The week before I was practicing and this was one of those pieces. I wanted my demonstration at the White Bird Gallery to be credible. It was an 'event' in the first Earth and Ocean Arts Festival which was timed to coincide with last weeks Climate Strike.
Somehow, somewhere deep in our collective psyche, something turned. Did you feel it?
This was the demo I began at the gallery. Below is how it looked when I stopped for the day.
Believe it or not, I thought it was really promising when I concluded.
A reader of this blog asked me to record it live on Facebook. She said it was easy and it was. I taped my phone to a tripod and commenced painting. In my last post I mentioned I would try this so there were some viewers waiting. I chose a generic northwest forest as my subject because the motif is familiar. I learned the hard way to do something without too many surprises when demonstrating. Nonetheless, right from the start I had a major change of plans. Yupo has to be handled very carefully. If you touch it bare handed the oils on your skin will leave an area that resist the paint. Knowing this, I cleaned the surface carefully the night before. To no avail. My first strokes seized up as if I were painting on a waxed floor. The whole surface! The show must go on so I got out some acrylic medium to mix with the watercolor and squeezed out acrylic paint all around my mixing palette. This would have to be an acrylic painting. Improvisation is what I do and disastrous experiments are common in my studio. This time I just had an audience.
Rather than having to figure out how to verbally explain my actions, I like it if I have questions. Christopher Mathie sat close by and we had a nice conversation while I painted.
It is saved on my Randall David Tipton Studio page. If you take a look, two other videos show up first. They were done very crudely in my studio. Someone who had been watching earlier wanted me to proceed with the demo painting, so I tried to oblige her. I couldn`t find an option to just take a video, only one that would broadcast live. That would be ok I thought, no one knows I`m doing it. Wrong! Soon I was getting comments and some complaints about the lighting and hearing from people I had not had contact with for years! Sarah Peroutka watched it from her sleeping bag while camping! It was a real mess but also kind of fun.
Pig and Pancake
That is my husband John.
Twenty years ago I answered his personal ad on Yahoo. The whole online dating industry was still many years away. We had a long funny talk on the phone and agreed to meet at a Starbucks near his home. I had seen his photo and he was not there when I arrived. Considering myself a good judge of character, I was surprised. After waiting twenty minutes I asked the barista if there was another Starbucks nearby. He said 'oh yes, right around the corner'. Soon I saw him sitting in the sun and there, for the first time, he said 'you`re late'.
Within a few months he had a key to my apartment and I began to notice his stuff in my closets. I`d come home from the restaurant late in the evening and he would be there. My experience with healthy romantic relationships was zero. But I had been diligent in pursuing why in therapy. When he sprang off the couch to clean up my diabetic cats vomit, I knew he was a keeper. They bonded before I did, also a good sign.
So we count our time together from the day we met. Twenty years ago there was no cultural recognition of our kind of relationship. No rites of passage or celebrations except for the ones we created ourselves.
Any marriage is a leap of faith. When they hold, over and again, it is so humbling.
That man reading his phone while waiting for breakfast is exactly who I want.
That is one of his last works, painted shortly before his death.
If you like his influential work, here is a wonderful essay by Diebenkorn`s student Tony Berlant. [He is phenomenal in his own right]
Click HERE for work for sale in my studio
Prints from Fine Art America