Sometimes it takes more than one try to get a thing right.
Improvement is tough to quantify, but recently I discovered the urge to give it a go.
Whether it's a recipe or a painting, something can be gained through repetition.
That's a long way of saying that I am about to repeat a series I did more than twenty years ago. (A lot more). But it's been on my mind, this painting, and I've spent a few months gathering the tools to do the series, and I think it's a good thing to do as Spring is rolling in.
Today I'm going to post the painting that launched my thesis series back in college.
Don't ask the year, it only sets me off on a "where did the time go?" thing that slows me down.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, the first painting that made me feel like a painter.
I'm often asked about motivation: how do you find it, where does it disappear to?
My answer is always the same: stop looking and/or waiting for it, just show up.
Physically take yourself to the place where you create, go through the mechanics, and don't think too much... motivation and inspiration will find you. As an artist, it's what gets me out of bed every morning. It's the possibility that something good and unexpected will happen on the easel.
That, and coffee.
All it takes is one look out of the window and you know that the season is in full bloom. Or full color, at least. Plein air painters are packing extra layers in their cars, especially good socks. And I find myself looking at the LL Bean catalog to see if there is some new solution to my weather-related problems.
Fleece is my friend.
Having been in Vermont last month, I know that the color is at it's very best this week, so a trip north is not out of the question. If only I can declutter my studio, repack my supplies and clear the calendar... but those are all excuses. I'll simply post a painting or two and hit the road.
Vowing to avoid open fields and hours of direct sun, this little painting was done in the shade of a lovely tree near the Landgrove Town Hall. The road leads to Peru (Vermont).
Spending a week or so in Landgrave Vermont is probably akin to a week at a spa for most folks.
We ate, drank, and talked art 24/7. The weather was perfect, the company excellent and the painting was a joy.
This is one of the quick studies done on the first day... more to come!
On The Cape, there was little rain to speak of this summer. Great for the vacationers, not so for the gardeners. For the farmers, it's been just awful.
We had some spells of humidity so heavy that the air breathed wet. The breeze, and I use the term loosely, reminded my of my dog's breath after he's been working hard. That is not a pleasant thing to feel any time, but it's particularly dreadful if you aren't expecting it. Same with the tropical air that hit us hard on three occasions this summer.
When the cloud cover was thick, and the air even thicker, it was impossible to see where the ocean ended and the horizon began. The skies were grey, blue, purple and the fog just lay out there unmoving on top of the water. From time to time the blue heavens broke through, but in the end it took a change of wind to finally clear it out. Rather than fight it, I tried to paint it.
I had a pretty great summer.
It was, quite literally, a dream come true. I had been longing for the summer I recall from childhood, one that would stretch out before me without a lot of To Do's on it.
That's just what I got.
Two months of the bluest skies and long hot days that began with a swim and ended with drawings or paintings of moving clouds and the ocean.
I feel ready for autumn now, and the crisp clear skies on the way.
I'd love to say that it's good to be home, but when a painting trip comes with a boathouse and a view like this...? It was hard to leave.
Finding a way to escape the routine of life as an artist is important. It can refresh your mind and body, and it provides a chance to clear the mental cache. Have I mentioned the smell of that air? Heaven.
The trick is to come home and get back to it, to put the smell of the air and the colors and the feel of Maine into a painting. That's my goal for the weeks ahead.
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