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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Looking For Spring

                                       An original, acrylics painting, on heavyweight illustration board
                                       20 X 30". unframed
                                       $160.00, - ( plus $35.00 - pack and ship )

                                                       ( click on image to enlarge )

     This is the time of year when we all may be suffering from cabin fever, to some degree.
So, an unseasonable warm day in winter, can urge us to venture outdoors, to seek a bit of
sunlight breaking out, and to look for signs of emerging, new growth and swelling buds.
But, of course, spring still takes its time about arriving, and the tantalizing, warm day is
soon replaced by more days of cold and gloom.  Mother nature still follows the calendar,
and that never changes, no matter what the groundhog keepers may say.
     As we age, the beauty and wonder of snow-covered fields and frozen streams become
less and less beautiful and wonderful, and more and more of a frigid trial of endurance.
The added realization, that we will inevitably have fewer and fewer springs in our future,
makes the poignancy of the spring rebirth all the more melancholy, even as we long for it
to come. We wonder how many more times we will get to enjoy the blossoming of new
life around us.  The figure of longing, in this landscape,  also serves as the symbolic, but
rarely acknowledged question of our vanishing youth.  The seasons and the years, have
been quietly stolen away from us, by father time, leaving us to ask, "Where did it all go?" ,

     I ran across this painting, in storage, recently, and it seemed to fit the mood of the
season.  It was actually a study for a much larger painting that I did, four decades or so
ago, but I think this one stands on its own fairly well, for anyone who likes the subject.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Raven Was Resolute

                                          An original acrylics painting, on gesso-primed masonite
                                          16 X 13", unframed

                                                     ( click on image to enlarge )

     One of the most famous poems, in all of American literature is, The Raven, by Edgar
Allen Poe.  In the poem, the grieving narrator mourns his lost Lenore, and all the while, his
lamentations are eerily echoed by the ghostly, avian visitor, who cries his unrelenting call
of "Nevermore!".  

     During the past year of 2017, America has been lamenting the loss of many of the
ideals which we have long valued, as a nation of common principles of decent behavior.
We have suffered a general loss of respect, dignity, and honesty in our national
discourse, all of which were fueled by our failure as voters, to select the most worthy
candidates for public offices. We should remember that, just as we are known by the
company we keep, we are also judged by the people we elect to represent us.
     Since this is the time of year when many of us are making our New Year's resolutions,
to make changes in our lives, isn't it time that we make a vow to be more thoughtful, in
choosing those candidates for public office, who will best represent America's ideals?
Why don't we stand up and say a resounding  "Nevermore!", to all of the self-serving
frauds who only seek public office as a way self-enrichment or self-aggrandizement,
rather than as an opportunity to serve the public?  Let us resolve to have "Nevermore",
serve as our new mantra, for a new beginning, this new year.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who always prefer lying to telling the truth, as
a way to boost their own egos, even though their lies are often transparent falsehoods
to everyone who hears them.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who publicly proclaim themselves to be great
protectors of women, while in private they like to brag about their history of predatory,
sexual aggression.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who do not believe in the factual truth of science,
and willfully cling to to their own ignorance, rather than accept the unassailable proofs of
scientific evidence.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who pollute our environment and destroy our
natural heritage, just for the financial gain of corporate profiteers.

          Nevermore will we vote for racist, xenophobic hate-mongers, who try to make
us think that all our troubles can be blamed on people who can be labeled as somehow
different from us, or not "American" enough.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who proclaim that they are great, patriotic
statesmen, even though they have avoided military service themselves, by the use of
fictitious medical excuses.

          Nevermore will we vote for wealthy men who have demonstrated their total
lack civic responsibility, by admitting that they don't pay income taxes, and saying that
tax avoidance makes them "smart", meaning that those of us who do our part of funding
the government, are stupid.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who hold themselves up as great examples of
business leadership, but who have a long history of business failures, bankruptcies,
and fraudulent, business enterprises.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who attack our good, investigative journalists,
for doing the important job of providing necessary information to the American public,
about the ineptitude and crookedness of our elected leaders.

          Nevermore will we vote for men who advocate the election to public office, of
a hypocritically, pious candidate, who has a long history of pedophilia, as a way for
that executive official to gain a political advantage for himself.

     The list of offences to our national self-respect and ideals, continues to grow with
each passing day.  No doubt, anyone who reads this blog-posting, is well aware of
many additional examples.  Please feel free to offer your own pledges, to these vows
of  "Nevermore"!


The Raven ( preliminary drawing )

                                            An original ink drawing, for an acrylics painting
                                            16 X 13", on gesso primed, masonite panel

     Some paintings seem to flow directly from one's imagination, onto the canvas
in an almost ready-made composition, while other seem to require a much more
thoroughly detailed preparatory drawing, in order to carry out the idea of the
painting, to a fully satisfactory conclusion.  Perhaps some blog viewers may like
getting to see this example of a more detailed, preliminary drawing.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Cardinal Red, Spruce Green, and Snow White

                                           An original acrylics painting, on canvas panel
                                           10 X 8", unframed
                                            $100.00, ( plus $10.00, pack and ship )

                                                                 ( click on image to enlarge)                                                          

     It is usually around this time of the year, that I begin to look around the studio, to
choose a suitable painting to use as the cover art, for my annual, holiday greeting-cards.
One option this year, could be this little, impressionist study, of a cardinal in a snow-
laden, spruce grove.  One drawback to choosing this painting is that, as subjects for
Christmas cards, cardinals are as common as snowmen.  But on the other hand, the
painting is composed of the traditional colors which are used for the season's decor,
a custom which has it's origins clear back to before  the Christian celebration, at this
time of the year..
     The pagan Scandinavian and Germanic people of northern Europe celebrated a
twelve-day, winter-solstice holiday called Yule.  Our modern Christmas traditions,
such as the Christmas tree, the Christmas wreath, the yule log and others, are direct
decedents of yule customs.  I am reminded of that when I hear carolers singing of
bringing in the evergreens and "the holly and the ivy", with the bright green leaves and
the red berries, which are such cheerful emblems of the holiday season.
     Some of the beautiful simplicity, of decorating with evergreens has been lost, now
that we have electric-lights displays, and gold and silver metallic paints, which set many
of our homes ablaze with the glitter and dazzle of a Los Vegas casino.  But are we willing
to return to the simple joys of an evergreen tree, decorated only with edible treats and
other, small hand-made gifts?  No, unfortunately, we are probably not willing to deprive
ourselves of indulging in the yearly, seasonal madness.