Thursday, December 16, 2021

Pierce the Gloom!

                                          Winter Wetland watermedia on paper 14x19 inches

 Yes it`s cold and soggy not to mention DARK, but what can you do? I`ll tell you, put on some proper clothing and go outside!! It`s the only way through, just ask a Scandinavian! They have a whole outdoor winter culture and they are experts with the darkness. The bottle is not the solution, trust me, it`s light that matters. Lights answer the darkness, get lots of them. Twinkling little bulbs lift the spirits far higher than their cheap price would ever suggest. Give your body ten minutes of walking and you can start peeling off layers to wear around your waist. It is so exhilarating to be warm outside in the cold looking at beautiful things. Like the forest which you can now see into because the leaves have fallen. Some intentional kindness to somebody, anybody ratchets up the goodwill like nothing else. To those vulnerable to grief during the holidays, the New York Times suggests making some plans, even lame ones. Be proactive, do not let sadness catch you by surprise. You honor the departed by living the best life you can. Use what they taught you. Keep them alive. Everyone over 30 knows how fast time scoots by. In a mere few weeks now, we will notice the longer days, hear more birds, and see the tree buds everywhere get fat. Our lives are just as valuable in winter, find a way to get right with it. 

We`ve all been through a mass trauma, let`s be gentle with ourselves and others.

                                                  Tidal Surge watermedia on paper 19x14

Finally, an abstract painting that flowed! No anxiety just a great sense of exploration. Some early random pours of ink ignited the construction and then it was a matter of finding a composition using the means I like to see; variety in texture, transparent and opaque areas, clear assertive color playing off subtle neutrals and a balance of light to dark values. It was fun. 

                                                Enter oil on oil paper 12x16 inches

                                                   Fade then Fall oil on oil paper 16x12

                                                 Tree Circle oil on oil paper 16x12 inches

 Three new studies from my walks around Cook`s Butte. Beautiful place that I relied on after my knee infections. I can do a lap near the top with a significant uphill section. I used it to build up my lungs again after being inactive for so long. You get to know a place with repeat exposure.

He sure could see the future. Wonder what he would say about restoring a faith in science? Sometimes I think only a mass tragedy will ever unite our country again. It is so stupid, we share much more than we realize. Because Fox news and MSNBC seem like propaganda machines, I never listen to either. Most Democrats don`t trust Fox so might not realize how demonized we are by them. Every now and then I get a glimpse of the hatred they encourage and it is shocking. What conservatives don`t understand is there is a limit to our patience with Republican attempts to rule the world. If the Supreme Court invalidates Roe vs. Wade, they will awaken a sleeping giant.

  Amy Donaldson`s work has intrigued me for several years. The elements in her paintings are continually repeated yet offer a large variety of content. Emotional content. Just from the titles you can tell there is another intention in the work as well. She might say it is one in the same. Amy is a devout Christian and it is important to her to express that faith not only in the paintings but in texts regarding her or the work. This interests me as I generally have a high opinion of artists and their ability to critically think. The Japanese American Makoto Fujimura is another believer whose work I respect. Both are painting from a sincere impulse and both achieve a depth that I can feel. Maybe because I was also raised to worship Jesus Christ, there is an affinity. My intellect had me rejecting beliefs on closer examination while still a teenager. Not the appalling attitude toward homosexuality you might expect from me but the conflict between a loving God and the necessity of 'salvation'. Couldn`t hold both ideas together but clearly many others have. So in a way, the persuasion in the expression of their work is more credible to me than any argument. Here are some of Amy`s paintings;

 I could live happily with one of these.

                                                                         Tipton oil 30x24

 I`ve been known to annoy other painters by telling them they should stop once their glorious simple underpainting is complete. I really do mean it but a modern painter has set aside studio time as a precious appointment with themselves. If you have 4 hours to give to your practice, you don`t want to hear you`re finished in half an hour. But maybe you should be. Maybe the spirit in your idea is most pure, lovely and immediate in the beginning. Maybe the solution is to have lots of available substrates on hand at all times so as to move on to something else. I do believe more great art has died because of the work ethic than anything else. Maybe if I listened to my own advice the painting above would still exist.

                                                                Natalie K. Nelson

Happy Holidays! The war on Christmas is here!

click HERE for work in my studio for sale

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Someone in Portland just ordered a bunch of stuff. If it was you, thank you!


Maggie Emm said...

Great advice and other nuggets Randall - have a wonderful and colourful Christmas! x

JacMac said...

Randal, another very thought provoking blog. Your take on our society is how I feel but you are able to express it in words so much better than me. I remembered the Carl Sagan’s passage from his book that you put in you blog so I posted it on FB as something I hope people will read. The part about the dumbing down of America is evident every day. We have a teenage grandson who is really good at math and has always been in advanced math. This year in his middle school in Oregon City there are no advanced classes because they want all the kids to be the same. The teacher has to give him extra problems because he is so bored. Or he goes around the class helping those who have a problem. I have a grandson applying for college, no more S.A.T or A.C.T is required. Oregon passed a bill …students don’t have to prove they can read, write or do math!!! WHERE ARE WE GOING AS A COUNTRY! . Personally I am glad I am old, I don’t want to see the future and what we are becoming. Finally, yes I will get out and walk…I have to…wishing you and a happy and healthy new year…Jackie McIntyre