Friday, November 21, 2008

River's edge of night

Mystic River, Nov. 19. Oil, 10x20

Two friends told me things this week that set my mind spinning. One said she wanted to buy a painting of mine not only because she likes it, but also because she thinks I'll be famous one day, and so it's a good investment.

The other told me that she admires me because I care so little about people's opinions of me.

So here's a question: Can both assessments be true? Let's just say that most of my friends wouldn't be very happy living inside my head for any amount of time. It's a messy, hot place there, with too many dark corners and way too much stuff stored away in deteriorating boxes.

Meanwhile, where that head lives these days is one gorgeous place. I set out a couple days ago to make an afternoon painting, and ended up along the Mystic River, somewhere between new Mystic and Old Mystic.

It's pretty darn tough to find a place to park the car so you can paint. The people who own land on the western edge of the road also own the land between the road and the river, and have it blocked off with all sorts of stuff. Rocks, fences, big old telephone-sized logs, you name it.

I guess I see their point. After all, if people could park along there to soak in the beauty of the scene, they would. And that would probably wreck things for people whose living room windows face this gorgeous, golden river.

I found a spot, and painted quickly, but still, I wasn't fast enough. When the sun goes down these days, it's no leisurely matter. It starts heading down and wham, it's gone. Dusk passes in a heartbeat, here in late November.

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