Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where Blair Meets Stratton

Sounds like an important meeting. Move up, tilt, and roll down. See some really nice drawings by Michael Kareken at Painting Perceptions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bright and Sanctified Mud

About walking outdoors, Emily Dickinson wrote,

It is a lonesome Glee -
Yet sanctifies the Mind -
With fair association -
Afar upon the Wind

A Bird to overhear
Delight without a Cause -
Arrestless as invisible -
A matter of the Skies.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mud and Ruts

Mud Conditions. It was okay to walk down this road, along the edges, without too much concern for speeding trucks and cars, since most drivers would be out of their minds to try it. No vehicles passed me in this section.

This is an 8x12 charcoal, conte, and pastel on paper.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blair Road Morning with Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "I think you would like the chestnut tree I met in my walk. It hit my notice suddenly, and I thought the skies were in blossom."

Blair Road hit my notice suddenly.

In another note to Higginson, Emily wrote, "I was thinking to-day, as I noticed, that the 'Supernatural' was only the Natural disclosed.
Not "Revelation" 't is that waits,
But our unfurnished eyes."

The above is a 9x12 pastel over acrylic washes on Colourfix suede paper.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blair Road on a cold spring day

It was a sunny morning, but quite cold, as I walked down and back up Blair Road. I don't know if I have mentioned this before, but walking a country road to observe the edges and its length, is similar to walking the edges of a canal to see the length of the canal and its sides, except in the road, it's like walking on water.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Canal with Early Sun and Emily Dickinson

Yesterday I finished reading the biography of Emily Dickinson by Alfred Habegger, My Wars Are Laid Away in Books. Emily Dickinson was a remarkable person. In a way, she designed her life within its constraints to become a great poet. If she had lived a different life, she might not have written her poems. In one feverish, astonishing year, 1862, by one count, she wrote 356 poems! After she died her sister burned her letters, at Emily's request, and almost burned her poems. In 2000, another photograph of her emerged. You can see it on Wikipedia. The now two existing photographs of her do not reveal that her hair was red.

I am fascinated how she managed to create an independent life, and overcome what seems like an oppressive religious environment. Writing poetry was a means of salvation, maybe her only means.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Canal in the Early Morning

As I walked along the canal, I was struck by the simplicity of the view. The sun was barely over the horizon behind the trees.

Monday, March 21, 2011


These are boats once seen in Rhodes. 8x10 charcoal and pastel.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Washington's Crossing

This 11x14 oil painting I started last week and finished yesterday. It's not Venice. It's actually a view from the New Jersey side across the Delaware River to Washington Crossing, PA. early in the morning.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Variation on a Theme

Variation on a theme, or lost cause. I just keep on working.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Side Trip

Since I don't feel like doing snow and mud, I am going on a little side trip.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Muddy Field

A muddy entrance to a muddy field. Apropos of nothing: de Kooning turned paint into flesh. God made Adam from clay. Jesus cured the blind man from saliva mixed with dirt. Emily Dickinson wrote, "I was always attached to mud."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Barn Frontal

Sorry, but I like this barn. Maybe I am the only one, but probably not. This view is frontal, but also takes one back into the picture. More mud. I am tempted to try a picture of just mud next.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bleak House

This bird house actually is located (I could say isolated) where you see it in the painting, on the edge of Luce Road above the farm, in the field. I see it as connecting the foreground and the distant background, just like a bird flies. It probably fits in better when the grass is tall, and the snow is long gone.

Grandfather's Garage and Exhibition

The above is a 'memory' drawing of my grandfather's garage/shed, where I would always find him in the warmer months when I was a kid. It no longer exists, except in my mind. I hope to turn it into a painting or two.

That's all I did this weekend, besides hang an exhibition of thirty pastels and drawings of landscapes of Williamstown, MA in the Milne Public Library.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Near Five Corners

This one's actually all corners, corners of fields, mountains, house and road. 9x12 on colourfix suede.

I have been immersed in Emily Dickinson lately, reading through Helen Vendler's new book of commentaries. Emily must have been quite a character. When she said something, men responded, "What?"

She wrote:

The Inner - paints the Outer
The Brush without the Hand -
Its Picture publishes - precise -
As is the inner Brand -

I want to give this stanza my own meaning - in terms of painting on a surface other than the face and eyes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Tree

When in doubt (and one has not much time), draw.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Red Barn and Paint

Red barn, mud, hay. Painting mud is like painting paint. This pastel is 9x12, with an undercoat of various acrylic washes.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Value Study

This is a value study, to see if this image has any value, in terms of expending more energy in creating a pastel version.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Corn Field with Snow and Wings

It's not spring yet, but I have declared that winter is essentially over, with some remnants left. Even if it snows again. Doesn't matter. My last three pictures are in the transition zone.

I came across an interesting comment the other day by Thomas Aldrich, a not well known writer, at least by me, born in Portsmouth, N.H. He wrote in Leaves from a Notebook: "I like to have a thing suggested rather than told in full. When every detail is given the mind rests satisfied, and the imagination loses the desire to use its own wings."