Saturday, February 17, 2024

slow watercolor

                                              Winter Sunlight watercolor on Yupo 26x20 inches

                                                 Otter Crest watercolor on Yupo 16x20 inches

                                              Winter Light watercolor on Yupo 14x11 inches

                                            Bandon Beach watercolor on Yupo 14x11 inches

 2024 began with uncertainty. A long expected knee replacement now was urgent. This is the final correction in an ordeal that began with partial implants in 2017. Soon after that surgery it was clear that both were infected and that set off a long process involving further surgery and home IV antibiotics. I was a mess but eventually healed. Right now in healthcare, a backlog of procedures that stacked up during the pandemic are still being addressed. I was told I had a seven month wait so asked to be on a waiting list in case of a cancelation. That worked out and I now have a new knee. Preparing for the operation and now recovering have left painting a lower priority. I have vague ideas about new collages and urges to paint the coast, but I`m drifting, doodling, planning and looking as much as painting. The great fact of the moment is how manageable my pain is. Just two weeks ago I had my leg cut in two [so to speak] and I`m already walking down the block. The techniques must have advanced and I think the surgeon must have executed his job really well. He told John he had to cut through lots of scar tissue and that my recovery would be painful. But it`s not. Dumbfounded and grateful, I know all too well what it`s like when these projects go south.

 Otter Crest up above, was painted with a time limit. I`ve done this sporadically and have to say I like what happens.  What I`m not sure of is how to integrate this looser approach. My process is based on constant revisions and thoughtful response to what is happening in the moment. I use a hairdryer often to arrest the paint, make it slow down . Yupo is so smooth, the paint obeys gravity, not me. So the way forward might be to delay my editing impulse and let the confusion flow longer before I try to organize it.

                                                                        RDT and Carter

  My brother Mike says the only people who don`t like cats have never been loved by one. Reality is sometimes that simple. Both my guys have been super attentive as I lurched around the house with my walker. Daily, they offer to me the experience of deeply loving something. That`s no small thing. Our pets make us be better versions of ourselves. Less inward and more generous.

 Less than a month ago, this was a sickening common sight The ice storm was preceded by extremely strong wind and temperatures in the teens. Then ice fell on top of the snow and all predictability was gone. 

Medical people are needed in any circumstances so John slipped on the ice trying to get to work. After his shift, an X-ray showed a fracture in his wrist. As unfortunate as that was it was minor compared to the tragedy of trees falling into homes. A modest house in my neighborhood was cleaved in half by a massive Douglas Fir. These very tall trees were the original source of wealth in the new Oregon Territory, and they were and are, everywhere. If you live in a frame house it`s likely the timber came from the Northwest. So in these extreme weather events, few homes are out of reach if these trees go down. Like the big earthquake that is coming, it`s not something to dwell on. We prepare as best we can. The storms seem to be increasing in frequency and people are adapting.

I had to get down my icy front steps too and I had the idea that if I put a towel on the ice I could step on it. It worked! After getting down I tossed them back to the top, in reach, to reuse when I returned. As soon as stores are restocked, I will buy coarse salt to keep our pathways clear. We have already bought cleats for our shoes. Ice is serious.

                                                          Edward Reginald Frampton

 Isn`t this magnificent?! I had no knowledge of his work when I found this. The concise sections of landscape with their clear color and complex design, beneath that soaring sky seduced my attention. I love it in the same way as Indian Mughal painting, jewel like with intricacies to explore. 

                                                               Vincent Van Gogh

 I love Van Gogh, who doesn`t? His earnest work grabs you at the heart. But it`s in his drawings that his pure genius shows most clearly. First of all this was done with a pen and ink. One color. The variety of tone and texture is staggering. There are two human figures and a flock of sheep but this is not a narrative. It`s the raw vitality of those dormant trees which is the subject, they bristle with energy. Seems he had direct access to the source of life.


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