants through the trees,
                                          nudging the river awake.

                                          Waterlight rises.
                                          Dancing ripples push
                                          mystery into the shadows.

                                          Nothing new here.
                                          All is new here.
                                          Behold the day.
                                                                 _Mary Alice Beard 2016

 I love it! The magic in the ordinary. What I hope for in my work.

                                                         Metolius Morning oil on canvas 30x48

Creativity is a birthright and good for your health. Research is proving it too. Check this out.
Ever created in a group? There is a hum of satisfying concentration whether it`s a life drawing session, working outdoors on location,  trying something new in a class, playing music with friends or rehearsing a play. It makes you glad to be alive when you make something.

In my humble opinion, here is a perfect painting;

                                                                      Phillippe Croq

I wish I painted that!

 In this latest Donald Trump scandal of sexual predation, Armistead Maupin gets it right:

 "Here's what I've been noticing: All these panicked Republicans saying: 'As a husband and a father, I'm offended.' How about as a man, period? How about as a human being? To these assholes, women are afforded dignity only if they can be defined somehow as property. MY wife. MY daughter. It all comes back to the man in the end. Always has."

I`ll close on a positive note, kitten in a sink. My brilliant Lyndon.

I`m with her!

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