So what does a butterfly see? Do you know what you think you see? If I paint a butterfly, should I paint what I see or what I feel about it? But when you look at the painting, it should remind you at least of how you feel about butterflies, or if not, maybe you get how I feel. Must we paint what we think some one else might want to see?
Napping Between Acts. Oil on canvas 12″x16″. (1973)
I painted this back when I still made my own stretcher bars and hand stretched the raw canvas, prepped it with gesso and marble dust, sized it with rabbit glue and primed it with lead based white oil. It is a layered painting (old traditional style process). I wonder how many oil paintings are out there with lead based paints today? They are only dangerous if you eat them! You are not supposed to touch them, either. For whatever reason, back then clown paintings were a favorite of mine. I only have three or maybe four of them still around, I will post the third known one next week. If I find the fourth one, I will probably make a set of prints of them.
I’m surprised at how well the acrylic paints hold up. This was painted back when acrylics were relatively new and no one really knew if they were going to hold up as promised. I remember every artist arguing about whether or not it was a real media or a fad. True purists said only oil was real art. I have come to think of acrylic as the other oil that dries faster. Then came alkides!
As for century plants, (these are in Arizona) they bloom approximately every hundred years (so they say), and accordingly named them such. I have seen them bloom in ten year cycles or as the rain comes in unpredictable cycles in the Arizona desert, no one really knows.
Oil paint on canvas 5″x5″ (plein air miniature)
A painting done on location early in 1968 – Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona. My wife and I were newlyweds and going to college in Flagstaff, Arizona. Oak Creek was only 14 miles from the campus, but you dropped from 6000 feet to less than 600 above sea level in that short distance.
This was a favorite place to go for college students – you can see why. From snow to sunbathing in 30 minutes!