Thursday, December 31, 2009


Hello everyone - be sure to leave comments about the work - I'm hoping to establish a dialogue among painters and folks who love paintings - kind of a virtual artist's cafe. Go ahead, help start the ball rolling - and thanks for visiting.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Autumn Creek
oil on panel
9" x 7"
"Its alright to let yourself go as long as you can let yourself back."
Mick Jagger
The trick, when painting outdoors, is that there are no tricks. Everything is in flux and there are no shortcuts and no formulae. Only the exploration of the truth. This is what attracts me most of the time, this absence of repetition or certainty. One must relearn the whole thing all over again as one tries to let go of preconception or knowledge. It is this plunging -in while abandoning the worry of result or product that frees the painter to the total absorption in the moment, the light, the space, the energy. It is discovering an approach to physics from the non-mathematical side of things. The reassurance comes from knowing of others who have gone before along the lines of a similar quest.
"A minute in the world's life passes!
To paint it in its reality and forget everything for that!
To become that minute." Paul Cezanne

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Down the Road
7" x 10"
oil on canvas
Tangled bramble roses and weeds along roadside ditches on a November day warmer than expected. There is a poetry to be found down there on the rough edge of an old farm. The visual tension between the tangle and the escaping road is enough to keep me occupied and the risk of ending up with nothing is enough of a trigger the painting. Some days I will pace and wander and drive the pick-up all over searching for just such a moment. Often it is a sideways, 'out of the corner of my eye' thing that brings me to a halt.
"Lord: it is time. The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields."
Ranier Maria Rilke

Monday, December 7, 2009

Woods in November
oil on canvas
A breezy and crisp day with the last of the leaves hanging on. Folks are always suggesting scenic places that "I would just love to paint"... or so they assume. Its probably more about what they would like to paint I guess. Willem deKooning is quoted as saying "the best we can hope for is to bring some order to ourselves." I think, in his broken english, he was talking about an understanding of ourselves as measured against life's struggles and confusions.  Along that line, I'm much more drawn to something like the chaos of this little patch of woods as the sun light breaks up among fluttering leaves and bending trees and the tangle of light and shadow, leaf and branch all cry for attention. On such a day one feels time fleeing before winter's approach and how precious every moment is. These are the things I am attracted toward when attempting to make a painting, wrestling some understanding out of the visual cacophany of living things - finding a little order within myself as I struggle to understand what I see.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Island in the Stream
oil on panel
6.75" x 12"
"If you trust in Nature, in the small Things that hardly anyone sees and that can so suddenly become huge, immeasurable; if you have this love for what is humble and try very simply, as someone who serves,
to win the confidence of what seems poor:
then everything will become more coherent and somehow more reconciling,
not in your conscious mind perhaps,
which stays behind, astonished, but in your innermost awareness."
Ranier Maria Rilke

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Single Tree
oil on panel
6" x 10"
Like a dancer caught in a pose, this tree stood where a fence line once ran on a deserted farm near our home. A lovely, quiet spot in the rolling hills of Virginia's piedmont.