Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Why Blog Now?

Why in the world would I want to spend the time writing a painting blog when I don't yet consider myself a painter, when I see how much I have yet to learn, and when I see how many other fine artists there are out there sharing their work?  The small pastel above, from over a year ago, isn't what I would consider painterly, but it touches an emotional chord for me because it is from an old photo of our two boys sitting under a tree with Chloe, escaping the summer heat in Soumensac, in the south of France, while the adults enjoy a community luncheon on the hillside above them.  It brings back fond memories.  It's highly personal.  And whether or not it is Art is immaterial; I do it for the joy it brings me.

Every morning, I begin my day by visiting my favorite blogs on painting.  Some of it feels almost like a chore, since most are not updated daily and I rush through them onto the next.  It is a big part of my art education.  So many people out there are so generous in sharing their time and their thoughts with total strangers, and I hope they understand that they are appreciated, even when there are no comments, as is often the case.  Some give demonstrations, some explain their thought process.  Others refer to great artists of the past, share examples, or simply post their latest work.  It's all great fun, and the variety of style and technique is mind-boggling.  I think I'm learning from it all, though I can't show you where there is an improvement in my own work.  Yet.

Randall Tipton recently mentioned on his blog that he thought blogging has seen its heyday.  But there still seem to be a lot of folks sharing on the web.  Some of the better painting blogs petered out a few years back; once you've said all there is to say about your work, it must be just tedious to keep going.  There are a few blogs I am reading from beginning to end, like a book, and they are filled with valuable insights.  And there are new sites I discover all the time, expanding the bookmark list, making it harder and harder to navigate until I am forced to go back through and weed out the ones I don't visit any more.  Let's just say there is a fine line between studying the work of others and avoiding your own time at the easel.  Which reminds me it is time to get cracking.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's a long and wet road ahead

This is a little 5x7 acrylic sketch from a few months ago, and I was happy enough that it captured the Oregon feel.  That hissing sound of tires through puddles could just as well be the sound of Time passing by, faster now than when we were younger.  Up ahead I can see the Costco Line, described to me by a friend as that age when you decide to stop shopping at Costco because you'll never be able to use that much toothpaste or whatever in the time you have left.

Sometimes it seems that there can't possibly be enough time left for me to become the sort of artist I envision, painting artfully in some sort of style that is my own, painting things I'd be glad to see hanging on the walls of others.  That may or may not come to be, but I have decided for now to paint instead for the pleasure of it and for the personal challenge.