March 10th 2019
As I lay in bed this morning watching the trees sway and listening to the wind, my headache continued to keep me still. Its the first morning of the time change with an hour ahead. My body and mind said it was merely 6 am, but the clock said otherwise.
I lay there quite often, staring outside the window before I get out of bed. It could be a weekday morning before I go to the job of a school bus driver ( in my tenth year), or on a weekend where I try to catch up on my sleep. You see, I LOVE to sleep. Its essential to good health, something that seems lost on my son the gamer. Perhaps one day he will “wake up” and realize he’s really is exhausted. But I digress and spew a bit of parental frustration.
As I lay in bed, I typically will ponder ( at different times) where I want to go with this art business, which I should have a handle on by now) I reflect back on how it began in 1990 with the first public exhibit. Little did I know that it or I would develop into a decent to good painter and teacher. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Now, about 30 years later, I’m pondering what I can do to improve my work, what can I make that people may desire to purchase ( that’s what this “hobby” became, something that most of my income relies on to pay the bills). I started painting barns and more barns until I thought I had done enough. I still paint a barn and still enjoy the design of the work, be it a vignette ( see included image here) or a “full” landscape. I focused on the St. Lawrence River early on creating works that reflected my times as a kid that spent summers there in Canada. There’s more about that I suppose I could share aside from you reading my bio.
Watercolor Vignette. Note how the colors leave the paper on three edges.
Artists are an odd lot that rarely stick with one thing for long. We start with a theme at the time we first pick up a brush. We always wanted to paint and here’s our chance. For me I “restarted” after graduating from college. I had dabbled but didn’t do many paintings at all. Watercolor was first medium for a long time. One day I mentioned to my wife that I might attempt oil painting. As a joke, she threw a 50th birthday gathering (that wasn’t the joke, read on) and secretly asked people to bring something related to oil painting. Soon I gathered brushes, paints ( which I had a hard time with the odor at first), cleaners, canvas ( another new thing as I do watercolor on paper). My attempts were OK at best but I wasn’t working in oil the way I thought I should. The drying time was waaaayy slower than watercolor by a mile or more. It didn’t flow or change when the paint hit the canvas. I tried and tried.
An early oil painting of the town hall in Honeoye Falls NY
And then, another change. Acrylics. I had seen acrylics but never used them. I always thought of them as plasticky. Not much variation in color or tonal values. But, what the heck, I’ll try them. So here I go, buying the paint and more brushes since I didn’t want to mix them wit the oil brushes. The key here is, I thought, is that you can use them with water. They rinse just like watercolor. And, they dry FAST! Great, finally some thing like oils that dries like watercolor. But to my surprise, I found out that too much water can be bad ( on canvas ) but on watercolor paper or nearly any other absorbent paper, use all the water one desires. I certainly hope the painting I sold back then hasn’t fallen off the canvas yet.
Are you tired of reading yet? I suppose there is a point to all this mumbo jumbo. You see, I’m struggling with these thoughts and its pretty universal.
What do I paint? What size should it be? What medium? Is it canvas or panel or paper? Is it a gallery wrapped canvas? Do I add a float frame or not? Can I generate the work in a decent time and still get paid what I believe is fair? I should mention that I was interested in oils as they are considered “king” as paintings go.
I have spent many many hours planning, designing and painting. Yes, we have to plan and design a painting. We simply don’t work from our heads. We are mysterious and magical, but still have to follow some sort of construction. Now, that’s not true for ALL painters. Plein Aire painters go outside and paint from life. They are strictly outdoor artists in all the elements. I’m a mixture of plein arie and studio artist. I think I would like to paint outside all the time. There’s a “thing about it”. There’s a perception about the outdoor painter whos close to nature while working. Groups of artists gather together to paint while some are solitary souls. Some run the circuit and paint competitively for a living. You must be dedicated.
Tired of reading yet? All these bits, these small thoughts navigate my brain all the time.
OK, OK, so, while lying in bed this morning I decided to go to the studio and grab the 12 x 12 panels I had and cut them down to 8 x 8. Right now, time is a factor where I can’t compete a painting in a day and I need to generate some work. You may have heard of 6 x 6, or “a painting a day”. It’s my plan to have a new gallery on this site called 8×8. All the paintings will be $99.00 each. Tax and shipping will be extra. Once I get going, I may develop a float frame or two. These can be added at an additional cost. These will be acrylics and possibly oils. I don’t care if oil is king. They will be the same price.
Now, I have no idea if anyone reads this stuff. I never hardly ever post here, but this is a good start. Even a post or two a week or a month is better than none. I have a new painting in process now from Cape Cod. See below. This is 11 x 17 on canvas. I hope to wrap it up soon. It will be available at that time. If you happen to read this and would like to have it in your home, please contact me through the contact form.
So, that was the awakening moment. To make the 8 x 8’s and open the new gallery. To take advantage of the time I have to create work that’s manageable and hopefully saleable. I can’t say what each piece will be. You will have to wait. I will also continue with larger pieces intermingled and post those as well.
Thanks for your click that brought you here. As I said, I have no idea if anyone is reading this or not. That’s ok. I’m getting the thoughts down anyways. It may not always be about art either. Doesn’t have to be.