Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017, ready or not

                                                        December Forest 2016 oil on panel 26x24

 My last painting of 2016.
I went for a walk the other day on Cook`s Butte and found the hill enclosed by fog. Then it started to burn off creating a transcendent moment of beauty;

I`ve seen so many beautiful sights up there! It`s usually my exercise destination because I can get an uphill work out which is good for my heart. A couple of years ago I was running  through those forests. Not now! I`m scheduled for partial knee replacement surgery in two weeks. My surgeon said I could do both  but I`ve been advised by others not too. When the pain of recovery was graphically described to me by another doctor, I thought I can`t do this at all! I`m not miserable! But the truth is my joints have aged really quickly and I will need this sooner or later. I`m groping for a better attitude.

                                                                   Christmas River

 Many many hours invested in this! At Christmas, its festive quality made me think it might someday be good. Then I got completely sick of it and it now is buried underneath 'December Forest 2016'. I hate that feeling of defeat!
So what did I learn? Orange and 'rust' are difficult together!

                                                          November Morning oil on panel 26x24

 In November I received 10 beautiful cradled panels made for me by Matt at Art Substrates. I`ve painted six of them now and may order some more. Their only downside is the weight. If you paint, try a prepared wooden panel if you haven`t. To me it seems more responsive than canvas. Transparent passages are especially fun with the layering of color.

 A few months ago I realized I was eligible for Social Security. When I checked the difference between collecting now or in three years, it wasn`t that much. I do a lot of running around in the service of my vocation, it isn`t easy to sell paintings. I thought, why not push a little less?
Yes!, sign me up!
And it`s fantastic! The money just appears in my bank account! The bad news is I may make too much to collect at my age. In fact I may have to pay some back, I`ll know when I do my taxes. Meanwhile I`ve bought some art!

                                                        Pond, Sunny Day by Robert Lafond

 I love Robert`s work! Several years ago he worked mostly in pastel and they were electric. This one I`ve wanted for years. Check out his Etsy shop, there are dozens just as good.

 He`s coming and there is no stopping it. The national seppuku is about to commence.
Should he have a good idea, I will support it.
The man himself deserves no support. You do not lie about an entire culture and say you saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on 9/11/2001. No one saw that because it didn`t happen. You don`t hound the president sowing doubt about his very citizenship just because of his race. To undermine him regardless of how it hurts the country. These are violations of the under appreciated 9th commandment 'Do not bear false witness against your neighbor'. The president-elect does this reflexively. That is evil.
The Republican Party is poised to exploit the average American on a scale we`ve never seen. God help us.
 Mental health experts agree that when a society suffers an upheaval, there is great purpose and meaning to be had in helping others. What I want for myself is a way to resist and be heard, to protect the rights of all of us and not be utterly depressed for four years. We will see.

 What we need is a cosmic caballero!

                                                            Galactic Rider by Alice Brasser

work for sale in my sudio


Libby Fife said...


Gosh, numbers two and three are really different somehow. But I like all of them. Your thoughts about the forest and atmosphere really grab my attention.

About your knees. My thought is that whatever procedure or product is available to me to improve my life as I grow older, sign me up! Do it now so I can continue to do what I want. And I am glad Social Security is there for you. Cherish it now!

I had dinner last night with an acquaintance who voted for Trump. His logic in doing so bewildered me-and he is a smart guy, someone I respect. Ready or not is right!

Happy New Year to you. I look forward to seeing your wonderful work in 2017.

Mitch said...


I love all your forest/fog paintings, and this one is no exception. And perhaps if you give yourself some space from the Christmas River painting you will change how you feel about it; sometimes when we are too close to a difficult thing, it is hard to see what others will see.

As for being discouraged by the coming year of Trump and the ruination of much that we feel is good, Loriann Signori ( has a nice post today about Toni Morrison and how artists need to work even harder when times are tough like this, how it is the job of the artist to help society heal.

But about your knee surgery: I hope you aren't having second thoughts about it. It took so long to get to this point. There may be a few days shortly after where it is hard to get down the stairs to your studio, but from what I am told, many people are right back walking around, just dealing with the pain of the muscles and tendons getting readjusted after being moved around for the implants. And you can gve a shout-out to friends if you need anything.

Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Randall!
I appreciate your images from cooks butte , a place I like to go but am not able to visit lately. I too, am scheduled to have both knees replaced and understand your apprehension. Surgery will allow you to continue your outdoor discoveries with less pain. No surgery will eventually limit your activity and quality of life . You go first and I will follow you bravely!!!
Your Christmas River probably has too much emotion and expectation attached , hence you are disappointed . Maybe change the name?, let it rest & and don't force it to be something perfect (yet) ! I have hope for you and the painting to evolve to a peaceful place!

E.M. Corsa said...

Love those foggy images.
I am in the same boat as you but I too signed up for Social Security while it's still available!
My friend just had knee surgery and it wasn't too bad. She did one at a time and then did her hips. You will do fine since you seem to be in good health.
Happy New Year my friend. I refuse to think about what's coming. Just going to go out and paint and try very very hard not to get too depressed about it all.

RH Carpenter said...

What a gorgeous bunch of beautiful bounteous bouquets you shared with us today. (Not sure where all those b's came from - perhaps they just escaped a hive somewhere?). I love foggy days and they do impart a mystical feeling - like something "different" just might happen. Perhaps it will be foggy the day DT is inaugurated? The magic couldn't hurt, I'm sure. I know your fear and delay about the knee - at some point, I will have to have heart valve replacements and I am putting that off as long as I possibly can, hoping they come up with some wonderful new way to do it other than cracking my chest open!!! I am a wimp when I get a cold - I can't imagine what I'd be like through that!!! Not a good one for pain, either, although I've definitely had my share. Our body parts can be replaced but we wimps don't like to think about that stuff! ha ha. I hope you make the right decision for you - You are wise to do one at a time and you may find your fear is much greater than the actual event. You can send your worries to my new WorryEater doll, Saggo (see my latest post for her picture and her job in my life - which I am extending to my friends and their worries, too).
Take care, be strong, paint and create and love. What more can we do? :). Big hugs for you for the New Year - 2017, here we come!

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Randall,
I'd offer a Happy New Year, but I'm not convinced it's possible. What I really want to say is taking Social Security at age 63 sure has worked for us. It's made life in pricey Hawaii possible and that's a good thing.
Best of luck with everything, though, looking at your work over the years, you don't need it.