Can we really see? All of us artists know (or should) that good painting is good seeing! Looking at a moment framed in nature and also in man- made constructs. That includes events and conditions and scenarios. We get taken away by our own thoughts in this and often overlook just what we are seeing and instead start thinking. We see the inside of our own memories; interpretations of things, and that changes what is actually perceived out there. Not that thinking is a bad thing, but not while seeing; just look, feel, then think. After that, respond and remark on it in a painting, say something and think something and do something, share something, but look first.
Almost a decade ago I decided to do a series of paintings in and around Duluth, Minnesota. I am still doing that. It is worth mentioning how much one can experience walking around a city toting an easel, camera and paint box. I did not expect to enjoy painting in front of people, and am much a recluse in such things, always thinking of myself as a “studio artist.” I needed to try this, perhaps I am missing something, I thought. So I found my “floppy” hat and …
Sepia Ink 8″x10″ on illustration board
What came as a first big surprise was that no one seemed to care, or notice very much. The world is really busy with itself, or I was too busy with myself to realize that what I was doing really was only important to me. I had been busy with my own personal fears and doubts about being out in public and having painting failures exposed with no studio to hide in. At first, I found spots back out of the way or not well populated, but soon found myself drawn to places others wanted to be in also. So, it soon became mostly comfortable to just set up and sketch, paint and write anywhere the muse struck. When I became comfortable, the walk around world seemed to just vanish. It seemed to send out a friendship signal that had not been there before. Maybe body language, maybe the paint I get all over me, maybe just relaxing. And soon, friendly folks would stop and chat a bit, and all of a sudden the city looked different because of comments they might make. I was not sure if this new influence was a good or bad thing, but it was definitely a thing!
When this blog became more than just an Idea or a task off in the future, my whole intention was to get the Duluth collection posted. However, just like when I went out into the public to paint, I found fears in exposing my art online, and decided to learn how to post, make my mistakes and then slowly move into the building of an online gallery.
Steeples in Recession
Sepia Ink on 8″x10″ illustration board
Weather is a real challenge, more than self. (Of course, one must always have safety in mind, but that will be a different posting).
Then there was materials and techniques, of which are much easier in the studio. But in the field, the choices to start with are the pencil, ink, water color, or colored pencils, and always if one can stand the mess, oils. My favorite studio medium is oil, but my now favorite field medium is watercolor. I started with graphite, does that say anything?
Blue Walking Bridge
Graphite 8″x10″ on Illustration board
So now that I am developing the Duluth image section. I will be making a place for it in the Gallery section, and post the images there. Postings in general, art, fashion will continue here on the front page. Gallery updates as well!