I started my latest painting a couple of weeks ago. Beginning with constructing the stretcher frame and then moving along with measuring, cutting and then cotton canvas. After stretching the canvas I spent 2 days coating this 5’ x 4’ with 4 layers of gesso.
This is a portrait of Jack. He’s been my companion since he was only 4 weeks old. He turns 10 yrs old this month. Jack is blind from cataracts but follows me everywhere and runs around in the back yard as if he could see.
The reference photo was snapped while Jack and I were swinging on the hammock. His smile filled my heart with such love and joy. He’s such a loving and loyal companion.
Oh how I wish life was as exciting as the 1st time Lily experienced London and riding the Underground.
These days many of us are doing our part to flatten the curve and remain healthy. I started this painting last Sunday and hope to have it finished this weekend. I’m only able to be in the studio once a week since I’m working from home for my day job.
I ordered a few new colors and hope they arrive soon. I think this painting would benefit from some diversity in colors.
Any way, this is part of a series I’ve named “A girl…”. It’s part of a mother and daughter collaboration with my artist daughter Lily. She’s busy with college still but has completed a couple of paintings so far.
Being in my studio and allowing myself to experience Awiya, creativity to flow through my being is my souls center. It is where I am most connected with myself. It is where my connection to the world around me is clearest. It’s not an escape from reality, on the contrary, it is a space where I am open, clear, vulnerable and honest with myself. It’s where I allow thoughts to flow by and simply acknowledge their presence without holding any of them. In many ways it is similar to an active meditation.
It is my hope, that in these difficult times, that many of you experience Awiya for the 1st time and create into this world some beauty.
Stay safe my friends and be well. until next time, stay in the Awiya side of life.
So I spent about a half an hour writing a blog post about this latest painting. Unfortunately when I pressed publish it disappeared. I have no idea where it went and I was like darn it that was a great blog post if I do say so myself.
Here I go again. A couple of years ago when my daughter Lily graduated from high school and at her graduation party we created a photo booth that included a handheld Polaroid style type frame made out of white eraser board. Guests could group together and write on the bottom with dry eraser markers on the bottom of the Polaroid goofy, cheesy, wise sayings or hashtags or the what not and then hold the frame up and then take a picture.
Well one of the pictures that was taken is represented in this painting. When it was taken I thought it was cute but it wasn’t until I saw the picture a few days later that it really spoke to me on so many levels.
First, this picture immediately reminded me of American Gothic painting by Grant Wood. It is said that Grant Wood in the 1930s went back to Iowa where he was from and saw an old farmhouse. He was inspired and wanted to do a satirical painting about the architecture of an old Iowa farm house. He titled the painting of the old farm house & its farmer & wife “American Gothic” as in reference to the lack of Gothic style architecture and it being the Midwest’s version. It’s further written that he utilized his sister and his dentist as models for this painting.
So now this is my version of a satirical painting of what I envision of a young Generation Z couple would look like on the World Wide Web posting on different social media sites, sharing their selfie’s.
While planning for my trip to the UK, I spent a considerable amount of time deciding what I wanted to accomplish while there. One of the ideas that kept popping up, was that of old rock walls. Not necessarily the defensive walls around an old castle or the strategic military historical sites but rather, the space that time built. The walls that I am referring to are the ones that were built as field boundaries by farmers.
I am fascinated by the idea of these drystone walls. The research that I’ve done has revealed that most if not all of these walls could contain stones and be as old as the tradition themselves. The art and tradition of constructing these drystone walls date back as far as the iron age. Further my ponderings as I photographed old drystone walls and fields along the countryside, I found myself thinking that even though the activities on one side of the wall was grazing sheep and cows, so too was the other farmer, on the other side of the wall. However, it was indeed the space that was defined by the drystones walls. As if the partition designs the walls created throughout the land defined the character of the area.
The same could be said for the wooden boundaries created by the stretcher bars of the artist’s canvas. Given, it’s not as beautiful as the natural landscape of the English countryside. However, it is also a space that time built and hopefully the resulting art is as timeless and appreciated as the ancient drystone walls.
It is my hope over the coming year to completed a series of paintings from my experiences and photographs from my time exploring in the UK.
Now that I’ve had a chance to go through the majority of my photos from my U.K. Trip I’m settling in to exploring the images in greater depth. I’ve seen some artist grab a reference photo and as if in robot mode paint the image in expected color combination and with a boring palette. The end result may be “technically” in vogue and aesthetically pleasing but does it have passion? Life? Awiya?
As I explore this reference photo of the North Sea I am flooded with memories of how the cool and moist wind felt on my skin. The brilliance of color and how different the light bathed everything. The sea was a blue grey color I’ve never seen in real life. As I explored the North Sea from the beach, on a boat and walking along the peer at different times of day, the suns light changed the appearance of the sea from blue-grey to light pale blue, silver, and liquid gold floating on a silver surface.
Living in Nebraska, relatively in the middle of the country, I have grown accustomed to the orange, red and dark yellow sunsets. The coloring of Midwest light from the dust, pollution, and heat within the atmosphere of a heavy agricultural state.
I will enjoy every moment as I explore this reference photo, unedited, edited and diving deep into my memory and allow Awiya to flow through me as I prepare for a series of North Sea paintings.