Thursday, January 1, 2015

Boxing Day, a Mystery, and Lois's Fun DOD

Boxing Day
Oil on black canvas, 10x10, $100

With all the shows, commissions and gallery work I happily had in 2014, it was sometimes tough to get outside to paint. Also, I admit, laziness figures into the situation a bit, too. Painting on site requires some organization, energy and at least a little travel.

But I love it. I love the immediacy of painting outdoors, painting quickly and urgently, racing to capture the light and to mark the feeling that made me stop at that spot in the first place.

All of this truly whets my appetite for my upcoming plein-air painting trip, the Origins trip. I'm going to revisit the place I was born, and where I spent my first months. I'm leaving around Jan. 24, and there are still sponsorship spots available. Please click here to learn more - and to sponsor me!  For $125 and up, you will get fresh plein-air paintings from beautiful Arizona! 

Here's my painting in the landscape

A Mystery

A FEW DAYS AGO, I walked into my friend Pat Hart's house. She urged me to go into the dining room and see the Christmas present that her son had given her.

Lo and behold, sitting on and leaning on a small table in her dining room were two of my paintings - two that I didn't remember even bringing to Virginia!

Pat's son had found them in a store in Ocean City, he thought. Or maybe it was a shop in Pocomoke, MD. He really couldn't remember.

The fact that these paintings ended up down here in Virginia is still blowing my mind.

When we moved from Connecticut, I had a couple hundred paintings that didn't please me. They didn't work, I didn't like them, I didn't think they were good, whatever. I put stacks of these at the end of the driveway, and people came and took them away.

My thinking was that artists might paint over them. I had started painting on deep, gallery-wrapped canvases, so I couldn't really repaint over them. And Peter reminded me that people might like them, that everyone has different tastes, and just because I didn't like them, that didn't mean that no one would.

So how these paintings came to be down here, and how Pat's son ran into them, and how he even recognized my style, all of this seems to be a sort of miraculous mystery. And great fun!

Dog of the Day

WHEN I WAS in Tubac, Arizona, last year, I had the great pleasure of giving a painting lesson to Lois Vanskike. She is a fun, fun-loving, ebullient woman who really liked my painting - and took to palette knife painting right away. She's featured, with her first palette-knife painting, in my California Calling book.  

Lois is a marvelous artist, great at drawing, talented at watercolors, and filled with the artist's spirit. We've become friends, and I love seeing her art and hearing about her life. 

This is a painting she made for the Dog of the Day feature! 

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