Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Forgotten Quest

                                                  An original oil painting on primed panel
                                                  15.5 X 25.5", unframed

     Some viewers of this blog may find this painting interesting.  Others may find it odd.
Perhaps we can say that it is oddly interesting.
     When I pulled this painting out of storage the other day, I hadn't looked at it for many
years. The major reason I thought that it might be something interesting to post, was a
story which I recalled as I was wiping some dust off of the painting, in order to get a
better look at it.  That simple task triggered the memory of a story told by David Douglas
Duncan, ( the American photographer ), from the time when he had his arrangement with
Pablo Picasso, to publish a book of Picasso's previously unseen work.
     Evidently Duncan had permission to roam freely through Picasso's villas in southern
France, looking into the many rooms which were packed full of Picasso's work, in order
to choose which paintings he wanted to photograph.  As he was in one of the rooms,
sorting through the stacks,he found a bold, black and white piece he wanted to use, but
which was so dust-covered that he couldn't get a clear photo.  So, he gave it a simple
wipe-down with a dust-cloth, and to his immediate horror, he saw that he had ruined
one of Picasso's own original Picassos, because it was done in charcoal and had not yet
been fixed.
     Duncan's fearful apology to Picasso, must have been accepted, because the incident
didn't seem to destroy their friendship, and the publishing collaboration was successful
for Duncan.
     As for this painting, it is from a time when Abstract Expressionism was in its supreme
ascendancy, and the art critics were embracing the modernist masters with enthusiasm.
Literal, figurative works became passe, and sensitive landscapes were dismissed with a
sneer, as "calendar painting".  That art tyranny has eased now, but abstraction remains
a strong influence, and rightly so.  Artists need to constantly explore new approaches
to expression and composition, or they risk repeating the same painting, time after time
like simple, craft work.
     This composition was an attempt to create depth of field by the use of overlapping,
translucent planes, on which there could be progressive figurative or botanical images,
in varying degrees of recognizable form.  However, it was never fully developed.
As it is now, it would only be worthy of note by the critics, if my name had attained the
monumental fame of an artist like Picasso.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Box of Old, Love Letters

                                         An original acrylic painting, on gesso primed panel
                                         10 X 13", unframed
                                          $200.00,  ( plus $20.00, pack and ship )

                                                   ( click on image to enlarge )

     This is traditionally the month in which we declare our undying love for our spouses
or our significant others, although the expressing of our abiding love should really be
demonstrated every day, rather than waiting until the compulsory day arrives.  After
Saint Valentine's Day has passed each year, I tend to wonder how many people were
fortunate enough to receive a hand-written declaration of love, from the most important
person in their lives.  In this fast-paced, electronic age, such letter writing is a dying art.
So, the various commercial interests profit greatly from our reluctance to spend the time
to express the depth of our feelings. The florists tell us to "Say it flowers.", the candy
makers tell us to "Say it with chocolates".and the jewelers tell us to "Say it with diamonds."
 (The word "it", in all these promotions, presumably stands in for the words "I love you".)
And then, for the last-minute, frugal or desperate valentine, there is always the heart-
-shaped, greeting card.
     We should make it a practice, to put our love in writing on a regular basis.  Elizabeth
Barrett Browning said it dramatically, with her poem How Do I Love Thee ?, but we
don't have to be poets.  Life will be sweeter for those who will simply and sincerely
write what they feel, and give those little day-brighteners to their own, true loves.
Those little love-notes mean more than we know.

     This painting looks back to a different time.  Someone who, long ago, had received
love letters on a regular basis, and then carefully locked them away, has now opened
the box, to read them again, and relive treasured memories of true love.  Although the
pages may be yellowing with age, and the ink may be fading, the words can still warm
the heart.  The painting doesn't offer any clues as to whether this was a lost love, or an
unrequited love, or a love which became a life-long union, with many more of these
written expressions of enduring love.  I'll leave the rest of the story to the imaginations
of the viewers.


     This painting is also now available framed and ready to hang, in an attractive, gold
molding with a linen liner, for anyone who would like to "Say it with fine art".

                              The price with frame is $250.00, ( plus $30.00,  pack and ship )