Saturday, January 10, 2009

Edge of the front

Storm Coming / Misquamicut Beach. Oil on canvas, 8x10

In my new quest to be specific, I started painting this afternoon at Misquamicut Beach, in the state beach parking lot. The grass on the dunes shimmered, silvery gray in the pearly storm-coming light. And down at the end of the lot, a boy rode a four-wheeler while a man watched.

I sketched the boy, the man, the four-wheeler. I sketched the trailer and the car that was towing it. And then I painted the dunes, and the lowering sky, and tried hard to put the man, the boy, the car, the trailer and the four-wheeler in. And it didn't work. Too much paint, too little experience. So I rubbed them out, and now, I'm waiting for the painting to dry enough for me to try again.

My hands were red and stiff with cold. My hair is too long, and was in my eyes. My feet and thighs were cold, and I was out of coffee, and hungry and ready to go, when I turned and saw this car parked in front of a dune, by an access path to the beach. It was simple, it was specific, and by now, the clouds had pulled in lower and darker and more malevolant.

So, a first step toward this new challenge.

And I had two thoughts while I was driving to the beach. Or maybe it's the same thought. If I built houses, I'd call my company Sherlock Homes. And if I had a crane company? Ichabod Crane, of course.

Thanks for reading!

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