I know Spring must be lurking somewhere just around the corner. I had three Robin sightings last week. Phil, the groundhog, saw no shadow. Here in upstate NY the temperature went up to 50° on two different days last week (if you are not familiar with the implications of that it means that men over the age of 12 suddenly think it’s shorts weather). I actually saw the tops of some daffodils coming up by the side of my house. They have now had the good sense to hide away again since today it's 10° as I write this. The point of all this is that I can ‘t wait to get outside to paint. I just finished this painting of a spring stream that was done from photographic reference and notes from last year. I think it’s done and will let it hang around the studio for a bit to make sure. It may end up on my home page next month if it passes the test. I am tired of working inside all day long. The weather here has been really, really cold for the most part and the cold of the virus variety I had that seemed to last for a month didn’t help either (I know I am whining).
This painting was my little “Spring Break”. The stream reminded me of being a kid and wandering around the pastures at my grandfather's farm. In the Spring the small lake fed creeks that would be dried up in August would swell over their banks. My sister and I would find turtles and polliwogs and (ugh!) snakes by the stream, and birds nests full of eggs in the trees. It was a great adventure to spend the day wading there and coming home all muddy and tired to be chastised by Mom and Grandma while Grandpa just laughed. We never seemed to tire of it and there was endless variety to entertain us. No video games, TV or cell phones. Just my sister and I talking and laughing and seeing the world around us. That is one of the wonderful things about art. It can transport you back to another place and time. It’s a place that I remember fondly and maybe it will trigger a memory for someone else along the way.
So shall we come to look at the world with new eyes. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
I felt like an archeologist peering into the past. My Mom was going through some old photos and found this one of me painting. She remembers my Dad had asked me to do a painting for him and offered to pay me. I guess you could call this a record of me working on my first commission. I must be around 12 in this picture. The cat's eye glasses are a little embarrassing but I look pretty happy with the brush in my hand. It's kind of nice to think that I am still doing something that makes me happy after all these years. It's taken me a long time to get to where I am now, to be able to paint full time. Finding this picture is a reminder to enjoy every minute I spend in the studio and to keep remembering the little girl that loved to draw and paint and to delight in the process as much now as I did long ago.Comment on or Share this Article →
I was recently sent this bit of historical trivia by email. I am not sure if it’s true but it’s interesting anyway. In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)