Come warm yourself by the fire. (It took me forever to find a sofa that felt right for the era).
"The true painter strives to paint what can only be seen through his world." ~André Malraux
After a year of intermittant "painter's block" I am working again in my studio, and feeling in a tentative positive state. Painting is a solitary activity, and as artists, we are often working in a vacuum. Unless we have a show hanging, reaction to the work is minimal. With several pieces underway, I decided that perhaps if I write about what I am doing or am attempting to do, it might act somewhat as a muse for me as well as give me some feedback on the work I am creating -- hence the establishment of this blog.
As for the blog title, traditional, representational painting is a language for expressing what’s visible. But I feel my work is the most successful, and most interesting, when focused on things not entirely visible. I paint what I see but also what I sense and feel by utilizing my interior and unseen world --- in other words, the invisible world. Plein air work or studio work from photographs are only touchstones or landmarks which guide me to other inner spaces. By so doing, I find that I am pushing the boundaries between representational and abstract work.
You can enlarge the images in this blog by clicking on them.
Dec 2, 2011
Come warm yourself by the fire. (It took me forever to find a sofa that felt right for the era).
Oct 23, 2011
|"Palace Intricate" 36 x 36 NFS|
|Malovany Home, Lake George|
Oct 1, 2011
on the shell-pink anemones
swaying on their tall stems;
down blue-spiked veronica
light flowed in rivulets
over the humps of the honeybees;
this morning I saw light kiss
the silk of the roses
in their second flowering,
my late bloomers
flushed with their brandy.
A curious gladness shook me.
So I have shut the doors of my house,
so I have trudged downstairs to my cell,
so I am sitting in semi-dark
hunched over my desk
with nothing for a view
to tempt me
but a bloated compost heap,
steamy old stinkpile,
under my window;
and I pick my notebook up
and I start to read aloud
and still-wet words I scribbled
on the blotted page:
I can scarcely wait till tomorrow
when a new life begins for me,
as it does each day,
as it does each day.
And then came Irene, which was a catastrophe here in poor little Vermont. Being high on a hill, and having a reliable generator, personally we were fine, but not our little village. Our neighbors' driveway was in the road, leaving them with a Grand Canyon-esque driveway. Homes were flooded, bridges broken. Here are some shots of our road:
|Rt. 132 from Sharon to South Strafford.|
I am so incredibly impressed by the way Vermnonters rallied together to help each other in a million ways. We relied on a town internet site and a hastily established Facebook site to find out what was going on, what roads were open, who needed help where, etc. The big excitement was when government helicopters arrived with emergency food and water for stranded Straffordites. Seeing the normally bucolic, lazy brooks, streams and the Ompoponoosuc River in a frenzied rage was astonishing. We felt as if we were living in the middle of a newsreel... and in fact, we were.
And September was a blur. We were away until the 12th, mostly at Long Beach Island, Barnegat Light to be specific, where we have gone for the last five or six years. Going to LBI has become an homage to my past -- it is the island where I spent part of every summer from the time I was 10 until we moved to Vermont when the family oceanfront home in Loveladies was sold. Some of the best memories from my childhood and adulthood are of family times at Loveladies.
|I was an only child, and spending time with my cousins at the shore every summer was pure joy. That's me in the center, in 1952, chin on the old rubber raft, squinting into the sun.|
My uncles' first and second houses spoke of home to me more than anywhere else in my adult years, because I could not go to any of my other childhood homes. This one still existed, exactly as it had always been, until I was 55.
When my Uncle Ben died and the house which he had built in front of the Pink House in 1972 was sold (and eventually torn down) my heart broke and it was years before I could bear to go back to LBI. But eventually the pull was too strong, and we found a funny little house right on the ocean to rent in Barnegat, the northernmost town on the island, and the one least spoiled by the "tear-down and build-up-a-McMansion-beach-house" mentality. Since my daughter and family always join us for at least some of the time, I guess we are building some new memories, although rather than a long meandering summer, we have only a week.
|Our little grand boy and empty beach, early September.|
So summer, is over. I knew it the last day on the beach, with some drifting mist and a hint of coolness in the air, and the sanderlings and other peeps rushing back and forth by water's edge. The gulls were reclaiming the beach, and I knew it was time to go home, time to get back to work.
