Friday, November 20, 2015

A Question of Size

One of the great pleasures of plein air painting is watching the expanse of a view appear on a small canvas. This tiny painting is only 4" x6", done some months ago, but, it immediately recalls to my mind the freshness of that autumn afternoon and the breathless speed of the brushstrokes. 

Many, many elements contribute to the experience of a work of art.  One of the most fascinating, for me, is scale.  There is so much to consider on this subject, that I'm sure I'll return to it often in this blog, but suffice it to say that my interest began years ago when I discovered that a work I thought was huge (the iconic Red Poppy by Georgia O'Keefe) was really quite small.  Since she painted the subject several times, various dimensions are reported.  The painting that became the image on the stamp, the one that I thought surely had to be monumental was really a rather modest 30x36 and a similar one, I was told, was much smaller, although I cannot verify that.
       What I do know, is that this image, the Red Poppy, looms large in the mind - in our individual mind, and in the shared experience of our cultural mind -and this phenomenon is a kind of metaphor for our current world where every tune, phrase, image and concept goes viral.   It's a very curious phenomenon.

        My little painting, a momentary capture, is utterly inconsequential, having only personal significance of memory and experience - but it makes me wonder - and perhaps on this tiny scale, it speaks, or whispers, of the essence of art.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Returning . . . and a New Beginning

Ahh, Returning,

Well, as we all know, you can never step into the same river twice.  And since I seem to be blogging with the impressively dedicated discipline of once every six months (or so) it should be no surprise that the path, and the tumbling stream, has covered quite some territory.   The future as a gleaming path of snow, ah, what a dream!  (actually delusional -  sweet, but not very interesting).  Even the more challenging unexplored field, now seems more like a fun trek.) The past few months  ( literally exactly five months today)  have presented some of the most physically and emotionally traumatic experiences of my life!

But, here I am, Returning, with eyes wide open to survey the gleaming  field of a new Beginning.   My energy is fueled by the two simple phrases that stay deeply and permanently in my mind -   the first, (which I made up for myself to carry me through life's assorted difficulties), has become my personal mantra:  "Rise above and go beyond"  and the second:  "Renew yourself everyday".

I share these because they helped bring me back here, to the studio, to the work, to the ever emerging beginnings. The pain and traumas I referred to are unimportant.  It doesn't matter what happened - it only matters that things happened, that I survived and my recovery is slow but steady, and that these past five months have left me profoundly changed.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Future Lies Before You . . .

Many (many!) years ago, the most perfect girl in my class wrote this lovely, and ominous, poem in my yearbook and the words have echoed in my mind throughout the years.

"The future lies before you like a gleaming path of snow,
Be careful where you tread, for every step will show"

Standing in that old classroom, I imagined the vision she saw when she thought of these words - an elegantly curving garden path glowing with a coating of 2 1/2 - 3" of pristine whiteness waiting for her impeccably shod little foot to  trace the delicate line of her passage to perfection.

I was horribly intimidated.  

Don't get me wrong.  I liked this girl.  I wanted to be like her, but, reading this poem, I knew - with this message, the jig is up!  - She knows the truth about me - she knows!-  I'm messy!  :-(( !  and in her exquisite kindness she was warning me. 

Immediately after imagining her vision, I saw my own vision and, omg! no path!  In my mind I was standing somewhere in a wilderness and, from an elevated vantage point, overlooking a vast wind swept field stretching to the far distant horizon.  Was it beautiful?  Oh, God, yes.  There were places of smooth gleaming whiteness, but also rocks, and rough patches, hills and slopes... but, no path!

Years later, I found another version of the poem which read, "a gleaming field of snow".   Mmm, that I could relate to, but by then, I had learned to ski, jump, run around, fall down, get back up, roll around, dance and carry on in every direction and in every condition. 

so now it's
January 1, 2015
(and I have also learned
the future always lies before you.) 

It's been a long journey from that schoolroom and I am so grateful that  my personal field of gleaming snow has been reflected and celebrated on canvas.  This year and this month mark a significant passage for me.  

I have chosen this small landscape of an field of snow to start this year's blog specifically because it was done very early in the morning and celebrates one of our greatest blessings, the curious miracle we all know - the beginning of a new day. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Looking for a Studio Assistant. . . "

YESTERDAY'S POST (tues.Oct.14) :
(... I am looking for a studio assistant (or two!). No money to be exchanged, but I promise to make it a valuable creative experience.
This would be ideal for a student artist, but would also be wonderful for an adult with time on their hands (retired, or maybe kids at school).
I'm in Old Fort, just two miles from Rt. 40.
828 803 4858

TODAY'S POST  (wed. Oct. 15)
RE - "Looking for a studio assistant" . . . .
I forgot to mention, the Perks! In exchange for the time you spend on the tasks you perform as studio/marketing assistant, you will enjoy the following benefits:
*#1 Free art lessons! As anyone who has come through my door can tell you, I love to teach and I will love to see you flourish as an artist.
*#2 Free studio space! My home is my studio and there are plenty of spaces for you to work.
*#3 You will want to have your own materials, but while you are learning a new technique or medium, I'm happy to let you "play with my toys"
I truly believe this will be a valuable, pleasurable and ultimately profitable experience for anyone who gets involved. Call or email me and we'll talk about the possibilities.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"I'm back"

And I'm really making great progress with my grand plan of having everything properly organized . . .  well, maybe a few glitches -

They used to think it was the turpentine that drove painters mad.  It wasn't.  Today I know it's trying to make sense of nine thousand small paintings  4x6, 8x10, 5x7, 7x7, 8x8, etc. 9x12 etc. 12x12, 6x12 etc …. take their pictures, write the descriptions, save to files, and match them up with mats and frames.  oh, don't forget to post them here and there,  oh, and blog, don't forget to blog . . . It's so easy to be an artist!  All you have to do is….. (madness has nothing to do with turpentine!)