"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Story of a painting--Failures, or lessons, in watercolor and life

"After the Storm," Ranchos at Sunset, 14" by 21" 300 lb. d'Arches cold press paper
Every painting is a journey, an education for me. Inspired today when friend M.J. VanDeventer Shelton spoke about Jerome Tiger at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, I came home and vowed to complete this this lesson. It was not as effortlessly or talented as Tiger's work, but at least I finished.
Everybody paints the church of St. Francis at Ranchos de Taos--from Georgia O'Keeffe. My Dad drew it twice at least in the depths of the Depression, and I have those framed.
I've tried before, and one of the them I'd framed several years ago.
Previous painting, but I'll use the frame and mat
Now, getting ready for an art show in April, I realized it's drab, and architecturally inaccurate. I'm not trying to make a photography, but my journalism demands accuracy on basic details before artistic license kicks in. This will be exhibited in April  among with about 30 or more of my worth watercolors, starting April 6 at Paseo Arts District First Friday art walk, and the gallery I'm in, In Your Eye Gallery and Studio. 

I tried earlier this month to replace the old painting, using the same mat and frame, and failed on the last step--the sky. 
So this time, I started with the sky, and then forgot the basic of watercolor, start with light. I did the sky first, this time, but forgot about the snow until later. But I'm sorta happy with this version, or you wouldn't be seeing it.
Here's the story of that painting, from the beginning.
With the previous failure/lessons


Sunday, March 18, 2018

Gone with the wind

Gone with the Wind, 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
March madness in Oklahoma--the winds and colors of Spring--changing every hour. Unicorn weather.


"Dreams," 5 x 7 watercolor, 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold press paper
What are dreams made of? Fantasy and reality wash  together in ever present tense, like love...where unicorns dwell.

Friday, March 16, 2018

St. Pat's Unicorn watercolor

St, Pat's Unicorn, 5 x 7 140 lb. Farbriano Artistico cole press paper
Unicorns. What is it about unicorns? Don't know, but surely St. Pat must have had one as a guide, an inspiration.
And Ireland is surely a land and culture of magic. Even the stars and moon are green.
Some of the magic still exists, based on the response to my earlier unicorn paintings, which are selling.  Thus here is today's watercolor.
Matted and for sale of course.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

A new brushstroke

My paintings exhibited at  In Your Eye Gallery and Studio, Paseo Arts District
Lives are like brushstrokes sometimes.
I've been reading about Chinese calligraphy and writing that exploded with its invention of paper, and how the masters viewed each stroke as an art form. The idea was that the brush would never leave the paper until the characters were finished.
If we view life like that, we become more aware of constant being, of movement on many levels. In watercolor once a brush stroke has been made, it's often irreversible, and the maxim  is not to waste them, not to waste them or just put paint on paper for no reason. 
Good advice, which is hard enough in watercolor, and harder in living.
But I'm more aware now in both mediums. Retirement has resulted in many new brush strokes, and each leads to another, making the next one possible. 
The newest brushstroke has been joining In Your Eye Gallery and Studio in Oklahoma City's Paseo Arts District, where I'll be exhibiting my paintings on a regular basis, starting today, in time for tomorrow's First Friday Art Walk..