Monday, June 27, 2011

Rocks Above #2
  oil on panel  6" x 8"
Sometimes, it seems keeping up with this blog and getting my work out in front of the public takes more time and energy than the painting. This is why, for the hand full of folks who actually look at this blog, the posting must seem irregular at best. Well, that's just the organic way it seems to play out and so be it. There are days the work doesn't progress as I'd like and others that I carry the ideas around with me to sort through and figure out.  Perhaps the patience required in following this stuff distills the readership to a selection of only the finest and truest of viewers - those folks who, if we met in real life, would be instantly in tune and good friends. Anyway, I will delude myself and believe this is true.
This little rock painting is a step in a direction that I'm hoping will lead me into a series of works, pushing closer to what I want - an intuitive melding of space, place, and light based on observation, coupled with abstracted color, brush handling, and a push/pull surface vitality. The subject for my jumping off point will be these images of rock cliffs and formations I've found in western Maryland. Maybe more tomorrow on process and progress. Hey, you six or seven viewers - leave a comment and let me know how you think about the work. After all, you are an exclusive club member!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pasture Trees, June 2011
 oil on panel  9" x 12"
I don't like to examine too closely how I choose what subjects I paint. Like a hitter on a streak, I'm superstitious enough to believe talking about the streak can break the streak - and you've got to respect the streak ( see: 'Bull Durham"). The key seems to be, no matter the subject, before beginning one must stop and reflect on what has made one fall in love with this moment, this place. And the answers have to be about shadow and light, color and tone, space and form. Only then can one explore freely, knowing what targets the painting is seeking. Monet wrote once that he was not interested in the subject, only in what happens between the subject and him as he made the painting. 
That is the explanation to how I choose what subjects I paint.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Pasture, Clarke County, Virginia
 oil on panel  9" x 12"
The clouds skidding and colliding and reforming overhead, like a high ceiling gone berserk, and the trees swaying and rustling in the breeze, with the heavy bales as anchors to hold the whole scene from tearing up and blowing away - I had to work rapidly, dropping brushes and getting paint everywhere - that is when I realized that my frantic energy and sharp attention simply had become part of the whole, compressed time there - my movements echoed the crazy, bumper car sky as I worked at my task. 
What a glorious day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Clearing Off
 oil on panel  9"x12"
"A minute in the world's life passes! To paint it in its reality and forget everything for that! 
To become that moment ..."  Paul Cezanne
One last small painting I just realized I had left from my recent days at Manteo. Every morning down there right on into mid-day it was overcast and windy, with smoke in the air from nearby brush fires. This particular early afternoon the day flirted with clearing and I tried to grab hold of the wind and water and sky as they buffeted a small peninsula across the harbor. Isn't that just like a crazy painter, trying to grab the wind and sky - it is just that in my quirky lifetime I have found these impossibilities are the only things that can hold my interest (that and of course, baseball and those I love). 
So on it goes, this attempt to become one with the light and space.