Friday, March 03, 2006


I'm blogging from Washington D.C. I'm up late, DC time, but not so late Washington time, i.e. Pacific Time. Even the mall in D.C. is an edifice to monumentality, makes apparent 'malldom' is a transitory, disposable, archetecture.
art note to self: painting as artifact- images as symbols, statement, less illusion than comment. Once technique is achieved the challenge may be application of opinion, perhaps through the excercise of imagination, less artist as recorder as in portraiture but artist as editorial commentator. At what point does craft become art? Cartoon become Art.
While touring the Freer Gallery, Corcoran and Museum of Modern art, I will look for answers to these questions. It is easy to be enamored with representational art, studying technique and impressed with the virtuosity of such masters as Rembrandt or Bellows or Matisse but challenging and not a little scary to work in the fashion of more modern artists such as Kandinsky, Miro, Chagall. Like bungy jumping or pointing your skiis over the precipice anticipating the challenge of making it down the slope without breaking a leg.
The Horse as a symbol. Color as expression. Close scrutiny to convey meaning the hopeful result a new creation that imparts understanding in the form of substance. Telling a story in a literal sense is a fine accomplishment but saying the same thing with feeling imparts substance i.e. Washington Crossing the Delaware as opposed to Guernica.
I am enjoying the contrast of urban/rural transition. Going from the paradise and peace of the Sanpoil to San Diego or Washington DC or Seattle which I have been to in the last couple weeks on business for the WaPUD Assc. my visual vocabulary is stuffed to overflowing which makes it difficult to commit to a particular expression but all goes away once the brush is in hand.
I was walking past the Capital which stands on a hill at the end of the Mall and the sun was lighting the sky which was filled with light purple cumulus clouds. A very difuse light in which the white stone of the capital building merged with the sky. What was extraordinary was the sky was Red, White and Blue. It would be a bit trite as a painting but having seen the effect I was excited to make the effort to portray the experience as I saw it. Sort of a Hudson River school lighting, sunbeams et all.

Monday, February 27, 2006

horse portrait commissions

I've been painting my horses on big canvasses or atleast 2'x3'. I would like to paint them bigger, lifesize would be good, 8'x10' canvas would do it. It's great to be able to use bigger brushes. It's a relief to be able to see better too. Not have to fuss over details, they just appear. I begin the painting in the coral with the horse tied up and then go in and finish. It usually takes me about 8 hrs of work depending on how demanding I want to get. I like bringing out their character. They all have distinctive colors and markings.

Painting can be a very lineal process. Rationally picking colors and laying them out using an intuitive grasp of the image that I have while keeping in mind the overall effect of the painting, works with big canvasses. I have to move around a lot and keep things balanced. When it is all said and done it comes down to the 'eye'. The eyes are a window on the soul. I've often felt when I look in the eye of a horse that I am closer to the Creator but not nearly as close as a horse gets to be.