It’s a time-honored tradition to make copies of master paintings. The best way to really get into the mind and techniques of the past masters is to be right in front of the real painting in a museum, but if we can’t do that then utilizing the amazing access we have through the internet is pretty good. Some of the great world museums let us download a high resolution image of a painting, and print that out to work from. But, I still like having a real book with good prints to look at. This is a copy of the face from a 1623 painting called the “Merry Fiddler” by Van Honthorst. It just makes me smile when I see it.
This last weekend I went to a 2 day workshop lead by Aaron Coberly at Gage Art Academy in Seattle. It was great to go to a class and be a student again and observe a great painter doing his thing. The workshop was titled “Alla Prima Figure Painting” and we had a model take a pose and Aaron did a 3 hour painting in the mornings, talking through his process. Then we did a 3 hour painting to a new pose in the afternoon. I learned a some new techniques and shared some board time with new painting friends. The limited time really requires a focus and some chops that I will need to work on. Aaron is a good, supportive teacher for any level of painter, as there were some beginning painters and several more experienced people and his style and comments seemed helpful to all who attended. You can see Aaron’s work on his Instagram page or website: @aaroncoberlyart or www.aaroncoberly.com
I’ve been getting a bit more space for painting. It’s nice to have several projects going so while one dries I can switch and to another. Although I wanted to work on an older acrylic painting and everything about the materials and tools is water based so I have to set up an area for that next to the oils.
I’m at Mille and Bill Kohls on Maui. Yesterday we went to the March for Our Lives march and concert at the Maui Arts Center. A heart felt local event, amazing young speakers with clarity and vision. They really are getting their skills as public speakers down. The Kohl’s have welcomed me and let me use the double decker bus to stay and paint in. This is a painting in progress of Lulu and Penny, Bill and Mille’s daughter and granddaughter.
I’m at SeaTac airport waiting for my plane
…. time to play some tunes. My paints and supplies, a few panels and misc all fit into an old Samsonite blue suitcase from Goodwill. Just made it right at 50 pounds to check on the plane. I hope to have plenty of time for painting on this trip staying in the double decker bus up-country near Haiku.
I’m trying to get the winter color of our hills today. The gentle clouds drifted over the lip of the ridge and then vanished. Such fine gradations of muted grays. There are a couple of geese that come to our pond every spring, we want to think it’s the same pair. They flew in, honking to announce their arrival, landing together in the water. I’ve been thinking of some kind of bird flying by in this painting, but it can’t turn into a cliche. These Canadian Honkers might be the ticket.
“Oops, Wrong Button.” All our phones went off with alarms and an official looking alert saying a ballistic missile was headed for Hawaii. It said, very clearly, this is not a drill! We got the same message cutting in on the local TV. I’m at Mille and Bill’s on Maui and seemed like the best place to stay for the end…. so we made coffee and waited for over a half hour for a notice that it was all a mistake. The original painting is by Janet Davis and Bill came up with the mushroom cloud in the distance and I drew it onto Janet’s painting on my phone.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted here. With my focus on shows, performances, family and a trip to Oregon to see the total eclipse of the sun, writing takes a back seat. A few events that have happened over the summer of 2017: my Rheology painting exhibition at Gard Vintners set up in August to run through September. 21 new paintings and prints. Two paintings in the GalleryOne juried community art show….. Rheology 1304 received the Purchase Award from the City of Ellensburg and will hang in City Hall! To be recognized by our town really warms my heart.
The website is coming together, but I’m having a little difficulty keeping track of all the pieces. It’s a balance of the diligent work of the technical and the looseness of the artistic. While this painting energy is here I’ll try to ride the wave and keep it going, doing a new painting just about everyday. The technique is settling in, it’s an event, a few key strokes that evolve into the image. They must stay a mystery, with a certain level of control and craft to get them to work along with a big dose of uncertainty and randomness.
I got out to the studio today, excited to paint. Yesterday, a few friends came out and I showed them what I was working on… and everything worked. The ink flowed the and as we watched it created an image that begged our interpretation. Not today. After the initial strokes came off the brush they just sat there, so of course I had to start fiddling with it. Several hours later, the mud was too much to bare and I just walked away.