Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Loosey Goosey

I had to get something done, so here it is.  The oatmeal surface of the sabretooth paper inhibits tightness.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I am still on the farm.  

Friday, September 18, 2009

Old Farm Garage

This old farm garage seems to be rising from the weeds but it's really descending into them.   In the background are the Taconic mountains, which are declining more slowly.  This pastel is 8x10 on colourfix paper.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Barn with Hay, and Deep Thoughts

The following is from the book Road-Side Dog by Czeslaw Milosz.  It's a collection of prose poems.  The above pastel is 8x10 on sabretooth paper, which has an oatmeal surface.


We strove, but our goals disintegrated one after another and now we have nothing except works of art and our tribute paid to their creators.
Also sorrow and compassion.  For an artist, a poet or a painter, toils and pursues every day a perfection that escapes him.  He is satisfied with the result of his labor for a moment only, and is never certain whether he is good at what he does.
Many share the fate of that painter.  He was not concerned with earthly possessions, he lived and dressed haphazardly, and his sacred word was: "To work." Every morning he would stand before his easel, working all day, but no sooner had he finished than he would put his canvas in the corner and forget it, to start a new picture in the morning, always with new hope.  His attempt to pass the examination for the School of Beaux Arts was unsuccessful.  He loved masters of painting, old and contemporary, but had no hope of equaling them.  Detesting worldly life, as it would lure him away from work, he stayed apart.  He lived with his model, with whom he had a son, and after seventeen years of cohabitation he married her.  His paintings were systematically rejected by the Salons.  He needed confirmation of his worth, but though his friends praised him, he did not believe them and considered himself a failed painter.  He would kick and trample his canvases or would give them away freely.  In his old age he despaired over his failure but continued to paint every day.  In his native town, where he lived, he was slighted and hated; it's hard to tell why, for he did not harm anybody and helped the poor.  Uncouth, in stained clothes with ripped-off buttons, he looked like a scarecrow and was a laughing-stock of children.  His name was Paul Cezanne.
This tale may  comfort many readers, since it confirms the familiar pattern of greatness not recognized and crowned late.  However, there were numberless artists, similarly humble and hardworking, often living not far from us, whose names mean nothing today.

Cezanne, despite the frustrations and lack of success in his life, was still able to spend most of it painting.  I have stood in front of some of his great landscapes and still-lifes.  He must have had a few moments of profound joy creating some of these works.  I certainly have felt it when in their presence.   Do the numberless artists also experience that occasional joy?  Why else work?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Iconic Farm Shed

This is a view of the farm shed early in the morning with a fog hiding the mountain in the background.   

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Farm Pyramid

Besides red, there are geometrical shapes on a farm that contrast nicely with the natural setting.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Farm Wagon

I like it on the farm.  First, because you can use red.  Lotsa red on farms.  Also when I was a kid I used to visit my cousins who lived on a farm.  I've always loved farms.

Gone to Seed

I am still on the farm.   Striking how the farm and nature tend to flow into each other.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Luce Road Farm

What farm?  This one. Up the road.  I love painting loosely with pastels almost as if I was using oils.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just a Road

It's just a road going uphill, past a farm, towards a mountain,  on a sunny day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Three Wedges

This weekend I did three paintings in New England,  one with a road wedge and two with water wedges.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Water Looks Back

I continue to make a small charcoal sketch before proceeding with the pastel painting.  The sketch is smaller, ca. 5 3/4 x 7, than the painting, which is 8x10.  It helps to clarify how to proceed.  The canal is still intriguing.