"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.

Jun 10, 2011

Colors and Shows

I think I almost remember the first box of Crayola crayons my mother got for me when I was very young. The expanse of colors I saw when I opened the lid, the distinctive aroma that to this day, 65 years later, carries me back to childhood, made my heart race faster. I had love affairs with some of the colors, and I remember crying because I used up the Magenta stick in endless pictures of ballet dancers I made. I still have love affairs with colors, and after our trip to Sedona this spring, have been entranced with the organic Indian reds, siennas, and all of the terra cotta and golden hues of that magical place. I have not yet created any canvasses from the many shots we took of the Sedona rocks, but I will. Getting our many gardens in shape has occupied much of my time in May, hence no postings.

But I did complete one painting last week of southwest pottery, which incorporates many of these colors. I foresee a future series, perhaps without a unified subject matter, but with the purposeful use of specific colors to tie the work together. I like this painting because it features the colors of the southwest, and also creates rather mysterious shadows, hidden recesses as well as openings, much as my long ago giant close up paintings of roses did, leaving the viewer open to imagination. I was able to utilize my penchant for texture and layering in this piece, combining realistic pots in a surrealistic manner which I hope creates an appealing composition.
Still untitled   26" x 22"
Last week I was trying to complete a couple of very tiny
3” x 3” gallery-wrapped canvases with painted edges.  These are for an art exhibit in early July to kick off our town’s 250th anniversary. The show is to be held at the Justin Morrill State Historic Site, the gem of our little village. It is a remarkable place showcasing his interest in horticulture, politics and scholarship, and Justin Morrill was a remarkable American. Through his educational legislation and vision, Morrill changed our world, our nation and our lives. There are 105 Land-Grant colleges and universities in the United States with over 25 million graduates worldwide. Morrill was the longest serving person in Congress ever when he retired from the Senate, and was a true humanitarian whose life and legacy is fostered and preserved through the efforts of the Friends of the Morrill Homestead. I was on the board for six years, and now John has taken my place.

The Homestead
The barn to the left is where the art show is held.
Anyway, the tiny paintings are part of a “Minis for Morrill” sale to raise money for the site. They will be shown on tiny easels, and sell for $25 apiece. All artists in the show were asked to contribute one or two of these minis. (You can see another person's results if you click on Andrea Doughtie's blog link to the right.) I found it an incredibly challenging effort to produce anything in such a tiny size. I have done 5” x 5” and 6” x 6”, but somehow this smaller venue was harder! I came up with the following two pieces.
Water's Edge # 5  oil on canvas  3" x 3"
"Happy Pig" oil on canvas  3" x 3"

For the show itself, titled “A Sense of Place,” I am taking the Hay Bales painting seen previously in this blog, and a fall scene, shown below, in a rather poor photo, especially the top half. This piece depicts fall in our beautiful area, which fits in with the show’s theme.

“Woodland Inlet in October” is 24” x 48”

(I later removed this painting above from the show because it sold before the show went up. That's nice! I substituted another one.)

I also had to take two paintings to a show in my Lyme, NH gallery for an exhibit celebrating THEIR 250th anniversary! These were the abandoned house shown in this blog previously called “All Gone, All Gone” and an older piece,  shown below.
“Marsh at Quechee Gorge” a 36” x 24” oil  on canvas 
 And I still need to come up with two to enter into the AVA Juried Show, which are due this weekend!

On Tuesday John and I are leaving for New York and the next day for Italy with our entire family, kids and grandkids, for a combined 70th birthday celebration. A few days in Venice, a week in Tuscany in a rented villa with a pool, another extra day in Florence, and then John and I go on to four days in Rome. So once again, the blogging may be sporadic!