My students have a way of inspiring me always. Maybe that is why I like to teach. We discussed commercial vs fine art as well as who does art belong to in our class today. Students worked on a beautiful still life of peppers and cabbage. I was so up lifted at the end of class, looking forward to painting, when a woman stuck her head in the door of our gallery and said to her friend, "oh just pictures in there" then she shut the door and walked away. Funny sometimes how differently we see things.
"...with the radiant summer light of Provincetown that rivals the
Greek Islands, because, I have always supposed, like them. . . . Provincetown
is on a narrow spit of land surrounded by the sea, which reflects light
with a diffused brilliance that is subtly but crucially different from
the dry, inland light . . . People tend to forget that Provincetown is
(roughly) on the forty two degree meridian, as is Barcelona and Opporto
and Cannes and Rome (almost exactly) and Macedonia and Istanbul and Peking
(more or less), a distinctly warm southern light compared to Northern Europe,
a light as seductive to painters in the Modernist tradition as geometry
was to ancient Greek philosophers and musicians." -Robert Motherwell from: Robert Motherwell, "Provincetown and Days Lumberyard: A Memoir,"
Days Lumberyard Studios: Provincetown, 1914-1971 (Provincetown: Provincetown
Art Association and Museum, 1978)
"It is better to make shoes, or dig potatoes, or follow any other honest calling to secure a livelihood, than seek the pursuit of Art for the sake of gain...I would sooner look for figs on thistles than for the higher attributes of art from one whose ruling motive in its pursuit is money...it is only through the religious integrity of motive by which all real Artists have been actuated, that it still preserves its original purity, impressing the mind through the visible forms of material beauty, with a deep sense of the invisible and immaterial." -Asher Durand
Oil/panel 8 3/4" x 6 1/2" - Rugh, 1999
On exhibit at Highfield Hall this month.
Hillary and I had just started dating. It must have been in 1999.
Months before I had illustrated a piece for a book on mythology about
Daphne and Apollo, where Daphne isn't allowed to be with Apollo and so
is turned into a tree (which turns out to be the next best thing.) I
always liked how those two trunks of the same tree in Beebe Woods have
such a masculine/feminine look to them. So, anyway, as we started dating
I told Hillary that I had just done a painting for her but that I
couldn't show her yet. Too much commitment, too soon. She likes
surprises and she probably stayed with me just so she could see what it
was. I think it was a couple months later that I showed it to her.
A start from a model where the other figure hasn't been decided on yet. Rather than figuring out the composition from the beginning and then just executing it, an open plan allows for rumination and a richer content if one doesn't paint themselves into a corner. Wait to see what the next model has to offer and how it might relate to the first (which can then also change). Decisions over weeks rather than minutes.