Friday, September 26, 2014

The noblest pleasure. John Constable, Claude Monet

Late Summer
 oil on panel  12" x 16"

"The world is wade; no two days are alike, nor even two hours; neither were there ever two leaves of a tree alike since the creation of the world."
John Constable

"The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding."
Claude Monet

Isn't what Constable is speaking of actually the driving force to getting out and working; trying to come to grips with the unknown and the chaos of variety that surrounds us?  If every day and every-thing are different and new, it follows that they are unknown to us. The painter wants to explore these crowded, unknown, days and places in order to find understanding and record comprehension - Monet's "noblest pleasure".
This is the challenge and the joy of a painter's days.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No reason not to follow your heart. Vincent Van Gogh, Steve Jobs

Brittany Coast #16
 16" x 20"  oil on canvas

"I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart. 
I am still far from being what I want to be..."
Vincent van Gogh

"Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. 
There is no reason not to follow your heart."
Steve Jobs

This is the last of the paintings based on my time in Brittany. I need to get back there to continue and there is so much of that coast I haven't yet seen. In the meantime, it is vital to keep these two quotes in mind in the face of whatever difficulties present themselves, there can be no better thing for one to pursue what they love. I feel that the works from Brittany reflect my own seeking; my own striving. Enjoy!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Art and Life Become One, George Braque, William Shawn

Brittany Coast 14
 oil on panel  11" x 14" 

"Falling short of perfection is a process that never stops."
William Shawn

"With age, art and life become one."
George Braque

When teaching, I found that the students that had the toughest time progressing and the most difficulty getting started, were those who held too dearly to the idea of perfection. Perfection or the idea of absolute adherence to a preconceived notion of 'perfect', is an awful beast to confront. It smacks of machine made and engineering to a standard. I have learned that the human touch, in all its glorious imperfection, is absolutely necessary to making art and even recognizing what art can be.  What I think William Shawn was speaking to was the seductive nature of the process of pursuing a personal vision every day, understanding that it always remains just out of reach. But the pursuit brings us forward and brings us back the next day, and all the days beyond.   As the habit of daily work along this path builds over time, we one day realize that art and life have become one - 
a most joyous discovery.