Saturday, May 18, 2019
Yesterday I drove by this spot on Route 2 in North Adams, MA and needed to return to paint it today. At this point the Hoosic River flows under Route 2, which is to my back. The mountain in the background of the painting is Mount Williams. The green still says spring. Your may find it hard to believe that this is a city view. 9x12 oil on aluminum panel.
Friday, May 17, 2019
If you are a landscape painter, and it rains all the time, a day without rain is a welcome gift. I was able to paint outside in the backyard again yesterday. It's amusing how one can use sheds compositionally in a picture to support a mass of trees and foliage, while when you are physically in the backyard, this aspect is easily overlooked (pun intended). 12x9 oil on aluminum panel.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
This painting I started six years ago, and it's been sitting around all this time. Occasionally I would see it when I searched for something else. Now I've finished it, or taken it further. It depicts a view from slightly off the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. 9x12 on panel.
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Monday, May 13, 2019
This was my first plein air painting this year done early in January. I've been ambivalent about it. That day I found myself in a cow pasture staring at a small stream. In his journal, the painter Josef Czapski quotes Paul Valery, who said, "God made everything from nothing, but the nothing shows through." In Czapski's case, he used the quote to refer to his simplified paintings. In my case, since I was trying to paint something from nothing, the nothing is evident.
The suburban backyard series: the same shed from the position of the seat behind the tree seen in a previous posting. It's that diagonal shadow going in the opposite direction of the leaping pine tree that I found appealing. Approximately 12 x 9 inches. Pencil on paper.
Sunday, May 12, 2019
The suburban backyard series also includes drawings. This one is approximately 12 x 9 inches.
In the biography of the Polish painter Josef Czapski by Eric Karpeles, one encounters the story of Degas and the poet Mallarme. Degas complained that he had too many ideas for a sonnet he was working on. Mallarme replied: "But Degas, it's not with ideas that you make verses, but with words." Czapski, upon hearing this story again, responded with the famous words that Ingres urged upon Degas: "Make lines, lots of lines!"
Saturday, May 11, 2019
A suburban backyard painting for which I don't have an easel in situ image. 10x8 oil on panel.
A poem by Zbigniew Herbert called "In a Studio" has the following lines:
when the Lord built the world
he furrowed his brow
calculated calculated calculated
that is why the world is perfect
the world of the painter
and full of mistakes
The poem is an interesting take on the problem of evil, and creativity. I'm happy to live in the world of the painter.
Friday, May 10, 2019
Tuesday, May 7, 2019
This is yesterday's afternoon painting of the path up the hill behind The Clark Art Institute. I stood a little closer and to the left for a different perspective. The path lies on the hill like a ribbon. I have to try painting it from the top looking down. I'd probably have to be in a tree for the best view. 9x12 on gessoed aluminum panel.
Monday, May 6, 2019
In the past month I've sold two paintings of this view, the path on the hill behind The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, MA. So, pardon me, I went there this morning to paint another. I also went there this afternoon to paint another. This one is from this morning. 9x12 oil on panel.
The corner of Atlantic Avenue and Grand Avenue in Brooklyn, where there is so much stuff: a "Palace" for hamburgers, ever changing graffiti, automobile and pedestrian totems, and other signs of civilization. I'm not being facetious. 6x8 oil on gessobord.
Sunday, May 5, 2019
In its diagonal cast across the pier and fence, the shadow from the shuttle bridge appears to have a bite taken out of it. The shapes of things are always amazing when seen on a flat surface. The view is Pacific Street looking toward Franklin Avenue in Brooklyn. 6x8 oil on gessobord.