Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Frickin Mirror

I went to Stanwood to pick up so unsold painting- gathering dust in a cubicle. Its a nice small gallery with very nice people, and they  have sold some of my landscapes and figures.

Apple that I grew
The pieces that hadn't sold weren't maybe my best pieces- they were landscapes, mostly loosely painted, but even I, father of these children, thought: well, there's something missing here, something not quite punching through. In my head i have this idea that i can start to paint again, after a hiatus dealing with larger life issues, still unresolved, but its time again. And it is winter- no leaves to paint- and great light, and oddly, despite a few worrying circumstances, I feel OK. Not my usual winter self.

I have in mind a 24x24 series. I went to the Museum of NW Art yesterday and saw all the NW greats- but they weren't that great. A few transcendental pieces- one by Horiuchi that i thought was amazing, but the rest, wonderful, but more as part of the fabric of history. What i paint, and probably what most people paint, would never fit in that sort of context, which is larger, more part of the region and history and the wealth of characters.  I don't think I can grow much beyond my roots, which, though I think they are rich, are also limited.

And to paint, really, it can't be like i do it, a few hours a week, sometimes, with no context, no one else painting, no one else around at all, no friends who paint or want to talk painting. I don't know if I'd want to anyway.

But I see the certain slant of light, and the blue of the winter hills in their wet valleys, with the thick paste of clouds churning up from the south, and I think- well really, if i dont paint this, who will. Though others could do it dead on better, and i can only struggle and scratch out a few ideas.

I have been figure drawing, some. In Kirkland, the last of the sessions. They have all gone away. I draw a very intense figure, lots of shape, lots of darks and lights, and a young man comes over and says, that's very interesting. I say, thank you. He says, no, I mean the mirror you use, i wondered what it was for when you came in.

Of course I am thinking- the frickin mirror? Isn't the drawing before you the best damn thing you have ever seen ANYBODY draw? Are you crazy, with your tiny sketchbook and sharp pencils?