Acadia is another piece that will be on display at the Chadds Ford Gallery when the show opens this coming Wednesday. At times I mention plein aire pieces. This miniature has the “feel” of plein aire yet it was finished off in the studio. In a way it is the distillation of a fond memory. If you live near the sea you don’t need me to tell you about the ever changing atmosphere and the energy that seems to permeate the place. It is difficult to write about the saltiness of the air and the mist as it shrouds objects both far and near; all I can say is that it is magical. Sound carries in an unusual way as well. The combination creates a wonderful elixir.
I enjoy painting out of the way places. I’m not really into painting “tourist” scenes although some might see this piece in that light since I was in the National Park near Bar Harbor when I experienced this moment. Perhaps some day I may paint another rendition on a larger format but for right now this small piece captures the moment.
Change of pace:
Very often we can get stuck in a rut, be it subject matter or size or formatting. Breaking the mold can be beneficial and helps us to expand our horizons. My invitation to exhibit in this miniature show provided the spark to get me to change my current pace and paint smaller. The change of pace was refreshing. How far you extend that philosophy is really up to you. Personally I prefer to paint representation pieces. In my career I have produced my share of experimental and non-representational pieces. Some have been exhibited while others have not. I think the works can be very helpful for spurring one out of a comfort zone. It is a perfect way for me to explore combinations and techniques that I can apply to my first love which is a representational approach. I love the textures of nature and the color combinations. I prefer to use nature as my spring board to create compositions and textural combinations.
More importantly there is something I will call “place.” At this time in my life I am content to absorb the spirit and/or energy of the place I call home. Some of my more successful pieces have been painted in my back yard or down near the creek that flows past my studio door. I never have to worry about flooding for the water is at the bottom of a steep grade several feet below my studio.
This wonderful little spot is surrounded by boulders, sycamore trees and some small waterfalls. At times I am content to gaze upon the small minnows as they dart beneath the leaves in the still areas of the creek bottom with shafts of light piercing into portions of the shadows. Crayfish and minnows scurry out of sight if you are not careful when you approach the clear shallows. I have enjoyed Paradise Creek in all sorts of weather be it a crisp fall day or in a flurry of a snow storm. If you visit it in summer you have to be aware of the crawling ones who call the rocks and ledges home. Some of them have a tendency to bite unannounced. Early in the morning the rising sun comes through the creek valley and the sunlight reflects off the water and bounces light up under the canopy of the trees causing them to glow. In the fall, the leaves turn all manner of colors from brilliant yellow to bright red and orange. Down in the Stream
What is YOUR place?
I’ve briefly described my favorite place. What is yours? Because I like the quiet places doesn’t mean that other places are not as valid. Basically, I am suggesting that you find your love. It may be bright dazzling, traffic laden streets or it may be the sea shore. Go find yourself. I think it is the love you put into your work that compels others. I know there are a number of unlovely creations out there that are often labelled as art. That is not the scope of my discussion at this time. Call me old fashioned but I’ll take the love of the subject or the love of the place every time. I’m suggesting that every one find their own place. We humans are a lot like snowflakes…no two are identical. In this day of a lot of hype one thing has not changed in my mind. You are in individual. You can’t be me and I can’t be you. Individuality is a strength if you use it properly. Good painting!
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