Sunday, December 29, 2019

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Vicksburg, MS

6" x 6" Acrylic on Gesso board
These are headstones located in the Vicksburg National Cemetery from the Civil War.

Vicksburg National Cemetery lies on the ground once manned by the extreme right of Major-General William T. Sherman's XV Army Corps, facing the extreme left flank of the Confederate defenses situated on high ground to the south known as Fort Hill. Embracing 116 acres it is the final resting place of 17,000 Union Soldiers, a number unmatched by any other national cemetery. The cemetery was established in 1866 and burials began in early 1867. Soldiers buried here had originally been interred in scattered locations throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi during the campaign for control of the Mississippi River.

Upright headstones with rounded tops mark the graves of known soldiers. Small, square blocks, incised with a grave number only, designate the unknown veterans, and a few graves are marked by other than government-issued headstones.

So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. - Isaiah 41:10

Monday, December 2, 2019

Carr Methodist Church in Lake Mississippi

Acrylic on old barn wood

This is a beautiful church in the Bienville National Forest - Lake, Ms. It sits high on a hill with a beautiful view of the valley. My dad's friend has a son buried here. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Beautiful Day to be outside painting

Off The Beaten Path at River's Bend
12" x 9"
Oil on Panel
I started this one with a pink background because I knew it's compliment "green" would be the primary color on top and trying to follow Anne Blair Browns's teachings on "notan" and to get the big shapes in without much drawing and then pull and push to correct values before painting.  .....also....constantly thinking about keeping my paint piles from mixing on the palette so I don't make lot to keep up with 😉

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

My Plein air painting from the Laurel Paint Out

Magnolia Street
Oil on panel
“There may come to be new places in our lives that are second spiritual homes – closer to us in some ways, perhaps, than our original home. But the home tie is the blood tie. And had it meant nothing to us, any other place thereafter would have meant less, and we could carry no compass inside ourselves to find home ever, anywhere at all. We would not even guess what we had missed. “
-          Eudora Welty

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Chipmunk on Blue

Chipmunk on blue.. This one is 6x6 on 9x12 mixed media 184lb acid-free paper. Gouache & watercolor

Monday, November 4, 2019

A Recent Anne Blair Brown Painting Workshop

Here's a quick plein air still life study. Working with adding and subtracting (using paper towel) to get values correct with big shapes then painting quickly without really drawing too much. much out of my comfort zone but very valuable information.
AirBNB in Columbia, TN

I also stayed in an Airbnb in Columbia, TN owned by Cindy and Garrett that I can't say enough good stuff about. I loved it!

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Baby - In Progress

Here's one I'm working on for my friend Paula....her dog Baby. Trying to keep it loose but at the same time, I want it to capture Baby's likeness so parts need to be tight. I'm trying to decide on the background color also. Most of the time I tone my canvases with burnt sienna before I paint on them. I like to see the background peek through the paint in areas because I think it adds vibrancy and unifies the piece. The other picture is my temp studio in my dad's building that will soon be leased. ...soooo nice having a large space like this!!😌

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Stella's Portrait

Reference Photo

Oil on Board

I painted Stella's portrait for my dear friend Cissy. Stella passed away a few months ago. I know Cissy misses her. 💓

Monday, June 24, 2019

Acrylic Sketch

New Song
9" x 12"
Acrylic on Canvas Board
I'm experimenting with loosening up a bit. I've been looking at the work of Nicolai Fechin...very inspiring... On this one, I started with a toned background and began drawing with a dark mixture. Trying not to get too tight but sometimes I don't know when to stop. I think I'll leave this one as a sketch because I like the feel of it. Maybe I'll do a bigger painting later.
This is my daughter and she is getting ready to go off to college - "sing a new song". :-)

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

An excerpt from Robert Henri's Book - The Art Spirit

Harden Not Your Heart
Acrylic on Canvas
“The work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to see it through. You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If you succeed somewhat you may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all your life.”

― Robert Henri, The Art Spirit: Notes, Articles, Fragments of Letters and Talks to Students, Bearing on the Concept and Technique of Picture Making, the Study of Art

Monday, June 10, 2019

Garden Club

Garden Club
11" x 14"
Acrylic on Canvas Board

I couldn't resist painting this picture of these cute little elderly ladies. I can only imagine they're discussing what's blooming.

Friday, May 31, 2019

VW Car Show

9" x 12" 
Acrylic on Canvas Board
Every time I see one of these I think about my mom & dad because it's the car he drove her in when they were dating. We have a more recent picture of the two of them sitting in one on their wedding anniversary. Painting this brought back happy memories for me.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Why do we paint? ...and how art works when words fail

This is the question that often comes to my mind… why do we paint?
The Journey- by Maggie Mayer

What makes you paint? Is it because you took to the brush when you were a kid? Did you see a masterpiece so magnificent that you took to the brush like no tomorrow? Why did you not do something else? Why did we choose to paint over many other options available to express? How do people end up painting, in life? Or is it just the one side dominance of brain?
I am not talking science here. The science of art is neither my area of interest nor my cup of tea, at the moment. There are artists who stress upon how methodical and scientific art is. I may climb to that realm, later in life.
I experience a period of frightening clarity in those moments when nature is so beautiful. I am no longer sure of myself, and the paintings appear as in a dream
- Vincent van Gogh

What I am more interested now is how art makes you the person that you are – when you paint or when you admire art. I want to know how art starts to speak from within… how art expresses the deep core…. how art translates the messages…. how art works when words fail… and a lot more – for art was when languages were naught. And even today, a picture is worth a thousand words. Then, is art an urge to express? Is it our failure to master other forms of expression that art gives us the refuge and medium we seek?

