oil on panel
Has it really been almost four years since I've posted both a painting and a musing here? As improbable as that seems to me, the more fantastic an idea is that, as I was looking through the blog here (trying to re-familiarize myself), I noticed I still had followers.
I'm kind of assuming that even though their profiles still are listed, they've probably moved on long ago....but in case they (and you who might be reading this) haven't, "Hello again!"
I won't bore anyone with what has been happening for the last four years that has kept me away from the easel -- there will be plenty of stories to tell going forward. For now, I will simply say that it's nice to be back; both here and especially at the easel. You'll probably notice going forward that this blog will change a bit. For one thing, I'm more long-winded than I used to be.
For some time, I've wanted to return to writing something more substantial than random rants on Facebook or what ever could be squeezed into a Twitter or Instagram block. this old school blogging may not be the trendiest platform, but I feel the longer format demands something that the others don't: thoughtfulness. Formulation of more coherent ideas, and cogent discussions, than can be summed up with an animated GIF and a pithy comment. It's something that seems to be a bit of a lost idea in 2019.
Art will still be the focus. Along with it though, I hope to include discussions and thoughts on the business of being an artist working in multiple disciplines and how the changes society and our culture have gone through have affected the arts. Enough of that for now....
About the painting (this is a bit of a long one. Sorry.):
Roughly 4 years ago, I was invited to be an art festival in Northeastern Oregon in the Wallowa Valley. It was a beautiful festival run by incredibly nice and generous folks and my wife and I had a lot of fun. During the course of the week, we wandered around painting and photographing an area that, being a native Northwestern and having grown up in Oregon, I was embarrassed to admit I knew virtually nothing about. I kept returning this this particular meadow and painted probably a dozen different views...strangely enough, this was the only one that showed the mountains.
A few nights ago, as I was pulling my old materials and gear out to kick start a return to painting, I found this study I had done, and the entire day came back to me like it was just last week. The clouds had been covering all of the peaks the entire morning and I had simply been concentrating on groups of trees around the meadow. Without warning the clouds broke, the sun came out, and these mountains still dusted with spring snow gleamed like diamonds.
In my haste to move my setup, I knocked over my cup of brushes from my easel and ALL of them landed bristles first in the soft mud at my feet along with my turp cup. My wife had taken the car and gone off in search of more photographic subject matter, and taken along with her all of my back-up gear. With no way to satisfactorily clean my brushes, I was left with only my painting knife to render this entire painting -- not something I've ever had to do before. I muddled through, put the paining in one of my carriers, and figuring it was a loss, forgot about it....until the other night.
When I looked at it through the prism of several years, I actually liked the energy with which I had been forced to push the paint around that day using a tool that wasn't very comfortable at the time. I touched up a few of the flowers in the foreground and broke a static line in the fence, but other than that, it's pretty much the painting I panicked my way through that morning in the Wallowas.