Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Some Scents Of Spring

                                                   An original acrylics painting, on canvas panel
                                                   20 X 16" unframed
                                                   $400.00, - ( plus $35.00, pack & ship )

                                                            ( click on image to enlarge )

     Now, as I look at this painting again, I see that I should have included an object
of easily identifiable size, in order to provide a good idea of the scale of these items.
The bouquet is actually a small bunch of wild-phlox, blossom-clusters, with some pink
azaleas, which happened to be blooming at the same time, in our area.
     The cat is an equally, small-scale object.  It is one of the little, hand-me-down,
cat figurines, here at the studio, which have very undistinguished, porcelain pedigrees.
( They were probably cranked out by the thousands, in Japan, following the second
world war. )  However, they do come in handy, as still-life objects, so they sometimes
come and go, in my paintings, about as silently and aloof as their real-life counterparts.

     The title I have given the painting, is a bit of a word-play, with a duel reference to
flower fragrance, and our crazy weather this spring.  The scent of the flowers in this
little bouquet, was not strong, but a cat would no doubt be very aware of its presence.
I even considered calling the painting Scents And Scent-ability. ( My apologies to
Jane Austin, for the bad pun, on the title of her novel Sense And Sensibility. )
The other reference to word-play, is that the usual pronunciations of the words scents
and sense, can sound the same, so the title can sound like Some Sense Of Spring.
Taken that way, the title expresses the wish for a normal weather pattern in our area
of the country, where we were not given a real taste of spring this year.  We have
jumped abruptly from long lingering, winter blasts into mid-summer heat, months
before such high temperatures normally settle in on us.
     Mother Nature does enjoy her cruel jokes.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Daffodil Dreams

                                                An original acrylics painting, on canvas panel
                                                20 X 16". unframed
                                                ( This painting will be in an upcoming exhibition at
                                                Buttonwood Art Space, and will not be available
                                                on this site until that show closes. )

                                                            ( Click on image to enlarge. )

     Daffodils are a member of the narcissus family, which according to ancient Greek
mythology, lined the banks of the River Styx, where Hades, the god of the underworld
ruled.  This year, in the American heartland, the flower's long association with death,
seems to have held another, prophetic warning about life's unpredictability here.
Spring may not have died, but she certainly went AWOL.  Winter has held claim on
us, right up to the onset of summer weather.  Here in the center of the continent,  the
Arctic cold fronts, and the warm fronts coming up from the gulf, are constantly battling
for control, and the people and their tender plants suffer from the fall-out.  So, with
Mother Nature being so fickle, it is always a toss-up, as to how much of spring's
annual, flower show will survive.  April even served up a couple of snow-falls and
deep freezes for us, after flowers and trees were already in bloom.

    A majority of the people in this country are not native Americans, they are the
descendants of immigrants from other lands, as are our daffodils.  But these bulbs
have proved to be a hardy breed.  Early pioneer women, who traveled from the
east coast, to settle the Ozarks, carried the bulbs with them, and planted them in
front of their cabins, to have a touch of home.  Now those early, crude cabins are
gone, and the worn-out land has often been reclaimed by woodlands, but each
spring, the bright, yellow flowers sprout up again, to mark the place where hopes
ran high.

   The daffodils here at the studio, were well budded-out when they were twice
blanketed by snow-falls.  I was quite surprised, when I saw that many had survived
the bitter onslaught, and opened up, bright and cheerful, after the snow melted.
Such loyal endurance seemed to call for a painted tribute to the ongoing magic
and mystery of these mythological, fellow travelers.   This painting was the result
of that call.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Tulips Sit Where Two Lips Sipped

                                               An original acrylics painting, on canvas panel
                                               16 X 20", unframed
                                                $400.00, - ( plus $35.00, pack & ship )

                                                            ( Click on image to enlarge. )

     Some viewers may find the little, tongue-twister title of this posting a bit silly, rather
than mildly amusing, but I'm hoping that a majority of them will fall into the latter group.
( I suppose that is an ego thing. )  But there is a kind of logic to the choice of title, if you
consider the original cause of the impulse to paint these tulips.
     Imagine, if you will, a scenario in which the gardener of the house has just finished his
morning coffee, and decides to go out for a stroll around the garden, to take a look at
some of the weather damages to his tender plants.  As he walks, he decides to save the
last of the storm-ravaged tulips, and bring them inside, where he then plunks them into
his coffee mug, still sitting on the kitchen counter.  And then, having saved them, (at least
for a few, last days of fading glory), he decides to use them as subjects for a painting.
After all, he is well aware that he may not have the opportunity to see them bloom again
next year.
     Something very much like that happened here, but with a much, less interesting
coffee-mug, and with a more interesting, morning beverage.