Do we artists reject the nuances of language, grammar and words, to express? Do artists want unbridled freedom in expressing and questioning? Do artists want to do something that was never made before? Is this the way we like to be spent? Does making artwork undo the artist? Is art a part of unlearning to enlighten? Does art make us understand the elements better? Does art makes everything simple?

The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting
-Vincent van Gogh

There are a multitude of emotions that an artist goes through when creating a painting or a sculpture. The joy of seeing ones vision translate with hands, the despair of a wrong brush stroke, the anxiety of using a new color, the confidence of a repeated brushstroke, the tension of a measured stroke, the strain of fine brush work, the stressful judgment of seeing the big picture, the want to create a balance, the stray hair of the brush on canvas, the pace of emotions within, and a lot more….

To paint is to show a bit of your soul. Where words fail, colors and strokes convey. Deep seated sub conscious comes to life. It is a way of connecting with your inner self. And more often than not, we remain surprised with what we see.

Like Jerry Fresia said, “we make a mark on the canvas and when we look back, we see something that seemingly was not there a moment ago. And there is that miracle: by virtue of making marks, we have created ourselves a tiny bit more – and we actually can see more, feel more, because we have become more, by that tiny bit”.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
-Henry Ward Beecher

Sometimes we know what to paint and we begin with it. But as time and colors go by, the outcome is totally different as planned. Sometimes we don’t know what the painting is going to be but start painting anyway… and the outcome is something you had always imagined.

Each painting has its own way of evolving…When the painting is finished, the subject reveals itself.
-William Baziotes

It is true that once the painting is complete, no matter how much you love it, it is outside of you. All that you held within for that artwork is right in front of your eyes. The entire emotional journey undertaken is right in front of you. A certain part of you has come onto the painting and remains there. Like a child who is born unto you, but is an individual by itself.

It’s not your painting anymore. It stopped being your painting the moment that you finished it.
-Jeff Melvoin

Art. Love. Truth.

The colors to use, the shades to restrain, and the strokes to play with… are what defines the art and his artwork. These, over a period of time become unique to the artist and can never be replicated. If replicated, it remains without soul.
Every artwork created with labour and love, speaks to the person who is meant for it. There are many mass produced paintings, which no matter how beautiful and striking to look at, do not strike a chord anywhere. Try it yourself.
Art that gets produced on a fixed time scale, according to me, is never art. There has to be enough movement of soul for something to be produced. Art cannot be mass produced… until unless lunacy rules.
There are times when a blank canvas can stare at you for a long time and nothing seems to move. The blank canvas remains for a long time to come. And then there are those days when many canvases get consumed in few moments. There is no fixed schedule or timetable to create art.

Body suffers, soul celebrates.
To paint is to converse with oneself. I tried to study almond blossoms by Vincent Van Gogh to understand the whys and why not’s of art. As we match his paintings to his life history and the times at which each painting was created, one can sense an immense sense of escape and pleasure of life while at work. Even during his depressing days, the art works seemed to celebrate life. While painting, we live a life within which is much different from what we live outwardly.

Journey of the artists’ art

Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.
-Pablo Picasso
As time goes by, painting chronicles our life. Like a journal – diary, we can see the ups and downs of life and the artists impressions. Of the images that lived within, the medium of expression, the sleight of hand, the madness of work, the evolution of subjects and objects of interest and the things that they always wanted to convey. Like a painter/ author once wrote: “painting is my predilection, my way or tool to evolve, to “know”.

If you want to know all about Andy Warhol, just look at the surface of my paintings and films and me, there I am. There’s nothing behind it.
-Andy Warhol

When I look back at my drawings and paintings, I see a person so far and distant – that was once me. Now, the style, subject, composition, and fervour have evolved. Should this be called the growth or evolution of the person or the artist? I don’t know. But change is there, well chronicled on the chosen medium of communication – called art. And if someone wants to learn a bit more about the artist, study his art work from the beginning.

Art is not off-the-shelf product.

There are some paintings which grow on me after a long time. And this is not because I got used to seeing them.

Once finished and not satisfied with the outcome, I leave it to settle down so that I can come back to it with a better frame of mind and see it in different light or make corrections to it. But more often than not, I end up liking them the way they are – perfectly hung on a perfect wall to dry. They seem to be so much in place and peace that I don’t touch or re-touch them.

It makes me wonder if this is true of the buyers too. Shouldn’t the art lovers be spending enough time with the artwork to decide if it is meant for them?

And when someone does like the artwork so much to buy it, after spending some time with it…. does means a lot to the artist… that the art-lover has experienced something with the creation.

When art gives you hidden lessons or mixed messages, it works. Art that tugs your heart has always been the one that never portrayed the obvious. There is no fun in painting the things what you see around the way they are – within the confined dimensions of space-time. Art is about tasting with your eyes.

I am unable to make any distinction between the feeling I get from life and the way I translate that feeling into painting.
-Henri Matisse

It is when the artist’s vision or imagination extends/ stretches these constraints that his art starts to talk to you. And then makes you feel comfortable or disturbed. Either way, it has spoken to you.

Thoughts on art… to be continued

From healing, struggling, binding to liberating… there are so many facets of art. I would love to hear what my dear artists and creative souls think about it or feel within. I keep thinking about it and would like to know your thoughts.

Please do share… and let the journey continue.

Recent Paintings

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