Three Geese / Oil on black canvas / 4x12 / $88, including shipping
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Monday, June 29, 2020
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Friday, June 26, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
Friday, June 12, 2020
Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Monday, June 8, 2020
"The way to happiness: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Scatter sunshine, forget self,
think of others. Try this for a week and you will be surprised."
- Norman Vincent Peale
Sunday, June 7, 2020
Friday, June 5, 2020
Thursday, June 4, 2020
Three Geese / Oil on black canvas / 4x12 / $78 including shipping
THERE ARE PLACES IN MY HOUSE where the dog hair collects. It's probably a combination of the layout of the house, the air currents, the architectural and decorative elements, and where the dogs (and people) tend to hang out.
In this house, there's an unexplained step up from the kitchen to the living room, and at the base of that step, the hair collects. It's right by the trash can, so every time I go to toss a paper towel in the trash, I bend down first and swipe the linoleum at the base of the step. And every time - Every Time! - whether it is one time a day or 20 times a day (back when paper towels were not a luxury), I collect a small pile of dog hair.
I started thinking the other day that there are surely places in my life and in my mind where things collect, in much the same way. Bits of architecture and pieces of mental furniture where thoughts become entangled, where they stop developing. Where they stick and stick, again and again, and probably will forever.
I think these are thoughts and ideas about people, and thoughts and ideas about plans - and even thoughts and ideas about problems. The thoughts hit the bottom of the step and just stay there, collecting dust, until I either swipe them up and toss them out, or just forget about them.
"Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."
- Abraham Lincoln
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Ginger / Oil on black canvas / 4x4 / $38 including shipping
LAST WEEK, DIANA DAVIS and I met some other friends at a peony farm in Exeter, and we painted.
The peonies (and is it pronounced PEA-o-nee or pea-OH-nee? I learned the first, but people down here say it like the second. What about you?) were really done, the owners of the farm said, though they looked beautiful to me.
And no matter. It was a lovely day, it was great to See People - I've seen almost no one but Liesl since March - and there was plenty of room to paint, and to be social while also being distant.
An extra added bonus was a pair of brown and white turkeys - named Ninja and Ginger - which I believe are called Buff turkeys. According to Petslady.com, the Buff was listed as a heritage breed by the American Poultry Association (who knew?) in 1874.
Very few birds were able to meet the APA's Standard of Perfection (isn't that always the case, with standards of perfection?) and so the breed was removed from the Standard and became extinct. But starting in the 19402, people worked to revive it, and the Buff, or Jersey Buff, as it is called now, has come back into being. It is a small- to medium-sized turkey, whose young toms weigh about 21 pounds.
Ninja and Ginger were wandering around the peony farm when we arrived, and as we set up to paint, they came over, interested. They seemed to like me (the peony farmer said they can see bright colors) but they didn't seem to care for Diana. In the photo above, they are nibbling her.
Below, one of the paintings I made from our day at the farm.
Below, one of the paintings I made from our day at the farm.
Peony Rows / Oil on black canvas / 4x12 / $78 including shipping
Sunday, May 31, 2020
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Jacorabbit / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68 includes shipping
(a long one, but worthwhile)
This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready
to break my heart
as the sun rises,
as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers
and they open -
pools of lace,
white and pink -
and all day the black ants climb over them,
boring their deep and mysterious holes
into the curls,
craving the sweet sap,
taking it away
to their dark, underground cities -
and all day
under the shifty wind,
as in a dance to the great wedding,
the flowers bend their bright bodies
and tip their fragrance to the air,
their red stems holding
all that dampness and recklessness
gladly and lightly
and there it is again -
beauty the brave, the exemplary,
Do you love this world?
Do you cherish your humble and silky life?
Do you adore the green grass, with its terror beneath?
Do you also hurry, half-dressed and barefoot, into the garden,
and exclaiming of their dearness,
fill your arms with the white and pink flowers,
with their honeyed heaviness, their lush trembling,
to be wild and perfect for a moment, before they are
- Mary Oliver
Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
Monday, May 25, 2020
Great Horned Owl / oil on black canvas / 5x7 unframed / $68
ON MY FIRST PAINTING TRIP, which was well more than 10 years ago, I drove to Wisdom, Montana and back, painting all along the way.
At that point, I was using brushes, and putting on the oil paints very thinly - almost like watercolors. I was often not bringing the painting to the edges of the canvas, a thing I still do now, but in a different way.
I have a number of paintings from that trip that have never sold - but they're good paintings, ones I love, and ones that I believe have value.
Since Peter died, I have been clearing my life and my house and my studio of things that don't work for me. Things that make me unhappy. Some of that clearing out has involved paintings. I have thrown them away, covered them over, even burned a couple.
But I've saved some, too. The other day, I took the painting below, of an alfalfa field near Sandusky, Ohio, and I painted over it with heavy paint and my palette knife. In the process, I remembered that trip, and how liberating it was. And I remembered falling in love with yellow.
That area of Ohio was rich with yellow. Overloaded with yellow. It was summer - July, I think, or maybe August - and the fields were full of wheat and alfalfa and who knows what all else. The sun up there, by Lake Erie, shone golden and brilliant, especially in the late afternoons, and the world took on a rich yellow hue that I'd never noticed before.
On that trip, yellow entranced me. Delighted me. Warmed me. Romanced me. I painted as much yellow as I could, used all the yellows I had, mixed them, pushed them, begged them to hold the light and shine that brilliance from the canvas. I lived in a whirl of yellow, and I was in love.
All of that came rushing back to me when I painted over the Sandusky canvas. And it crept into the owl, too - a happy blur of yellow on a warm May afternoon.
"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff.
If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A.A. Milne