     The painting is an impressionist piece, emphasizing a strong interplay of light and
shadow, rather than a simply doing it as a botanical study.  Whenever possible, I like
to give still-life paintings, a feeling of mystery or unknown potential, so that the viewer
might ask, what more there is, to the story of these objects.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Echoes From Neptune

                                                An original mixed-media, on paper
                                                18 X 12", unframed

                                                            ( Click on image to enlarge. )

     Recently, I ran across this little, composition study, among a stack of  things I
had put aside long ago, as being simply practice or experimental pieces, or perhaps
things I considered unfinished.  I can see now that, as I worked on it, I was thinking
about creating different kinds of directional pulls, of lines and shapes, but I didn't
continue to use these same simple objects, in a more finished painting.  Even so, I find
something appealing about the color palette of this little study.  The brightly-soft glow
of the salmon-pink lining of the white sea-shell, seems to make the harmony sing a bit.
Perhaps it may make some viewers recall childhood memories, of holding sea-shells
up to their ears, to hear the sounds of the ocean.

Friday, March 30, 2018

All Of The Balloons In The Package

                                                An original pastels painting, on paper
                                                18 X 24"
                                                 This painting is in a private collection.

                                                           ( click on image to enlarge )

     During my previous posting, of the casein painting called Follow The Leader, I was
reminded of this painting, from several decades ago, because of the same use of party-
balloons, as a part of the subject.  In this case, of course, the balloons are a much more
dominant part of the composition.  The idea comes from the question a parent asks a
birthday girl, about how many more of the balloons, in the package, she wants to have
inflated.  But do they really have to ask the question?  The answer is always the same.
All of them!  
     Unfortunately, for the joyful child, if she takes her treasure-trove of balloons outside,
on such a windy day in March, she is destined to return home with fewer balloons than
when she went out the door.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Raven Revisited

                                                    An original acrylics painting, on gesso primed panel
                                                    16 X 13", unframed
                                                    $450.00,  ( plus $25.00, pack and ship )

                                                       ( click on image to enlarge )

     I have included the word "revisited", for this blog entry, because of my previous
postings of my earlier versions of The Raven.  Late last December, when everyone
was giving thought to making some New Year's resolutions, I was urging us all to
think about reforming the sad state of our political representation.  We are all too
aware of the fact that we have abandoned our American idealism, in favor of self-
interested bigotry and corporate greed.  And for our political campaigns, we have
accepted personal attacks, crude insults and hate-speech, in place of thoughtful
presentations of important issues, and the consideration of intelligent solutions for
our pressing, national problems.

     Of course, I am still hoping that we will regain our American idealism, and, like
the raven, proclaim that nevermore will we accept boastful ineptitude, dishonesty
and hate-mongering, in our candidates for public office. So, those urgent hopes still
 apply to our upcoming elections.

     But, as for the previous painting, since those postings, having looked at it a little
bit longer, I thought it seemed to be more of a tame illustration, rather than a painting
which stood on its own, independent from the famous poem by Poe.  And now,
in this version of the painting, I think perhaps it contains more of the drama of the
ghostly, midnight apparition, as seen by the fire-light and candle-light, in the mournful,
narrator's library.
     There will be some critics who will say that this version is still just illustration, but
if so, why should illustration be considered a lesser category of art?

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Follow The Leader

                                                     An original casein painting, on watercolor board
                                                     20 X 24". unframed
                                                     $450.00, ( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                    ( click on image to enlarge )                                        

     It has been over two months since the sun began its climb back northward, toward the
equator, but as always, during these last, unsettled weeks of winter, our inpatients for the
sun's return, grows ever stronger.   A primary ingredient of our gloom, is the barrenness
of the world around us, at this time of year.  With no cheerful patches of leafy greenery
and trees, to distract us from seeing the deterioration of our surroundings, we are faced
with all the problems of our own making.  Views such as this one, where a row of houses
has been demolished, revealing the backs of the houses across the alleyway, are much
too common in our old, central cities.  This is another of those neighborhoods in need of
an injection of funds, for some welcome redevelopment and gentrification, but there are
too many such saddened neighborhoods, and not enough funds.

     As we survey the faded dreams and tattered remnants of our human ambition and
pride, it is the children who give us hope for the future.  Children represent optimism and
cheerful, free-spirited confidence, unaware yet of the many hazards of life, but eager to
set new goals and reach for them, with energetic joy.  The children in this painting, are
more symbols, than they are fully developed, specific individuals.  They are three, little,
cheerful sprites, helping to brighten the winter-faded antiquity of their surroundings.
As the girls play follow-the-leader, one is holding back a bit, perhaps cautiously hesitant,
about climbing too high on the old wall.

     This painting was another from my past series of casein paintings, which were similar
in their themes and subjects to this example.  At least one of the other paintings from that
series, titled, Sandcastles On The Gulf, was previously posted in this blog.  The setting
for that painting was a section of our southern, gulf coast, which had been battered and
flooded by a hurricane, but it is also a place where some resilient and happy children,
still build dreams of the future, as they build sandcastles on the beach.