Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

My long-time girlfriend, Barbara came to visit me for the 3-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. She came on Saturday and left today. We played. I didn't paint. I did write the poem for the painting I just finished, "Winds of Fate." Creativity is a journey. Every baby step taken brings the artist along on her path, even if it isn't "painting."

Barbara and I went to Litchfield, CT. We browsed and shopped in the antique and clothing stores. I found a book on van Gogh in an antique shop. I looked up "L'Allee des Alyscamps" and found a full color plate of it. The colors were off from the newspaper clipping I had. The dark blue was nearly black and the orange hues were lighter. If this was the image that my cousin sent me, I would not have been inspired. It is quite interesting how color can make or break a visceral response to art (or anything).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Complete or not complete?

I have done just about all I can do to the painting. Now it is time to study it and see if there is something that needs adjusting.

The colors in this painting were inspired by a news clipping of a painting that my cousin sent to me. He wrote across the top, "I thought this quite lovely. Thinking of you." The news clipping was from the Arab Times, dated 11/2/03. When I saw the painting, I saw it upside down. What stuck me was the colors. At that moment, I knew I had to use those colors in a painting. Even when I turned the image right side up, I didn't pay attention to what the painting was of or who the artist was. I actually liked the painting better upside down.

It wasn't until I found it in my file of papers recently that I read the blurb under the painting:
"L'Allee des Alyscamps," an 1888 oil on canvas by Vincent van Gogh, will be offered during Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art Auction in New York on Nov 4. The painting is estimated to sell for 12-18 million. Auction powerhouses Sotheby's and Christie's are hoping a rising stock market and growing economy will bolster their balance sheets when fine art worth hundreds of millions of dollars hits the block in next week's semi-annual sales....

I certainly picked quite a painting to be inspired! But this was a reproduction on newsprint. For all I know, the paint colors are totally off from the original. I wonder where this painting is today and what it really looks like in person. It would be great to see it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Turning Point

Tonight is the turning point for the painting. It is close to completion. This one came together rather quickly. I guess it makes up for all the ones that make me sweat. The trees are in. There are just a few areas that need some finessing, primarily in the leaf mass and some touch up in the water.

Its title hasn't come to me yet,  but the painting is talking to me, giving me hints as to what its story is.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Discovery: Not every day is a paint day

Not every day is a paint day. It hit me, all of a sudden, that I am still an artist even if I don't paint every day. I can't be anything else, it's in my blood.

I got home late this evening. I ran some errands after work and walked Sammy when I got home.  Then I ate something that could qualify as "dinner."  I called my girl friend to see how she was doing. She had an operation today. Happy that she is doing fine, I went down to the studio, knowing I wasn't going to paint. I was too tired. This morning, I got up earlier than my usual early rise to visit City Hall to see the gallery space before heading to work. It actually is a wide hallway next to the Mayor's office.

Sometimes life gets in the way. I may not be able to paint every day, but, I will do something every day to advance the progress of the painting.  This will help me remain connected to the painting. Being true to my vow, I drew some marks on the painting so I would be ready to paint tomorrow evening. What can I say, beat me with a wet noodle. Nobody is perfect. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day 3

It seems that you can never tell yourself that you'd just paint for a half an hour. The moment you put the brush to canvas, you are sucked into the great void of creativity-in-the-making.

I couldn't tear myself away, even though I kept telling myself that I had to go to sleep, that I had to get up early in the morning to see the gallery space at City Hall before driving to work. But no, I couldn't stop. I stepped back, gave a critical eye to the painting and fell right back into the void. It needed a little white here, a little orange there, Then, of course, it needed some blue. Once I touched it one place, another place called out to me, "Fix me here, fix me there."

Finally, I stopped. I cleaned off the brushes and covered the palette. The image was at a point where I could leave it, for now.  It was well past the time I should be in bed. I went upstairs to Sammy, who I heard pacing the floor. He was waiting for me to come upstairs so he could be with me and go to sleep.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The evening rush

The more I paint, the more I want to paint. To see the colors form light and texture on canvas. To watch the image unfold with every brush stroke. It is exhilarating. It feeds my soul like nothing else can.

It's getting late. I wish I could paint all night but I must go to sleep.  Tomorrow is a work day.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Painting again

It felt so good to pick up a brush and start painting again. I began this painting months ago. It sat there on the easel, calling to me. I finally ripped myself away from procrastination -- finished washing the clothes and cleaning the house. I took Sammy out for his walk and settled into the studio. I was drawn to the painting like a magnet and picked up where I left off as if the image hung in the air waiting until I began layering it onto the canvas.