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Please hide the clocks.

June 24, 2011

I keep trying to slow down.  I tell myself there’s no rush.  The decluttering process is complete.  The house is beautifully staged and listed with a realtor.  The garage is reasonably clean (for a garage).  I even finally fixed the running toilet.  I have enough inventory to do festivals the rest of the year if I choose to.  I can afford to paint with no urgency whatsoever.  And yet, these little paintings are starting to roll off the ends of my brushes…

Untitled, 8x10, Gouache

That’s an old frame, by the way,  extremely heavy, the only one like it in our inventory.  I use it to test a painting… to see if the painting measures up to such a frame.  Occasionally, one comes close.

I don’t really want to paint this fast.  I know it’s valuable when painting outdoors, but this is not what I had in mind years ago when I said “someday I want to learn to paint”.  I had visions of this leisurely, contemplative process that would fill my twilight years, spending days lovingly adding each thoughtful brushstroke (insert old grainy black and white photo of Monet painting in his garden at Giverny).

I’ve been studying, mostly looking at nineteenth century landscape masters.  I’m not particurly studying details.  I’m looking at the mood of the work, the overall color palette.  I’m painting with six colors: ultramarine blue, yellow ochre, burnt umber, burnt sienna, yellow light, and titanium white.  I’m thinking that’s still too many colors.  I may drop the yellow and the umber.  There’s just something about the look that  intrigues me.

Alabama Sheds, 8x10, Gouache

I am experimenting, of course.  There is a look that floats around in my head, but so far eludes me.  It’s an amalgam of Jean Baptiste Corot, Asher B. Durand and Kevin McPherson.  It’s in there somewhere.  I just have to drag it out from the depths of my psyche (or wherever this stuff comes from) one painting at a time.  Will anyone like it if I ever find it?  Of course they will.  But what’s most important is that I will like it.

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ruth Arnold permalink
    June 25, 2011 5:30 pm

    Your landscapes are wonderful. Do you do portraits from old photos?

    • June 27, 2011 10:15 am

      Thanks, Ruth. I’ve painted people from old photos, but not as commissioned work.

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