Saturday, April 14, 2018

Just another day at the office...

"What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing: you wouldn't become an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought. I am constantly preoccupied with how to remove distance so that we can all come closer together, so we all can begin to sense we are the same, we are just one." - David Hockney  pg 198

(From "The Artist's Mentor" edited by Ian Jackman)

My moods have always been influenced by "fairness" of weather and the amount of ambient light. I find myself struggling whenever these catalysts for Joy and a feeling of well-being are either missing or delayed for long periods.

Late winter, when the ground is stripped of white virgin snow revealing the dirty grit of winter and where the temperatures are unstable and can vary greatly... these conditions present a time of great challenge for me creatively. Very often these feelings can immediately follow a project where my limits have been challenged to their utmost levels.

That is the case at present. I feel "out of steam" after the large scale mural project that I just completed. The question always arises within me... "Where do I go next?" I thoroughly enjoyed the "big brush" opportunity on that vast white wall and have directed my attention towards finding another such large scale project to maintain the momentum created by that challenge.

I have indeed lit upon an idea that I believe will work for me... but the 36 x 48 inch blank canvas simply stares back at me with contempt and the start remains tantalizingly at arm's length at the moment. This standoff has continued for over a week now... creating uncertainty and personal disgust.

To break the deadlock, I have decided to step back from the grandiose adventure of the larger real estate and have decided to complete warm up scales... just as a pianist must to limber up before a major concert. These two 5 x 7 inch panels represent this flash dance preparatory artistic fandango.

"Summer ... in Retreat" - MacLachlan Woodworking Museum 5 x 7 inch oil on panel

The idyllic and pastoral quality of this piece... is woven into the tight compositional framework creating a tapestry fusing together natural and man made elements. These are further enlivened by rich color and flora.

"Windswept Channels" - 1000 Islands west of Rockport - oil on panel 5 x 7 inches

This small painting... provided extemporaneously through recall... and yearning for those soft summer breezes that are still some distance in time away from the cold currents of winter 2018. It is a deeply felt personal view of my paradise that ties my soul to this special place.

Both step beyond a simple classification as landscapes... because both contain elements either obliterated by man's hand... like the plain white farmhouse in the first sketch and the actual sense of place in the second. It surely exists in my memory... of  years of "memories" through this sketch. Quite frankly both record  memories that I experienced that I have maintained and now pass forward and enjoin you... the viewer... and me!

I contemplated completed a few more before fully launching into the major project. But this afternoon that canvas is in place... levelled and ready to receive pigment and big brush strokes - an activity that never fails to gladden my heart and to whet my creative juices.

Which will win out??? At this very moment, I am not totally certain. I firmly believe from my experience(s)... that all human development(s) is based upon internal readiness... and timing. At least... I am underway.

Stay tuned...

I hope that in some way... this post and others that I share in some way support and further  Hockney's views which opened this post... which run parallel to my own.

Rich Blessings! ... and Good Painting to ALL!!


  1. These two smaller works - warmups for the muscles, eyes, and brain - are lovely (I am especially taken with the top one as red always captures the eye and spirit and it is just loose enough). Now to the real work ahead - what a large canvas to begin but I know you will gird your loins and continue the good fight. It’s what we do, as artists and creators - we put it down on canvas, paper, and walls = our image of the world for others to share; I like the idea of sharing, not our differences, but our sameness :). Keep up the good fight, my friend - that canvas cannot beat you!!

  2. Hi Rhonda!... No surprise to me that the "red one" catches your eye... Just tails about after "Papa Red" HA HA!!

    Art with our wee circle blogging friends is just that - non competitive believers in the mantra; "Sharing is caring!" And we all do!

    The BIG canvas is no longer bare as of the end of this foul weather day of ice and cold! It is warmed... to its very edges with warm, varying washes of burnt sienna undercoating and forms! Never fails to fire up my engines!

    Stay tuned...

    Good Painting and blessings!
    Warmest regards,

  3. Hi Bruce, the opening paragraph feels very relevant to me at the moment, Ha Ha! It's also very true - part of the reason I became an artist was the need to share my experiences of landscapes with others.

    I really like the first of your paintings too, there is so much interest in such a small space, and such a feeling of Summer sunshine.

    I was surprised to hear about the weather you've been having. I hope that doesn't come over here, as we are enjoying a first taste of Summer warmth at the moment.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where your creativity takes you with this next piece!

    All the best,

  4. Good morning Keith!... Yes, that first paragraph certainly does underscore the very essence of why we as artists are compelled to create. It is about expressing and sharing our unique ideas and opinions with anyone in the world who wishes to pay attention.

    The first painting took some getting used to for me. At first glance it seemed too crowded with extraneous detail... a bit too much on the "fussy" , or busy side for my liking in such a small and confined space. More looking... and beneath the actual pigment revealed to me that it was indeed the qualities of summer that you picked out that in the end pleased me. They likely motivated and determined the course of the painting.

    Yes... winter is still acting up... and lingering far too long for most here in these parts... to the chagrin of most. It actually has fuelled the commencement of that HUGE 36 x 48 inch canvas for me. "Winter's Sweet Surrender"... is now finally a "work-in-progress."

    Stay tuned...
    Warmest regards... and thanks for tuning in!
    Good Painting!

    PS Your customs duty reimbursement is "in the air" to you... as we speak!

  5. Well I must say that I rather like the 'artistic fandangos' the phrase gave me some lovely cheerful mental images ;o) and you have painted yourself some lovely sunshine. Dancing shoes suit you Sir!

    I hope that you have come out of the ice storm without incident and it wasn't as bad as predicted. Best wishes.

  6. Hi there Lisa!... "Dancing shoes" were absolutely necessary equipment in the Sherman household. We all sang and danced together... "jitterbugging and jiving" our way into our teens.. all the time painting and sketching when we were not on the dance floor!

    Music (of any genre) is still interwoven into my painting practices... and influences outcomes the timbre and moods of my paintings. "Fandangos" are unbridled explorations... and the outcomes are usually completely and unpredictably joyous in nature.

    Thank you for your compliment Ms.Le Quelenec!

    We survived the ice thingy... i painted my way through it.

    Stay tuned ... another "fandango" is underway!

    Warmest regards and Blessings!