Friday, February 23, 2018


                                                      Bryant Woods November watermedia on Yupo 14x11

                                                         Ice Fog Shadow watermedia on Yupo 14x11

 These were my successes over the last couple of weeks, and they came quickly. Others were labored relentlessly with unconvincing results. I wondered if the process with these two forests was nicely fluid through mastery or merely repetitious. My bottom line is simple, do I want to look at what I`ve done? Both of these held my attention. If I floss and brush my teeth looking at the photo of the painting I just did on my phone,  it`s a good sign I made something worthy. So I`m the guy who paints trees, I accept that.

                                                         Mountain Tower watermedia on paper 24x18

 I began this piece still enthralled with my new inks. Everything was a jeweled color for a while but it was looking more like a poster from the 60s than  a landscape. The sky was a vivid pink that I liked for a few hours before realizing how 'cheap' it looked. So one by one my brilliant colors became altered, less intense and more like me. I`m not sure what, if anything, to do next.

                                                         Poplars in a Field watermedia on Yupo 14x11

 I moved on to this motif which had intrigued me 20 years ago. Sauvie Island is one of the few places other than the coast where we can finally see some vast space. No trees or buildings in the way. I tried to remember the experience of painting plein air there in the summer. Wonderful afternoons sitting in the breezy shade, smelling the green and being deeply content. But what I painted seems more like a golf course than the sublime island I love.

 The three amigos show 'Nature Perceived' opened today at the Grants Pass Art Museum. The real party is next Friday the 2nd of March during the community monthly Art Walk. All of the illustrious artists will be present. Hope to see you there!

                                                                      Rose by Elisabeth Cline

 Another friend, Elisabeth Cline, has created a new web page dedicated to showcasing her intensely intimate portraits of roses. They are so sensual, gazing too long seems like an invasion of privacy. Take a look at her remarkable flowers.

                                                                   by Elmer Bischoff

 This is a favorite of mine by the Bay Area Figurative Movements own founding father, Elmer Bischoff. I`m so drawn to this portrait because of the gentle sensitivity of the artist. With a bare minimum of shape, color and line, he gives us a young woman of extraordinary beauty and intelligence. She stands there bearing our stares without any loss of herself. She`s busy thinking. Enlarge the image to see how casually perfect each smudge is in defining the character in her face.
Of the three heavyweights of the movement, he is the least sung. Only now am I curious, and I don`t know why. His thoughtful lyrical paintings often explore the relationships of figures within his paintings and yet they resist a narrative;

                                                                     by Elmer Bischoff

Such a great painter!

 I`m posting a picture of my leg braces to advocate for their effectiveness. John took a photo of me wearing them but it was too real. My isolated knees looked like huge pale raisins. Not pretty. But I want to report how well they work. They are called 'off loaders' and somehow they keep the bones in the knee from banging on each other. Like any medical device, they are ridiculously  expensive. My insurance covered it because John is a nurse and his union won for the nurses a humane reasonable contract. Yay unions!! That being said, I`d imagine there is a healthy market for such mechanical devices that have been used. Once the problem is solved, no one is going to even want to see these anymore. They are making a dramatic difference for me now as I wait for a new surgery.

                                                           the happy Alexander Calder home

 Here is a photo essay of the protean sculptor Alexander Calder`s home and studio. He knew how to have the best life possible by making things. That`s the secret right there. It`s not acquiring stuff but creating new things that causes happiness.

work for sale in my studio

Friday, February 9, 2018

The Storm is Coming

                                                The Storm is Coming watermedia on Yupo 11x14

 More ink play.
I was looking over my new work and there seemed to be a lot of gray and pink. Yes it`s winter and that might be the reason I`ve been craving pure clear color. February often has mild sunny weather that can make one ache for summer. I`m usually immune being winter`s cheerleader but this year I could use some rich bright color. Ink is the answer. But the stuff is intense and figuring out how to integrate it into my work is a challenge. The landscape is not full of primary colors. The piece above was once extremely saturated and cheap was the affect. When I muted it, it came alive. Probably just my lonely Nordic soul looking for my Mediterranean mate.
Here was another attempt at high keyed color;

                                                        Bryant Woods November oil on Yupo 14x11

 The last remnant of autumn in late November is so special. What color remains is isolated now and bittersweet in the dying vegetation. I love being in the wet forest at this time. If I`m warm, I have a cozy, homey intimacy with the trees as I`m walking along.
So that`s what I tried to paint but I`m not sure I got it.
Hitting that expressive unequivocal sweet spot of color just short of overkill is my goal.

She had cut my hair twice, we had walked together and she was the mother in law of our handyman Joe. But it wasn`t until I looked closely at her website did I understand who she was. I had been aware of P A Jones of Texas for a long time. Peggy now lives in West Linn and we`re buddies!

                                                                  painting by P A Jones

 My local plein air group, Las LOPAS, will be happy to have her join us. Anyone can join us! Talking shop with other painters in the cool morning sun of summer can`t be beat.

Speaking of Handyman Joe, if anyone local needs a fix it guy, he is the One! He repaired a hundred year old ceiling in my upstairs guestroom. cleaned our gutters, repaired our screen door, helped me with a framing issue in my studio, took stuff to the dump and built this sturdy little hand rail;

 I will need this after my surgery. Last year I was helpless to get down off our porches without assistance. This little addition will mean 'freedom', right when I need it most.
Joe is smart and very professional. Text me for his number. [me-503-380-4731]

                                                               Quincy Jones by Art Streiber

 If you haven`t read the profane, eye opening interview with Quincy Jones in the online magazine Vulture yet, I highly recommend it. Such a fascinating, behind the curtain look at the music industry! This guy has known everybody.

                                                                    by Richard Diebenkorn

 This is the most charming little painting I`ve ever seen by the master. I suspect it is in a sketchbook he carried on a European trip. When his wife Phyllis died a couple of years ago she donated his sketchbooks to Stanford. You can see them with this link.

                                                             Over the Sea 28 oil on panel 12x12

new additions to my
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