"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.

Mar 28, 2012

Easy Does It

I am easing back into the studio. This week I spent some time on a piece that I started last month. It is nowhere near finished, all I have really worked on is the barn. The background trees, sky and snow all need work. The photo below is very bad, took it with my ipad, but once it is finished I will post a better one. (Not sure why it is so fuzzy ...  on my computer it is crystal clear. Very low rez though.)

 This is a continuation of an ongoing theme of mine--- intermingled with my more and more abstract landscapes and seascapes are the far more realistic barns which I am continually drawn to in the Vermont landscape. And I worry that they are fast disappearing.
An American barn is such a manifestation of this cultural heritage. Each year as more barns up here are lost to fires,  falling down due to time and neglect and deterioration, vandalism and the elements, and torn down for real estate development. More recently, they knocked over and  sold for the rustic lumber to be used in upscale houses for floors and walls, or simply torn down for real estate development.  
So I am on my own little campaign to paint some of the remaining  barns. So many old barns are now gone from sight only to remain with us in photographs. And in paintings such as mine.
Most of my time this month has been spent on condo stuff. It has been somewhat of a nightmare. Currently we still do not have a closing date, but the contract is signed. I suspect if we are lucky we will get in in the end of June.
Meanwhile, I cannot commit to the floor folks or the painter, although Jen's cousin Courtney, an Interior Designer, and I have been pouring over paint colors. I find that a lot of fun, perhaps because I am so interested in color. I have decided on a basically blue color scheme, a 
first for me, who usually had white or off white walls, and a cranberry and ochre color scheme. In the condo, the entry and hall  will be in a kind of saturated dusky blue, see left, called Sapphire Ice, done in striped, alternating flat and gloss stripes about 4 inches across of the same color. Shiny high gloss white trim. 

The Guestroom/ Den will be Ben Moore's Sangria, top row right, after much vacillating, again with glossy white trim and glossy black accents, like the built in desk which I will paint, and black and white photos on the walls in black frames. It is a color similar to others I have used before, in the mudroom and man cave up here.

Our bedroom is going to be painted a marvelous Ben Moore blue that is aptly named Ocean Air, and I hope it makes me feel as if I am at the ocean, where I am always the happiest and most relaxed. The trim will be an off white called White Dove, I think. These colors will continue into the master bath which someday is going to be redone.

The living and dining rooms will both be done with wonderful Farrow and Ball emulsion, one called Yellow Ground, with either white trim, or a pale, pale version of the wall color. I cannot wait to see this FnB paint on the walls, because it is a highly pigmented English paint that is supposed to fairly glow. The fireplace wall, the laundry closet and one small kitchen wall will be this same color, but in a gloss. I am hoping it has a warm, almost Tuscan feel.

I am having my mother's small couch and matching chair -- which with the wood trim have a somewhat French Provincial look --reupholstered in large and small navy buffalo checks. There will be a fair amount of navy in those rooms, as well. Anyway, it has kept me busy, working with a very different kind of paint!

We have had some very bizarre weather --- within three days we had 81 degrees and sunny, and 27 degrees and hail and sleet and snow. Only in New England. And only in Vermont would you find, as the forsythia is close to bloom, that NO daffodils have emerged, but the red points of tulips are up everywhere in the herb gardens. Usually here, they bloom together.

We are off to Santa Fe in a week, for a week, which we are looking forward to mightily. I look forward to seeing Georgia O Keefe museum and home, the galleries, native American ruins and art, and the wonderful Pueblo architecture out there. I wonder if we can try not to read the papers or listen to the news while we are away, much of which is so disheartening to me, and causing so much angst and anger in this house.

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