Thursday, June 17, 2021

Oneonta 21

                                     Oneonta 21 watermedia on Yupo 26x40 inches, 66x101.5 cm

 Every time I paint this canyon I wonder if I hurt it. Not that hordes of people are reading Painter`s Process, still, am I contributing to its overwhelming popularity? Pictures like these are not uncommon;

                                                        photo from Oregon

                                                                  photo by Kate Bailey

 Like our National Parks, most beautiful places are being overrun. We are all starved for beauty, what is to be done? I wish I knew. Not even the massive log jam at the start of this little hike discourages ardent nature lovers. And when the trail becomes the stream itself and one is chest deep in the freezing water, you are not alone.

It is a special place with the misfortune of being close to a million individuals and a major interstate highway.

If you get in there, make it count. A slot canyon in one of the few temperate rainforests in the world is beyond unique.

 Just before the pandemic and my change of focus toward abstraction, I painted a large version of Oneonta in oils. The White Bird Gallery used the image in an ad and the painting sold before the magazine published. Someone called the gallery after seeing the ad and was disappointed to hear the painting was already gone. He said to please inform him if I did any other works with this subject. I was told this while between projects with abstraction. Something representational sounded like fun after the confusion of painting abstractions. So I did. The gallery sent him a photo and they have not heard from him. So this Oneonta is for sale.

                                                 Gullfoss watermedia on paper 18x 14 inches

 Another painting of a popular destination, Gullfoss, Icelands mighty waterfall. One of the attractions on the 'Golden Circle', it is without question grand and enormous. The glacial water crashes into a fissure which is mostly out of view. When I saw it in 2016 it was in the evening and the crowds were not thick. The weather was foggy with rain and we had to get close to the edge to understand the geology. Waterfalls abound in that country but this one is different, the scale dwarfs anything in Oregon. 

                                          Morning Music watermedia on Yupo 26x20 inches

 I can`t remember the impetus for this one. Often it`s something simple like a color combination. As much as I love the gestural painting in abstract expressionism, I need forms, shapes, patterns and texture in mine. What I`m searching for is an organizing principle or structure to hold my exploration.

 This is a technical piece of advice for those using watercolor. If you dilute a color to get a lighter value, which is the traditional method, sometimes it won`t have enough 'body' to stay put. Especially on Yupo, it will slide right off. I`ve begun to add gum arabic to my washes. This is the binder holding watercolor paint together. You can buy it in its pure state and include some whenever you need the paint to be a bit more sticky. When used like this, it also allows for better, but still delicate, over painting on Yupo. Wish I would have thought of this decades ago.

 Nearly a month back I was in Nebraska for my long time buddy Todd`s wedding. It was a love fest that even a wall of hot humidity couldn`t wilt. His family was of course there, and I hadn`t seen them in 45 years. I used to live next door to his mother and she was there! At 93! His sisters were not the teenagers I remembered but grandmothers now. As banal as the passage of time is, it`s also completely amazing. The wedding took place on a farm outside of Omaha, on a hill overlooking miles of rolling fields. It was spectacular!

                                                                     Linda and Todd

                                                                         Todd and Randall

                                                    Cottonwoods worthy of New Mexico!

 There`s a little less of me than there was a couple of weeks ago, I had a toe amputated! 
My toes have revolted against the natural order of things and are trying to change places with each other. I`m told this is not uncommon as we age. One of mine was so distorted it had to go if I expected to wear shoes. The convalescence has been tricky. I`m trying to stay off my feet which has meant little painting and more Netflix than I ever would choose ordinarily. As I get older my priorities get simpler. I just want to keep walking.

Here are some paintings that have captured my attention;

                                                a winter nocturne by Matthew Wong

                                                                   by Robert Baribeau

                                                                         by Tu Hongtao

                                                                   by Joanna Logue

 I hope the new subscription service is working out, thanks for your patience!

Click HERE for works for sale in my studio