Here is a photo I took at Morris Arboretum, Philadelphia, in July.
Here is a painting of that same scene. Yes, it is, filtered through my imagination, though.
It’s 8″ x 8″, acrylics, India ink, and NeoColor I crayons, done in September, 2017.
Recently I picked out a few photos to use as painting references. Here is what happened.
Railroad tracks at Norristown Farm Park. Photo and painting from September 2017.
One of the roads in the Norristown Farm Park. Photo and painting from September, 2017.
And the market garden at Bryn Athyn College. Photo and painting from September, 2017.
Yes, remember that eclipse we had a couple of weeks back. I read in a couple of places that the time of an eclipse is a good moment to make a new start on something.
I’ve been distracted from doing art for some time; a variety of things have gotten in the way and I can’t seem to clear a way in my time allocation and inside my head. That has to change. I decided to do art while the eclipse was going on to mark my intention.
Here in the the Philadelphia PA area we got about 80% coverage, I think. With my retina problems, I was leery of even thinking of looking at the spectacle. Overly worried, I am sure, but I need my eyes, don’t I?
So I tried the pinhole idea and I have to say, I found it thrilling. It seemed just magical that a shadow of the event would create a crescent shape that marked what was going on in the sky. Take a look:
It never got very dark.
I was even more excited about leaf shadows. I took these pictures at the height of the eclipse.
And for fun I let the eclipse show itself through this bug-eaten leaf:
All right, on to the art. I didn’t have any real idea what might be right for eclipse art. I decided to take a variety approach – several different boards stepped up to take a try.
I thought I’d use dark paints to make backgrounds, marking the unusual shadowy world the eclipse created. I used a brayer to roll on paint. The third set of boards had paintings already on them that I did not like, so I was happy to do some obliterating.
For the 8×10 and 9×12 groups, I just painted what seemed to fit. I incorporated the eclipse in some of them and in others, I portrayed people watching the eclipse.
The 4×4 group became a selection of small portraits. I took random people pictures from a magazine and painted them with a dark eclipse background.
Another session, more paint.
Over the next few days, I added more paint, NeoColor 1 crayons, India ink, and acrylic inks. Here are the results. First, the 8×10 group.
Next, the 4×4 group. Now, I have to explain something: I took a dislike to the lady sitting on the sofa. I gave her a pink sweater:
I did other things, I painted and painted, and I just could not get happy. No reason, but when you only have 4″x4″ to work with, well, there is no hiding. So, I painted her out and did a new lady, also sitting, but different. That’s who you see in this group. Please do not tell me you like the pink-sweater lady better. Please.
Last, the 9×12 group.
I am happy with the results of eclipse painting. I hope its inspiration will carry forward. And even if I did not see the eclipse myself, I participated in it, didn’t I?
These paintings are 8″ x 8″, done in acrylics, June, 2017.
I have been nominated for a blog award by Doctor Kandinsky. Now, I don’t do awards, but I always appreciate the feeling behind the nomination. It is very meaningful to me to have my work make enough of an impression on someone to merit being singled out, and I am very grateful for it.
I am writing this post as a thank you, and because I was intrigued by the set of questions posed, I wanted to answer them. I feel that I got the better of this situation, certainly, by being able to express some opinions and think about some issues. I’ve also taken the opportunity to post some images from the past – this blog has been going on since February, 2013…
Thank you, Doctor Kandinsky!
The questions posed and my answers:
1. do you think there’s a difference between art and decoration? why?
This question has been debated by better minds than mine. I will say that I do not like hearing someone say, as they look over my work in my booth at an art fair: “Do you have anything in (fill in color)? I need something for my living room.” – or – If you had a picture of a (fill in animal, object, whatever), I would buy it, because I collect pictures of them.” If you say these things in my booth, I will get a cold look on my face very quickly and I will try very hard not to sell you anything. I’m not kidding.
2. who’s your favorite painter (or writer)?
No favorites. There are just too many choices and each one offering something the others don’t. Let me just keep choosing from the endless buffet, that is all I ask.
3. when you look at art what are you looking for?
I am looking for something that stops me in my tracks.
4. do emotions have colors?
Yes, of course they do.
5. do you think that concept art is a joke?
I am not really sure of the definition of concept art so I can’t answer. If you want to be taken seriously by me, then sincerity must shine through.
6. does blogging help you to be creative?
I answer this with a 200% yes. Having this audience has meant everything for me.
7. Da Vinci or Van Kooning?
8. do you believe that artwork (paintings, photos, sculpture, literature, …) is more likely to speak to our mind or to our soul?
I do not think there is a line between soul, mind, or body. Art, like every experience, is to me something that rushes in wherever it can and roots itself in the places it finds best suited for it.
9. what is more important to you: technique or spontaneity?
If there is no technique, there is nothing to work with in a spontaneous way. I think in art, as in everything, skills have to be learned and exist in order to have a means of expression. I think the question needs to be: what is more important, planning or spontaneity, and I would say, my experience is that in every endeavor each one of these comes in waves, alternating with the other.
10. is street-art vandalism?
Like so many other things, it all depends.
11. how about young children as teachers in art schools?
12. why do people whisper when they talk inside of museums?
Because: they are intimidated by the look and atmosphere of the place, in the more haughty ones. Don’t like to attract attention to themselves in any situation. The acoustics of many museums amplify the least little noise. Were told by the teacher on that field trip so long ago that they’d in trouble back at school if they didn’t shut up right now. Are afraid their opinions will be overheard. Are afraid their opinions are uninformed or ignorant or embarrassing and will be overheard. Are shushed by the guards. Are shushed by other patrons. Are shushed by the people they’ve come to the museum with. Or, all of the above!