Sunday, June 23, 2019

Dancing Sunshine

Dancing Sunshine
Oil on blackened canvas, 36x48

THERE'S A THING that has happened to me now many times in my lengthening painting life. I get an idea of a painting I want to make - maybe even just a whisper of an idea - a ghost, a sliver of a thought. I know I want to make the piece, but I either can't see it, or just don't yet have the skills to paint it.  Blue Canada, the painting to the left here, was one of those. I knew it would be an amazing painting, but when I saw the scene, on a trip to the Atlantic Provinces with my friend, the terrific artist Heather MacLeod, I knew I wasn't ready to paint it. Today, it doesn't look particularly difficult or intimidating, but really, it was and is. There's almost nothing in it, and yet, it's a pretty cool painting. 

The sunflower piece above, Dancing Sunshine, is one I've had in my head for years - really, ever since I started making sunflower paintings.  But I hadn't been able to see it clearly enough to understand what was compelling me, what I wanted to do. 

From the photo, it doesn't look like anything special, I am afraid. This is one of the ones you really need to see in person. What attracts me, and makes me so happy, is the differences in thick and thin paint, the places where the nub of the canvas makes its way to the surface, or isn't covered at all. I love the looseness of the sunflowers and the feeling of their petals and colors and vibrance bursting onto the canvas. 

In my mind are several paintings that are calling to me, that I don't yet know how to paint, or have the skills to paint. I will just let them sit there until they force their way to the front and let me know it's time. 

Three Smalls

Shore Spring,
Oil on canvas, 6x12

Iris House
Oil on board, 6x6, not including frame

Three Ps
Oil on board, 6x6, not including frame

THESE THREE are headed for "Earthly Delights," my upcoming solo show at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens, in Norfolk, VA. The show will open July 1 and run until the end of August. If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop in. The gardens are amazing - and it's been a long time since I've had a solo show. This is a real honor for me, and I'm excited about it! 

Dog of the Day

It's Koko! And she is happy on the couch, for sure. Paintings in the background are by Cynthia Rosen Malter (left) and Bethany Simpson. 

A Final Thought

"Art is man's nature; nature is God's art."

- Philip James Bailey