Sunday, April 30, 2017

Racing With The Waves ( Gull #6 )

                                              An original acrylic painting, on gesso primed masonite panel
                                              20 X 16", unframed
                                              $350.00, ( plus $35.00, pack and ship )

                                                          ( click on image to enlarge )

     Anyone who has ever watched the feeding habits of shorebirds, scavenging along
on beaches, is familiar with their patterns of movements.  As the waves are receding,
the birds hurry onto the wet expanses of sands and pebbles, in search of freshly
exposed tidbits of marine life.  Then, as the next waves advance, surging back up the
beach, the birds hastily retreat, to avoid the incoming breakers.  And so, it continues
in endless repetition, to the rhythm of the waves.

     This painting of an ever-hungry gull, was an attempt to capture some of that
feeling of observing the active movements of birds on the beach.  As I look at the
painting now, I would call it impressionist, but with expressionist aspects.  The
vigor of the paint application, has a freshness and spontaneity which helps to convey
that feeling of movement.  When I was painting the bird, I also made a very conscious
decision to have the tips of the wing and tail feathers extend just slightly beyond the
edges of the picture-plain, which is also an attempt to create the impression of an
active bird, moving quickly forward.

The Day The Earth Shook ( Lost And Found # 24 )

                                                       An original mixed-media, on illustration board
                                                       5 X 7", unframed, ( mat size, 10 X 12" )
                                                       $110.00, ( plus $15.00, pack and ship )

                                                           ( click on image to enlarge )

     Sooner or later, for each and everyone of us, the day will come when we experience
a life-threatening event, which becomes a sharp reminder of our individual, human
mortality.  For me, that event was a combination of a couple of heart-attacks, followed
by difficult, open-heart surgery.
     After my stay in the hospital, I was brought home, and as i was emerging from the
car ( moving very slowly ) I happened to see two small objects which had been washed
down the street by heavy rains, while I was away.  They were a small, plastic figure of
one of Disney's Seven Dwarfs, and a single well-used die.  That trivial discovery seemed
somehow prophetic to me
     During my convalescence, as I tried to avoid moving as much as possible, I worked
on a series of miniatures, which included those two, found objects, along with other things
which had once been treasured, but then long-ago forgotten and lost.  I called those
miniatures my "Lost And Found" series, which is perhaps symbolic of the fact that, in
the end, we are all destined to lose everything, but that we sometimes receive a bit of
an extension or second chance, before we have to say goodbye.  My extension has
lasted for several years now, and I am grateful for each new day.

     The little painting which I have posted here, from that series, was the one which
included an old, broken pocket-watch, that I found shoved to the back of a drawer,
where it had remained since the 1940's.   The hands of the watch are set at five
twenty-nine, which was the exact moment of the detonation of the first nuclear
weapon, on the morning of July 16, 1945, in New Mexico.  Ever since that earth-
-shaking day, life threatening events have been multiplying for all of humanity.  The
question now has become, not one of our individual mortality, but one of whether
or not the whole, human race is going to survive, especially with all of the unstable
people who now have control of nuclear weapons, including our own chief executive.