Saturday, April 14, 2012

Painting a Pug

This is Tuffy. He belongs to my friends Nancy & Angie. He lives with them, as well as four cats. His favorite toy is "Devil Guy," which you see in his mouth. As you may imagine, I chuckled to myself the entire time I was working on this painting!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Learning to be astonished

From "Messenger" by Mary Oliver:

"Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? 
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me 
     keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

Pelicans and Painting

Yesterday, I had the day off. I needed to go to Sebastopol to run errands, so I took my pochade box with me so I could paint a view of the laguna on my way to town. It was beautiful, as usual. What made it extra spectacular was a group of American White Pelicans that landed in the laguna while I was painting. At the moment they landed, I was looking at my painting and did not see them. I heard an impressive noise (as they swept their large beaks through the water) and looked up to see a group of birds such as I'd never seen before. At first I thought I was seeing swans; then I noticed their huge beaks. I was trying to figure out what I was seeing when a woman walked over to take a photo. She told me what they were and said they usually were found at the other end of the laguna. She also told me that they have an 8-foot wing span. We both stood watching them, and then they took off. They circled up slowly in ever widening circles; underneath their wings is a distinctive black pattern (on top they are pure, bright white). It was truly a magical experience to see them.

Reworked Painting

This is the reworked version of one of the paintings I did (and posted earlier) during my Spring Break vacation. I altered the colors to increase value contrast, and I'm much happier with this version! I'm going to give this painting to my friend Geri, who is a fabulous chef, and who invites my wife and I to her home twice a year (at Thanksgiving and Easter) for an amazing feast. So....a art for her art!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

What is important to an artist

Poet Mary Oliver, from her book Our World, on her life with photographer Molly Malone Cook:
"In some consideration of my writings, a reviewer once surmised that I must have a private income of some substance, since all I ever seemed to do (in my poems) was wander around Provincetown's woods and its dunes and its long beaches. It was a silly surmise. Looking at the world was one of the important parts of my life, and so that is what I did. It was as simple as that. Poets, if they ever make a living from their writings, do not do so when they are first beginning to publish, and this was years ago. We did not, as I have said before, have much income. We had love and work and play instead."

On the easel today....

Still have a ways to go on this painting....colors and values need adjusting, and the grass & sky need work. Painted from a photo I took years ago of the Russian River under stormy skies. The river did look an interesting aqua color on that day.