Sunday, March 13, 2016

Return to the Studio

I've been doing a lot of standing in front of canvas and pastels, surveying them and trying to get back into painting and nothing. Today I broke that trend and I can't say enough how much it felt like getting back to an amazing place you never realized how much missed.

I started with pastels and the idea was to just enjoy it, not too many details, not too much care, just enough to get the idea across. It was an enjoyable afternoon as the images again spoke and directed themselves.

The first pastel is an ocean scene-a very uncomfortable kayak ride complete with sharks and swells so high it felt like we were skiing. I also lost a fishing rod and was showed how much I haven't mastered kayaking the surf-see A seasoned kayaker is bested.

 I am still finishing the image but wanted to try and keep the basic idea of movement and water without making it too detailed and overworked. The feeling I was trying to convey is the feeling of being one with the giant swells and yet the feeling that you could be discarded with little effort as I later discovered. Ocean 1, kayaker 0-by the way my brother, nephew and son all came into the shore without being tossed out of their kayaks-it was quite embarrassing for me.

The next pastel I worked on was an old one of Lake Texoma-when you are out there on a clear day, the sky and water are so pristine. This was from the time before last when the water was so still and the sky was just an amazing deep blue. We didn't even catch anything but being out there is sometimes all we need to feel that moment of, it doesn't get much better than this-that was one of those perfect, pristine days.

The last pastel I worked on didn't get that far but I do like the basic idea. It is a fire from past weekend at Beavers Bend Oklahoma. I liked the way the light lit up the trees and I wanted to capture the forest with a feeling of mystique. I look forward to perfecting the depth and the atmosphere while leaving much of the details to the viewers imagination.

I am excited about finally getting back to the studio even if it's just for a few hours. I really enjoyed getting out to Hagerman National Refuge and between finally getting to feel better and having a bit of nature for inspiration, I think the spark is back. I can't wait to get some of the images that have been sketched out to be real. Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Spring at Hagerman: Let the inspiration begin

The redbuds and dogwoods are competing, each flickering tapestry of buds climbing higher into the forest branches desperate to be noticed. The daffodils burn like small yellow fires in the rich green edges of highways.

Even while the sky twists and rolls over itself, spring wrestles with winter. The blinding light of the late afternoon sun shows me spring will inevitably win.

There are buds all along the tree line, in pale pink and gold, green and yellow-you can’t see any leaves, they are just barely ghostly shadows of what’s to come.

I’m excited, I can smell the flower breath of the breezes, the thin hush of winter rolling like tumbleweed over the exposed fields. Winter has barely ended and spring insists, it grabs it palette, reaches for its brushes.

While my studio sits cold in the late winter thaw, all the paintings from previous series are like snippets of distant photos I can barely discern. With the coming of spring, I am excited about a new canvas, about a new swatch of color that streams through the landscape daring me to explain, how spring renews all hope and how my colors and passion is just a season away.

I love the spring…

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Dissection of an Inspiration

I am the raw wound shaking off its stitched restraint, finding new skin. I am awake, even as the last bit of congestion keeps the air around me muffled and grey. I am awake.

It is so intangible, a moment where you can reach things that before seemed too high or deep in the cabinet, I found the key, still not sure where or how. It might be just getting off the wheel, even for just a week to recharge my thoughts.

I listen to music and there are feelings expressed you would miss if it weren’t for being awake. I think this is where my purest creativity lies, in those quiet moments where we imagine great things and see better than our eyes can.

Maybe it’s the storm outside, the great sound of thunder, the gray sheet of clouds that insist on perpetual night, I can describe things that before seemed so foreign. Maybe it’s the lingering fear, the feeling of vulnerability as the storms threaten again.

I equate it with having a craving, in fact feeling starving, yet  you’re not quite sure what that is? It agitates you in its lack of clarity and your left more hungry for it. The inspiration I seek is much like that.

A word I can’t remember, a place I can barely decipher but it means everything to me. I’ve coaxed it out like an animal hiding in the shadows. Both afraid and curious I welcomed it in allowed the tension to grow to the edge of feeling something.

It’s a great wave of feeling, like glass streaming through windows cutting pieces of you as it thrusts forward like the cruelest bully and you are left to absorb all of its edges, all of the pain, pleasure and memory creates a cavern inside of you.

Seeking that cavern and willing to drown within everything it delivers, that is the full force of being full and creative. It’s safer to avoid and yet there is nothing more exquisite and powerful than to feel and create with every fiber you have until you and the page are one piece, a whole and this means everything.