So today I took some things outside to put together a composition and couldn't get anything done because I had an unexpected visitor who was quite disruptive. This cat will sometimes come to my studio window and "talk" to me through the window. Perhaps it is a critique? Insistent on being the focus of my next piece, I had to give up on any outside work today. On site work tomorrow. Back to my brushes.
"To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." - Eleanor Roosevelt
No painting today as I spent my time working a fundraiser that supports local literacy projects. Hope you all had a successful day. I'm missing my brushes.
"Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers." - Harry S. Truman
I have added two new art documentary reviews. Some rainy weekend, sit down and enjoy some of these films. I would even recommend watching the very worst rated just so you can compare quality. Okay, the worst was just jaw dropping craziness, but it still makes me smile and shake my head. These last two were really enjoyable. For your pleasure I did this little Notan piece of art. Well Notan-ish because it's definitely not pure…meaning it wasn't two-sided paper. And if you want to try some of this don't use thick textured paper which was really hard on my fingers to cut. But, I love the graphic nature of this style of art. Back to my brushes.
"Half the times when men think they are talking business, they are wasting time." E. W. Howe
Many of my artist friends and I received a small sampling of QoR watercolors to test. Most, used them to try painting. I've taken a different route. I have used mine to test the lightfastness myself. I will let you know the results in about 120 days or so. New art documentary review coming soon. Back to my brushes.
To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat." Beverley Nichols
Back from a workshop. Enjoyed seeing friends and making new ones. It was a nice break, but not anything I am planning on using in the short term. I added another new art documentary review today. Again, new reviews are at the bottom of the page. I give this documentary my highest recommendation. The days are getting shorter, the leaves are changing and the cold weather is moving in. My next work should get me through the winter. So, I have been contemplating this new piece and working out the problems (of which there are many) before I begin. Unfortunately, I am still in that phase but it shouldn't be long before I start. Will it work….I honestly don't know. But I am excited to try and it does scare me. Is scare the right word? Challenge might be a more accurate description…but kicked up a notch. Probably anxiety producing. I'm confident it will make me question what the hell I was thinking. It will be as large a piece as I can manage (and afford) in the space I have available. That is not saying much. I will give myself three months to complete. If it takes four….I wouldn't be surprised. I'll try and keep you up to date on my progress without spoiling the surprise. Back to my brushes.
"Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Not a lot of time today, just letting you know there is a new art documentary review. New reviews are at the bottom of the page. Have a great weekend! For your enjoyment a lamplight at one of the springs in Eureka. Back to my brushes.
"I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be." - Thomas Jefferson
So where did I leave off…oh yes, the mystery of the vanishing watercolors. Poof, over half a decade of work, vanished. Where is it? Where can I see it? Let me know, because it has become a quest. Even at the National Museum in D.C. there were a total of 2 (TWO) watercolors. The ensuing conversation went something like this:
Me: Uhm, excuse me could you tell me where to find the watercolors?
Information: Certainly, let me look.
Me: I did find two.
Information: Oh?... (flip, flip, flip through some pages) …..I'm sorry, that must be all?
Yes, with a question at the end. But, unfortunately that is the norm. Take a local museum. Fairly recently there was an actual watercolor exhibition. I was thrilled. Friends traveled to see it. But what to my wandering eyes did appear but charcoals, pastels, and prints. Wait, what the ….? Why are these included in a watercolor exhibit? Are they trying to fob these off as watercolors? Or worse, don't they know the difference? Or even worse than that, do they think the public doesn't know the difference? I casually enquired why these pieces were included in the exhibit. "You're not the first person to ask." was the beleaguered response. That at least brought a smile to my lips. I'll jump to the wild conclusion that their collection doesn't include enough watercolors to fill two tiny pass throughs that connect a stairway, and so these were added to fill the space. Well, kudos, high fives, low fives and fist bumps to everyone who asked about it. I commend you and if I had the power would invest you with knighthood on the spot. I am sure that you did appreciate the watercolors that were on display as much as I did. Continuing my quest, last weekend I visited a museum in Oklahoma and after many hours located an astounding number of watercolors. One. One beautiful, fresh, energetic, forceful piece relegated to an extremely narrow corner. Its segregated lonely existence amongst hundreds of oils only serves to reveal a truth from which watercolorists should not shield their eyes. Back to my brushes.
"For me the greatest beauty always lies in the greatest clarity." - Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
I have spent considerable time studying my palette making sure that I have invested my time in colors that are rated 7 or above on the Blue Wool Scale. The Blue Wool Scale measures lightfastness. The overwhelming majority of my palette rates a 7-8. You can't get any better. Not with any medium, including oil, ink, or automotive paint. So just to refresh your memory a rating of 7-8 means that the pigment will remain unchanged for more than 100 years of unprotected exposure to light. A rating of 6 means that it will remain unchanged for 50 - 100 years of UV exposure. Thus these ratings show they are suitable for artistic use. Now consider that the painting is put behind UV glass or plexiglass. Uh, that's right, it's going to last a long, long time. I dropped paints for changeability, meaning the mixture of pigments included a rating of 6 or below. I frame all my paintings behind UV plexiglass or glass (depending on the situation). I also used the ASTM scale and on that scale as well I use the highest ranked pigments. With only a few exceptions I use single pigment paints. I also use the highest quality paints (mixture of pigment and vehicle). If the paint chemistry is changed (and they often do) I test them myself. But still, I run across a prevalent attitude that somehow oil paintings are "better" than watercolor. Wait, what? The subject matter doesn't appear to matter…abstract, non-objective, realism, whatever. Somehow, just because of the medium, watercolor is valued inferior. Hold me back. I understand and appreciate conservation issues and the quality of paint available in the past; but where are the watercolors in the modern section? I suppose this 30-year trend will eventually turn around.
Here is a typical example. My mother has had an oil painting on her wall for the past 20 years. It is now cracking and dropping paint everywhere. My watercolors are as fresh as the day I painted them. So don't tell me that just because the medium is oil it is somehow better or will last longer. The gloves are off! I call you out…choose your seconds and I will meet you under the oak at dawn. Back to my brushes. Oh, and for your enjoyment more photos of FLW Price Tower.
"You will see, in the future I will live by my watercolors." - Winslow Homer
So another reason to celebrate this past weekend was that I only paid $2.83 a gallon for gasoline in Oklahoma. Sweet! Unfortunately, here at home the price is still much higher. Didn't get a chance to paint today as I had places to be today. But I plan to continue tomorrow on this current work and start another soon. There will be lunar eclipse tomorrow morning around 5:00 a.m. The view of the moon this evening is really something and it is supposed to be a "blood moon". Hope it doesn't rain early. For your enjoyment I have added another photograph of the Price Tower. Back to my brushes.
"I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house." - Nathaniel Hawthorne
Attended a family wedding and stayed at the Inn at Price Tower. Frank Lloyd Wright called this masterpiece the “tree that escaped the crowded forest” when he completed it for the H.C. Price International Pipeline Company in 1956. I have enjoyed the view of this building since I was a child, so was pleased to be able to stay here. Our room was spacious, loved the view and appreciated the heated bathroom floor. Highly recommend if you have an interest in architecture, history, or even just visiting this part of the country. Back to my brushes.
"Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." - Albert Einstein