Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Winter Morning Encounter

                                           An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                           16 X 20", unframed
                                            $1,400.00, -( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                        ( Click on image to enlarge )

     This was one of my demonstration paintings for my last workshop.  It was painted
as a response to questions about how to paint snow, and it showed how to build up
layers of undertones before adding the final touches of pure white.  The scene is entirely
     Creating a landscape completely from one's imagination can give an artist unlimited
freedom and possibilities, and yet it can be a trap or dead-end for some who try such
risky ventures.  We have all seen those twenty-five minute, TV art videos, which promote
painting as some kind of happiness therapy, and which value speed of completion over
thought  and observation.  The "landscapes" they crank out do not capture a genuine
sense of place, or a believable feeling of depth of field, or delineate objects in a space
of adequate capacity to hold them.
     In the case of this snowy, forest scene, I hope that I have given it a believable sense
of place, but also that I have given it the better advantage of being a completely imaginary
setting.  That advantage is,of course, the freedom o go beyond simply recording a
landscape as it is seen, to tell more of a complex idea, or even offer suggestions of a
story in the completed composition.  The imaginary landscape can become fantasy
( or even reach into a surreal vision,  such as the painting in one of my previous postings
titled Merlin's Enchanted Keep ). This painting is not that mystical, but it is an attempt
to capture a surreal moment in time, one of those rare, personal interactions with a wild
creature, which a Native American might see as a meeting with one's spirit-animal guide.

    The encounter occurs during a walk along a forest road, early on a perfectly quiet,
windless morning, when a nobble deer silently appears and acknowledges the human
presence with a calm exchange of greetings, looking into each other's eyes knowingly
for a time, before it turns away to walk up the road, perhaps as an invitation to follow
along.  Perhaps the other-worldly nature of such a meeting may suggest the kind of
dream-spirit encounter which can come in the final moments of life, offering assurance
that the last journey will not be too uncomfortable, and that the destination will be
welcoming and natural.

     I'm sure that there are many people who will simply describe this painting as a
picture of a deer in the woods.  I can't argue with that view; we all see what we want
to see.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

Sunrise At Portland Head Lighthouse

                                             An original acrylic painting, on stretched canvas
                                             18 X 24", unframed
                                              $1,800.00, -( plus $25.00, pack and ship )

                                                      ( Click on image to enlarge )

     The Portland Head light, in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, has stood witness to almost our
entire history as a nation.  It was commissioned by George Washington's directive,
and it is the oldest lighthouse in Maine.  Construction began in 1787, and it was
completed in 1791, when it was first illuminated by whale oil.
     Untold numbers of fishermen, whalers, merchantmen and sailors, have looked to the
light, for over two centuries, to guide them through darkness and stormy seas, to find
their safe harbor.  If only it could talk: the stories it could tell!
     All who sail past the light now, should probably lift a glass in a toast to its enduring
legacy.  We can only hope that it will continue to stand for centuries of sunrises to come,
still offering the light of a democracy, ignited by our first president.