Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Extended Barn

First I did the square oil painting of the barn, but then I thought it needed to be extended, so I added the rest of the barn. The size is 12x28 overall. I do have plans to do a series of large horizontal paintings. They will be seamless.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Muddy Landscapes and No Flowers

Someone whose opinion I value said to me that nobody wants landscapes of muddy cornfields. People want flowers, color, paintings that bring comfort. Oh, well.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Not Yet

This morning I went out in the darkness and raindrops, and made the above sketch of the full canal. But I have discovered that I am not yet done with Sunken Canal after all. The top image is a 12x9 pastel started last night, and completed tonight. When thinking of the Sunken Canal I thought of a beautiful piece of music I heard a couple years ago, Old and Lost Rivers by Tobias Picker. The canal is now found and risen, but I still remember the Sunken Canal.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bright Sunken Canal

Now that the canal is full again, I think I will switch away from the sunken canal series.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sunken Canal and Thomas Hardy

Another 12 x 9 for the series of Sunken Canal pastels.

I have been reading a biography of Thomas Hardy by Ralph Pite. Hardy was taken by the Impressionists. He wrote, according to Pite, "The 'principle' of 'that what you carry away with you from a scene is the true feature to grasp; or in other words, what appeals to your own individual eye and heart in particular amid much that does not appeal, and which you therefore omit to record.' Hardy did not want any longer to see 'scenic paintings' of landscapes but instead 'the deeper reality underlying the scenic.'"

That approach may seem trite or obvious today, but, if so, we forget what a revelation it once was, and maybe one needs to recapture that revelation.

Full Canal

This is a drawing from this morning's walk'n-sketch. The canal is completely full to its normal level. I won't take it for granted anymore. I also didn't realize how wide it really is.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Two Corn Fields and a Mountain Lion

This weekend I wandered around the corn fields. One day I wore my boots, and it was a good thing since my sneakers would not have survived the mud and water. Of course, I knew it would be wet where I was going. I visited the abandoned barn again, which is surrounded by corn fields. I saw some big footprints in the mud, like from a large dog, but it wasn't a dog. The prints were in the vicinity of a lot of deer tracks. Strange that I have never seen a deer in that area, though I see deer almost daily in New Jersey.

The next day I met up with the farmer, and asked him about the barn. He told me many things, one of which is that a mountain lion has been seen around the barn, supposedly lives in the barn. Hmm... That might explain why sometimes I feel that I am being observed, not to mention the footprints.

The two paintings above are 9x12 oils.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tractor Path

The farmer uses a tractor or a four-wheeled vehicle to move everywhere and anywhere. Since the edges of the field where he drives most of the time are mud, there are ruts in the mud. Fortunately, there are mountains in the background, and corn stalks remnants, and bright skies (sometimes). This is a 9x12 oil, or should I say, a 9x12 mud, but I hope not in the bad sense that oil paint can become like mud.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Looking Up the Canal or Canal Looking Up

While I work on a painting, I can only offer a walk'nsketch from this morning. The good news is that the canal water rose several feet last night, and it didn't rain. Somebody must be letting in more water. The drawing is 8x6 with graphite pencil.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Back to Mud with Charcoal

Back to muddy corn fields. I want to continue the muddy field series, but act out some drawings first before each painting to learn the lay of the land. This will look better in color. The charcoal drawing is 9x12.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Tall Canal

Another view from the Grant Street Bridge facing south. I could put together an exhibition consisting of paintings of just this view, and they are all different. The stretch of canal that I usually paint only extends about a half mile or so. 12x9 pastel on colorfix suede.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Canal Bending

This morning was sunny and I walked along the canal, stopping occasionally to sketch. Since I have an extra hour tonight, I kept on working. The canal is filling up slowly. Workmen have been scooping out tree trunks and sand banks out of the canal, so presumably the rest of the water will be allowed back in soon. The sketch is only 8x6, while the pastel is 12x9 on colorfix suede paper.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reflections on a Canal

There is now more water in the canal than visible here, presumably from the recent snow melt. What strikes me about this view is how the water disappears in the reflections. Actually, one cannot see water except through its reflections, right?

This is 12x9 pastel on colourfix suede. The colourfix suede leads to a slightly rougher finish than the two previous verticals on pastelmat paper.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mud Memories

Today I talked to another artist about how I viewed muddy, harvested corn fields as battle sites, still fresh from the turmoil and disaster. A muddy field is like a drawing tipped aslant, the lines and scratches in perspective, instead of upright and flat. Evidence of tragedy lies everywhere. Wounds still raw from scraping and rubbing, but new life is just beneath the surface, or even on the surface. Maybe I am being overdramatic.

The top is 8x10, the bottom 9x12, both oils.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Stix Fields

Two drawings with Art Stix that I did this weekend but couldn't post until now, since I didn't have any electricity for the last three days. There are also two oils that I will post later. They all represent the muddy fields before the foot of snow fell on Saturday night. I had to walk carefully to avoid stepping in the softer mud, and slipping. But it was worth it. The fields look like natural paintings on the earth. Muddy fields have a lot of different thematic meanings, and levels of visual complexity.