Friday, January 29, 2016

Pisarro; Diebenkorn; Gallon Pickle Jar

Gallon Pickle Jar & Brown Paper
 oil on panel  11" x 14"

"Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places 
where other people see nothing."
Camille Pissaro

"My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful, the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles."
Richard Diebenkorn

Why brown paper and a jar? First, I was entranced by the fall of light and shadow across the surface of crumpled brown packing paper. The brown paper also offers a possibility of various color schemes to create a neutral gray while allowing pure color to escape into the shadows. The jar was added as an element completely opposite in terms of handling and surfaces and transparency. These all being fascinating problems to solve with thick, opaque paint. Perhaps that is the key to how I happen upon subjects, where ever I find myself - the seduction of technical difficulty or problems to be solved and overcome - combined with the emotional original connection - the poetry. The poetry of a given subject is what Pissaro refers to - the curious turn of mind that allows the discovery of the fascination, the beauty of ordinary subjects. I have found in 40 years of painting, the fascination of visual exploration is of the greatest satisfaction. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Marcel Proust; Fairfield Porter; Stormfall

 oil on panel  16" x 16"

"I think it is a way of making the connection between yourself and everything. You connect yourself to everything and that includes yourself, by the process of painting."
Fairfield Porter

"I must ask my mind to make one further effort, to bring back once more the fleeting sensation."
Marcel Proust

This painting came from a walk in a wild park not far from where we live littered with cut up and broken trees from a severe storm that had passed through the area a couple of years ago.  I can't walk through chaos without wondering how order or understanding might be discovered within. I have developed over 40 years of making paintings the understanding that held within that search for form and coherence lies my interest and energy and joy. 
It contains that "connection to everything" of which Porter wrote.
But then, this work was so complicated that it required an extended look and rework in the studio, away from the original subject. It is then the painting reveals what it needs and how to proceed - when I have to make that extra effort, "to bring back the fleeting sensation."

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Crumpled Brown Paper; 'like children at a game;

Crumpled Brown Paper 1
 oil on gesso panel  11" x 14"

Crumpled Brown Paper 3
 oil on gesso panel  6" x 8"

Children At A Game

Perhaps it is just as well,
what with the Terra firma
shifting as it does,
most unexpectedly, 
that we are without
the warning of a
dawn's early light 
leaking from a break at the milky horizon,
allowing our small preparations
for the terrible days.
How can we know, confronted
with the everlasting silence,
what to say?

Like small children at a game,
everyone pretends to have a scheme
to get home at the call,
"all-ee all-ee in free."

Mine is a near blind reach,
for any fugitive light,
drawing a path out of darkness.
Images left behind as hopefull markers,
like breadcrumbs scattered
through the forest.

from Hedging My Bets
by Dean Taylor Drewyer

Crumpled brown paper under a spotlight, perhaps not your usual subject. It's just paper some supplies came wrapped in, far superior to little styrofoam popcorns or bubble wrap. I was searching for a trigger to get the winters' painting started and saw the paper under a light and was blown away. I'm a week in and see no reason for escape - sharpening my senses to shadow and light; directional movement; dynamic space; warm and cool nuanced color. Fun and games and wonder. Enjoy!