Friday, September 26, 2008

A Natural Painter

Hay Field Evening
30 x 40
Available at Hildt Galleries, Chicago

For the last two years I have been running after pictures, and seeking the truth at second hand. I have not endeavoured to represent nature with the same elevation of mind with which I set out, but have rather tried to make my performances look like the work of other men…There is room enough for a natural painter. The great vice of the present day is bravura, an attempt to do something beyond the truth.
John Constable

As readers of this blog may know, I count J.M.W. Turner, the great 19th century English landscape painter, as one of the influences on my work. Turner and John Constable have come down to us in art history as the twin stars of early 19th century landscape. And though Constable has always had my admiration, it has only been in the last year that I have come to feel a deep kinship with his art and aesthetic point of view.

In art history, Turner plays the shooting star to what seems at first glance to be a more earthbound Constable. And in fact, Turner did burst on the London art scene, becoming the youngest member ever elected to the Royal Academy at age 24 , while it took Constable over twenty years to achieve that status. Both exhibited artistic courage by raising the art of landscape from its third class status and laid the groundwork for the Barbizon School and the Impressionists. Turner's emphasis was on the Sublime and his audacious use of color and technique nevertheless were often used in service of history or classical themes which found more favor at the Royal Academy than the pure landscape paintings of Constable.

Constable's art was based upon a deep and abiding affection for the landscape in which he grew up and to which he returned during his entire life as a source of inspiration, saying that for him "painting was but another word for feeling" and that his art "could be found under every hedge and down every lane". Constable's approach to his art, grounded upon plein air work and close observation, combined with painterly technique was in fact, quietly revolutionary.

At a time when representational landscape painting is once again beneath consideration, if not contempt by the post modern art world (today's self protective gatekeepers as surely as the Academy was in its day), I take great comfort in Constable.

I should paint my own places best, for they made me a painter.
John Constable

Saturday, September 20, 2008

On the Cusp

Late Afternoon at the Pond
8 x 8
Please contact me if interested in this piece

This summer my husband became slightly obsessed with hummingbirds. We have always had a feeder or two, but this year he bought several more, then another and another. He was filling the feeders three to four times a day, and right before Ike blew through, it seemed like we had hundreds of birds. A few days after the storm the overnight temperatures dipped into the fifties, and the next morning they were gone! The next day I noticed how much earlier dusk came and that the sunset had moved to the south along our west facing property line. In just a matter of days, summer was over.

I know all this seems trivial in light of the momentous events of the last few weeks. But in a strange way, its the same: in a matter of days, things changed. Its just that hummingbirds and the coolness of the morning air seem much more real to me than hedge funds and securitized debt instruments.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hayfield Moonrise

Hayfield Moonrise
10 x 12

This is the third small piece for the Albuquerque Museum Miniatures & More show next month.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Waiting for Ike

Backyard Sunset
10 x 12

This painting is also a slightly larger version of a previously posted study. It will also be exhibited at the Albuquerque Museum Miniatures & More exhibition next month.

We are in the path of Hurricane Ike as it heads north through Texas. So, I thought I'd post this before the power goes out!

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Blog Birthday

Evening Pond
12 x 10

This is a larger version of a study I posted a few weeks ago. It will be exhibited -with two other pieces this size, and the larger piece posted here- at the Albuquerque Museum Miniatures & More exhibition in October.

This week marks a year since I began writing this blog. When I started I had a few ideas about why I wanted to blog and what I would do. Most of that went by the boards in the first few months. Instead this blog sort of took on a life of its own and led me in directions I hadn't really anticipated. As with any creative endeavor, the journey became as important as the result. I thought about writing a post about what I hope to accomplish in the second year. But I think I'll just wait and see what happens.