I have a lot to do this fall and winter in the studio--- Sedona, Italy, and Beach works. Stay tuned.
But as the season shifts up here, and my Vermont landscape views out the window and off the decks are magically colorized, I am sure I will be doing some October work as well. I took the painting below done in another October to a show in Lyme this month.
|"October Mists" oil on canvas currently at Long River Gallery in Lyme, NH $900|
Aug 5, 2011
Besides the "Shallowing Waves" painting in my last post, and "In the Language of Blue and Gold" which can be seen in the right hand sidebar of this blog, I will be taking up an addition to my successful "Water's Edge series:
|"Water's Edge # 10" oil on clayboard 10" x 10"|
|"Blue Shore of Silence"|
And this new one, "Storm Abating" which is not quite as free form as "Shallowing Waves," but hopefully presents a mood and a feeling.
|"Storm Abating" oil on canvas 20" x 20"|
I look forward to arriving on the island for a 10 day vacation with our son and his family. There’s a reason families summer in Nantucket generation after generation: There is a sense of history, of the unchanged there in the villages and outlying roads, because after the whaling industry, which made Nantucket so affluent, tanked in the mid 1800's when oil was discovered in Pennsylvania, no one could afford to build or rebuild for over 100 years, leaving Nantucket Island and its delightful cottages and buildings and cobble-stoned thoroughfare much as it was. (This is in spite of the continued growth of abundant and wonderful, albeit expensive, restaurants, shopping, and art galleries in recent decades.)
Ocean and bay are wonderfully swimmable, thanks to the Gulf Stream, and the open beaches, some of the most beautiful in the world, are varied and available to all --- all who can afford to be there that is. You can tell that my only negative about this magical place is the sense of entitlement about it --- it is not a place where you can own or even rent a house without money. There may be a few too many docksiders, Vineyard Vines clothing, whale pants and dyed-in-the-wool Republicans for my sensibilities, but given all the natural beauty, it is easy to ignore. I can be a hypocrite for a few weeks in order to enjoy beauty and relaxation!
I look forward to doing some water aerobics in the ocean, communing with seagulls and my son, daughter-in-law and grandkids on the beach, sunsets over the bay on the deck, endless games of Monopoly, seafood feasts cooked on the beach, some good beach reading ... all of which makes for a perfect vacation.
|Everyone makes fun of my beach chair with a roof, but it seems to be a popular place to sit--- this is my grandson Aidan, 9 here, now 10.|
|Granddaughter Eloise on the deck with fudgecicle at age 7, last summer|
|Granddaughter Lily on "our" beach post shower, pre dinner, at age 5|
|View from deck at cocktail hour|
Jul 30, 2011
|"Fragments of Actuality" 36" x 36" oil and pear paper on canvas|
|"Wild Stallion" 36" x 36" oil on canvas (sold, long ago)|
|"Montefioralle #1" 6" x 6" oil and tissue paper on canvas|
SO I am not abandoning the representational altogether, when it affords opportunity for wonderful colors, light, and texture such as these.
Jul 16, 2011
|"Where All the Houses are Grey: 18 x 18, oil on canvas|
Jul 15, 2011
|Door to villa|
|View from my bedroom window of pool and area|
|Grandson Nate walking towards back of our villa. Loggia and patios visable. Photo by his Dad, son-in-law Bob Buzas. Below, right, loggia and patios|
|The children loved eating the pasta they made by themselves--tagliatelle and ravioli.|
|The family relaxing at the villa.|
But along with all the wonderful family interaction, the time I spent in our little Tuscan village of Panzano, the day trips we made to a few of the medieval hill towns and to a very peaceful monastery at Badia a Coltibuono, were the highlights of my trip. This is what I shall hold in my heart, and hopefully, transfer to my canvasses.
Below are some of my favorite shots from the medieval, walled hill town Montefioralle for future use. This was my favorite town of those we visited because it seems relatively undiscovered by tourists (San Gimignano is wonderful, but crowded with people and shops). Montefioralle is full of Kodak moments, a perfect setting for a wedding, has one good restaurant, but that is about all. No tourist spots. And it seems to be a village still lived in by normal people living normal lives. I almost felt intrusive as I wandered around the lovely little streets.
I cannot wait to paint the light in these streets..