Thursday, October 30, 2008

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Last week I drove over a thousand miles from here, the Midwest, to the east coast -- the Outer Banks of North Carolina to the town of Duck, just north of Kitty Hawk. The temperature was about 15 to 20 degrees warmer, the price of gas about 50 to 60 cents cheaper and the Southern accent just delightful. In between was some good road food and some bad road food -- and lots of road kill, but that's another story. My wife had taken a walk along the beach and told me to watch out for the waves, so by the time I set up away from the range of the waves inshore, I thought I was safe. I had a block-in going when all of a sudden I was knee deep in the ocean and my paint box was quickly floating away. I ran -- that is, RAN!!! after my paint box and bag with extra canvases. I managed to catch up with them to save them (filled with water by now), but lost about $40 to $50 dollars worth of paint. I lost a tube of Cadmium Red, White, Cobalt Blue, Alizarin, Ultramarine and Cadmium Yellow. I watched as they sank into the sand and after that I have no idea where they went as wave after wave hit the shore. I just hope The Nature Conservancy wasn't watching. I worked on the sketch I had going for a while, but since I was rather bummed out, I packed up and left. I didn't touch the oils until the next afternoon. I've posted a picture of the spot I was working, the evil sea and a pencil drawing I did of one of the shore birds while sitting on the beach in the post-trauma afternoon. There's a lesson to be learned there somewhere. The sea is a powerful thing -- it drove me inside -- I am re-reading Moby Dick.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

St. Giles, Oxford, England

It was a warm, sunny day down the street from the famous Eagle and Child pub on St. Giles. (Wow, what a great start for a story.) Nonetheless, it was a warm sunny day when we came a cross this beautiful scene in Oxford ---- sunlight, shadows, a tree in wonderful autumn color. This is an 11 X 14 oil on linen. This one was finished rather quickly and the food at the Eagle and Child was quite good as I recall.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another show, another hawk

Sorry to have another picture of myself, but there it is. I drove through a rainstorm which had several streets closed on the way to McCord Gallery in Palos Park, IL to drop off my pastel for a show called "Landscape Real And Imagined." Mine is "real" although I have done abstract imagined landscapes before. My friend Ric had a painting in the show also -- "Imagined" -- (his is a chair made of thorns in a landscape). My pastel was done earlier this year of the last snowfall of the year back in March when I rushed out of the house before it could melt. We have had a hawk, or two, in my neighborhood for the last several years. A friend identified this as a Cooper's Hawk. It's perched on my fence near a window. I had to slip my camera lens through the blinds and, lest I disturb the hawk, take the picture before he went on his merry hunting way. He's nailed a few morning doves in my backyard. I now have paintings in two shows --- a first for me and I will be looking for other places to show in the future. I am working furiously up there in the studio on more than one painting. One on canvas, the other on linen: both landscapes. Ever since I returned from the workshop in Wyoming I have really had the desire to paint.