Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Flavors of Gratitude

                                           Rainforest March watercolor on Yupo 26x40

 When something is good as in sublime, I never expect it repeated. So when I had a second walk up Falls Creek six years after the first, I was curious what the experience would be like. I never thought I would see it again after reports of catastrophic fires in the area. Yet it had survived and on the cold, cloudy, late winter day I returned, it was still jewel like. The temperate rainforests in the Northwest are unusual. The deciduous forests are bare in winter but because of the mild temperatures and frequent rains, they are outrageous with their neon green mosses and ferns. Visually stunning and hard to believe, the trees are distorted by clumps of vegetation all along the trunks. My legs were a mess then so my 'hike' was slow and aided with a cane but so beautiful I was consciously grateful for my life. That is too rare a realization.
 Now our great national holiday celebrating gratitude is upon us. Just the concept seems at odds with our nation at the moment. If ever there was a time to let our differences be, this is it. We all love our country. Eat well and reflect on some of our many blessings. The good stuff we did not earn.

                                          November Grove watercolor on Terraskin 12x12

 After a little trip to the coast I began this as a seascape. On the beach I had watched the sun struggle to break into view. My effort to portray that cloud formation was not working but it reminded me of the autumn leaves still lingering in the forest. So I carved out some trees with a wet brush and suddenly I have this soft elegiac painting before me. I`m not sure what I think of it but there has been no urge to fix anything.

                                                                   Larry Poons

The once renowned minimalist painter, Larry Poons, is the subject of a new film on HBO called 'The Price of Everything'.  In it he claims art is not business, something I`ve believed for a long time. Success in painting happens in the studio, success as a painter, is a matter of commerce. There is a whole lot of effort from all sides to blur this distinction yet it is true. Ask Larry.

                                                           Aronua by Larry Poons

 With that in mind, why did I decide to whore my work all of the sudden?
Because of a beach towel.
One with a fabulous Ferdinand Hodler landscape of an alpine lake. I love his work and seeing it on a towel seemed like the coolest thing I`d ever seen. Fine Art America was offering this item and many other printed products. The wheels turn. I have a dozen high resolution images just sitting on their asses on my hard drive. Why not put them to work? Why not partake in a little commerce now that the paintings are long finished? This was once an anathema but change is inevitable, right?
Now I may wake up tomorrow as my former high minded self and withdraw the merchandise. But for now, if you need a Tipton mug or a forest shower curtain, you will find one here.

The 2018 Portland Open Studios has come and gone. Although there was enough income, there were not enough visitors. It`s impossible to paint while waiting. Driving south out of Portland is too much to ask unless there is a cluster of artists to visit. This year there were only two in my community so I don`t think I`ll participate again. I`m talking with some local artists about a studio tour in just Lake Oswego. Anyone know of a guide for organizing such a thing?

                                                                   by Jo Bertini

 The Australian artist Jo Bertini paints the landscapes of her country with great economy and sensitivity. She doesn`t depict what she sees, she creates an equivalent. That is modernism.
As colorful as her work is, it`s used to intensify her response to the sensory conditions in her environment. To me she achieves a sense of lonely magic with that vast arid land.

                                                                by Jo Bertini

                                                                by Jo Bertini

 Yelp is certainly helpful but there are other ways to find good places to eat. In Six Rules for Eating Out, Tyler Cowen gives us observations and strategies to finding delicious food when we are away from home. His ideas are really useful. I don`t travel a lot but this issue can vex me mightily, usually when I`m already grouchy with hunger.

                                                                 by Mitch Burrell

 Yep, that`s moi!
Mitch was painting lots of portraits from photos and I kept egging him to work from life. Finally I told him I would sit for an hour. To give him the experience. I figured it would be much different. He said it was and he certainly got my likeness. Unlike in photography, the soul remains with the sitter.

Seattle Workshop Feb 2 and 3

Prints from Fine Art America

Work for Sale in my Studio


Gretchen Dewire said...

I love your blogs almost, but not quite as much as I love your paintings.

Jo Reimer said...

You don’t need an organization to put on an open studio. Gather your fellow artists, decide on a set of days, email your peeps with an evite and Boom! They will come. We’ll talk about it.
I love the idea of a shower curtain. We need one for the farmhouse... I’ll talk to Jill and see if it’s in the budget. Great idea!

Maggie Emm said...

Love the November Grove - it feels like the spirit of autumn held in the trees...and the painting of you somehow captures more of the you I imagine than your photos do - that steady, deep enquiry into the nature of things.
Great Snoopy cartoon - I found that on Facebook too!

Libby Fife said...

If ever there was a perfect image for a shower curtain, you picked it! The whole bathroom could be a rain forest scene (although I am not sure about doing all of my business in a pseudo rain forest so maybe not?).

I like J Bertini's work too and follow her on Instagram. Her landscapes are rather magical.

Please tell Mitch he did a great job. There is an underlying Randall-ness that he captured that I don't think could have been gotten from a photo.There really is some truth to being present with the subject matter.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. I hope the day goes smoothly:)

Mitch said...

I love the idea of Tipton art on shower curtains, mugs, beach towels!!! I hope it proves to be a successful avenue to get your images out there and maybe a little income stream, as well. I've already made my first purchase.
As always, your blog posts are so jam-packed with sensitive reflection and uplifting images; it is never a disappointment.
Apparently, Thanksgiving was originally celebrated in 1863, when Abraham Lincoln felt that the country was so divided we needed something to bring us back together. Of course, that was still in the middle of the Civil War, so I doubt that the southerners were sharing the table with the Union. I hope that today we can hope to heal so of the animosity that is threatening our unity.

RH Carpenter said...

I’m grateful for the artists in the world - and you are definitely one of those who bring beauty into the world with your work :). I don’t mind that you are selling your work on beach towels, etc - why not? And the portrait of you is great (as is your two paintings - I don’t think you need do anything else to the second, it looks well done to me). Hope you had a good Thanksgiving.