Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Art in Tribute

Art can express feelings and emotions in ways that words never can. Recently, my brother passed away. It was a devastating loss to everyone in my family, and I tried hard to write something to honor him. I have done this in the past and it had came easily. This time, it was very difficult. For some reason I had a hard time writing something about him, despite being filled with strong feelings about his life and the times we spent together. Fortunately, another one of my brothers wrote a fitting eulogy to him, and his daughter compiled a moving tribute that touched on all aspects of his personality. As a result, all I could do was something visual in memory of my dear brother. In keeping with his nature, I recycled a painting that I had and offered it to the hospice facility where he passed away. They were very pleased with my donation, and I was glad to do something in my brother's honor that, with any luck, will give some calm to anyone passing through the facility, since all who do definitely need it. In looking at the picture, I was curious as to why I modified the painting the way I did. Initially, I felt it a little impersonal to simply give a painting that had no real connection to him, so I repainted some areas during a late night painting session to maybe give it some of what I was feeling. I think gave the picture a little more punch, possibly out of sadness and frustration. Who knows? But I think the revised picture is a little better since the water seems to be pushing into land a little more aggressively. Maybe that's symbolic. In the end, I hope he can appreciate the gesture.

Marsh (revised)

Marsh (original)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Painting Therapy

One thing I've noticed as I get older is the profound impact on my life making art has been. While I continue to struggle to have my work known, as many artist do, I cannot help but value how making art has kept me from sinking into the deep well of woe that other parts of my life would otherwise push me into. As the problems in my life and family grow and I find myself on the brink of despair, I thank God that I am able to create art. This keeps me grounded. Not quite focused, but determined to never give up. I have often thought this was a form of escapism, and it very well may be, but it is an escapism that results in creativity. For example, the following pieces have been created during the times when, in order of appearance, (a) my domestic life was in a shambles, (b) my financial status in jeopardy, and (c) my family members suffering from illness and depression. What does all this mean? It means that I still have those problems!!!! Actually, It really means that anyone who is going through hard times should pick up a brush, pencil, pen, or musical instrument before they pick up anything else. Maybe someone will happen onto this blog and do just that!

(a) sunset on Webb Lake (done after a prolonged period of domestic disputes)

(b) Caumsett (going through money troubles and inability to manage finances)

(c) Cross (my family members suffering from illness and depression)

So much for not wanting to post personal information! 

However, I feel it is important to show that certain obstacles can be channeled into creativity. Making art is a fantastic remedy. Right up there with laughter!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Finally Finished

This is an image I started in August of 2014, and finally finished it a week ago. Of course, I still would like to revise it but my youngest son thought it was good so I took that as a sign not to. One of us is right. I have it for sale on Zatista so only time will tell. That is, based on the belief that a sale equals a picture of quality. This is an ongoing debate. At any rate, for me I am pleased with the composition so I hope that comes across. The painting is of Lake Webb in Maine and there was a storm brewing right around sunset. Since everything was moving rapidly, there were hundreds of possible composition choices that could have been made. This is the frustrating yet exciting thing about on site painting. There is nothing like it.


"Storm over Lake Webb" (oil on canvas)