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Wandering in the Weeds

October 5, 2011

Many, many years ago, I used to do small, somewhat elaborate pen & ink drawings of fictional places.  Only a couple of them have survived, and for a long time, they used to hang on a wall of my brother’s home.  They may still be there.  They were imagined places (more “places in my mind”), wonderful little journeys into my own imagination… places where I’d like to visit, or even live.

I came to the conclusion quite a while back that I’m not really a terribly creative person.  But I do have an artistic side, and I do have an imagination.  Of course, like everyone else, my imagination is fueled by a lifetime of visual and intellectual stimulation.  For example, the little study above was unquestionably influenced by the work of Erik Tiemens.  Three years ago, a review of my work on EmptyEasel.com included this statement:  “many of his paintings would make perfect storybook illustrations—they have a certain timelessness to them that is reminiscent of great illustrators of the past.”  At the time, the reviewer had no way of knowing what a great compliment that was.  And even though I often try to avoid it, I still see that “storybook” quality showing up in my work.

Unfinished sketch, 5x7, Gouache on Crescent board

Most of the time, when painting, I tend to make a conscious effort to simply portray a sense of place, a moment in time in a somewhat realistic, serene setting.  But quite often, in between those larger paintings, I like to just lose myself in those imaginary places in my mind.  So, I cut a stack of small boards, squeeze some paint out on the palette, and just go exploring.  Sometimes I’ll do a mental bankshot off of an existing painting, maybe let a reference photo inspire me, but most often, I’ll just start spreading paint, or sketch a loose scene with a brush, and wander off into the high weeds of my imagination.

That’s what I did yesterday, and here are the results:

Untitled, 5x7, Gouache

Untitled, 5x7, Gouache

Untitled, 5x7, Gouache

Untitled, 5x7, Gouache

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2011 12:04 pm

    The Eric Tiemens remark was a compliment.
    Your musings yesterday are quite enjoyable.

    Ain’t nuttin wrong with story book art. I wonder what a Beatrix Potter original painting would bring at auction now???

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