"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

February art journeys

Winter gloom chills my creative nature some. I crave sunshine.
Excuses, excuses.
Best painting of the month was the first one, story blogged about here: "Green wheat, red dirt."
Since then there have been two watercolors, an acrylic experiment, and two "rescues."
"Spring storm coming," 8 x 10, second best painting

"Prairie Dawn," 11 x 14. Not happy yet trying to paint a fence near daughter's house

"Eden," acrylic experiment

"Storm coming at  Truchas," 11 x 14, a rescue attempt of earlier drab painting

"Taos Trinity," 11 x 14, rescue attempt of earlier drab painting

Artist stories and inspiration for change

Regina Murphy's paints, brushes, etc., in front. My watercolor brushes, pix, stuff in back.
Art always changes, because it reflects life, and that came home to me this month, especially in the last week.
One of her abstracts
Fantastic Oklahoma artist Regina Murphy, 97, died on Christmas Day. I barely knew her, from working on the Paseo Arts District Board. But every time I visited her in Studio Six, just up the street from where my watercolors are exhibited in In Your Eye Studio and Gallery, she greeted me with a smile and soft spoken "Hello, Terry."
I was always stunned by the variety of her work. The more I learn, the more I wish I'd known her longer, and primarily from admiring her very original images of my beloved New Mexico. Then in the recent past, she switched to abstracts, and grabbed my attention any more.
So when her daughters put her art supplies and art on sale for two days this month, I had to go.
I'd experimented with acrylics, Regina's main medium, a little before, but without passion, and primarily from ignorance. There's so much to learn, and so little time. I'm still learning and studying watercolor, and at this stage, prefer it, (though not after yesterday's failure). I've watched some videos on acrylic and am still ignorant.
But there has to be a challenge, and the sale offered it. 
Down I went, for two days, and purchased one of her paintings, a bunch of paint, and  some other supplies, brushes, etc., missing out on a good collection of palette knives. 
On this gloomy, icy day, I should be painting, and will. But with change, figure I need to at least write on the blog for only the second time this month--also a symbol of change, since it used to be an almost daily event, and now features art more than journalism. Blogging takes a lot of time, better spent on painting, for me, at the moment. A web page for art is coming, but that is more change and another story.
Regina Murphy
Back to Regina.
First, I bought a small 5 x 5 abstract acrylic of hers, adding to our small art collection. It hangs on the wall of my "studio/office" in our house, underneath some Native American art of my totem, the bear, above a Bear Warning sign, and below my small watercolor  of an old man on a journey. 
I learned from Regina's daughters Mikie Metcalfe and Patti Newman at the sale that Regina switched to abstract after the painful loss of another of her daughters. 
Change. Thank you, Regina.
Her daughters  were donating part of the proceeds to the Paseo foundation. When I left, Mikie told me she expected to see some results from what I'd bought.
It occurred to me this month, and I've heard it elsewhere, that all art has a story. I realized that on my First Friday show Feb. 1 when I'd be telling visitors about each painting they admired. So I guess this is the story I'd tell about Regina's painting I bought. And the one I paint, when I'm finally happy with it.
Changes and inspiration.
And here is a news report on Regina.
Regina Murphy

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

White is valuable real estate, story of a painting

 Finishing touches, Green wheat and red dirt, 8 b y 10, matted for 11 x 14.
Watercolor demands patience and planning, thus my tutor in humility.
"White is valuable real estate, don't squander it," said one teacher of watercolor.
There's only the paper, no white paint. 
In this record, I should have started just showing how I didn't paint the house, but started moving to quickly. 
Center of interest, the white house, positioned from value sketch, and rough outline on paper, but only a hint of it, outlined by trees. Then the back porch. Then the "windows." The the roof of the barn, more trees plus shadows on the house and barn. Then the road.
Next wheat, background, shadows, spaces for poles.

 Then more wheat, more shadows.
Finishing touches at top, sky, fences, poles, more shadows. Notice how roof of house and barn is lighter...not really, it's the contrast in the sky. Add the mat to make the house snap.