Monday, August 21, 2017

There's a reason why I haven't posted in a while...

Why you ask?
For one major reason. I wanted to see if anyone actually noticed if I didn't post. So far, only three people even mentioned it. I am wondering if this is wasted effort.

Lots has happened since running after the decoration sugar balls on the floor, while baking cookies. We had the holidays. Grandkids graduated and got into college. We bounced back and forth from CA, Colorado and here. 
I went to the plein air convention in San Diego. That was like coming home. I took a workshop with my cousin Paul and Kim Casebeer in Evergreen Colorado. Wow, was it ever beautiful. Made a few new friends during the process and loved every minute. Moral - you can and will windburn even if you are slathered with sunscreen. Second moral - ALWAYS have a jacket in the car!

Balboa Carillon - Sold

I taught a workshop here in Silver and have been painting up a storm. I was asked to judge a plein air competition and did a defensible job. That was an honor, and was asked to judge two more, but what with travelling and family events could not do them.

What have I been painting? Mostly landscapes. Mostly plein air work. But I have revised several studio pieces that have hung around bugging me no end. Because something just did not ring true in them. I have one more piece, a pastel, that will undergo a face lift in one area. Then the backlog of those that can be saved will have been. Others will not be allowed into the lifeboat. I cringe when I see an older piece that today I would not have allowed to live. 

Morning Walk - Gila
11x14 Available
The best painting is always your next one. The worst ones always behind you. You hope. But I am learning to look with a more critical eye. Teaching a workshop really made me think about my process. What do I KNOW works. What is the major stumbling block to good solid work? I found, for me, the answer was concept and composition. I can forgive a color I would not use. I can forget a brushstroke that might be too exuberant. But bad composition, and loss or confusion of concept are fatal flaws, in my mind. What do I consider a success? Solid concept. Strong motif. Enticing composition. Defined, clear values. Finally, enhancing color and a deft execution of edges. Easy list right?

Bearpaw Bloom 8x10 oil - Available

My students told me it was one of the hardest and best workshops they had taken. It was my honor. I felt pretty much like a mama duck watching her fledglings toddle off and swim with the big boys. The body of their work, when compared to what they had done before was stunning in advance of quality. It was hard teaching plein air in a pouring down rainstorm. It actually washed away a layer of paint on my support! But we slogged on through and got some amazing paintings. 

Monsoons in New Mexico! I don't think I could give them up.

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