Quotes from Vincent 

Courtesy of The Painter’s Keys

It is something to be deep in the snow in winter, to be deep in the yellow leaves in the autumn, to be deep in the ripe wheat in the summer, to be deep in the grass in the spring. It is something to always be with the mowers and the peasant girls, in summer with the big sky above, in the winter by the black fireplace. And to feel — this has always been so and always will be. — Vincent van Gogh, 1885

and this:

The fisherman knows that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reasons for staying ashore.  — Vincent van Gogh

Clouds and Other Serendipity This Week

A new server at a local restaurant must have decided not to take any chances on any in her care having a messy moment so she plopped down a pile of napkins and these on my table. Since I wasn’t eating with my fingers, these found their way to my pocket and will probably deal with the dilemma of needing clean hands after applying sunblock… yeah first world plein air problems.

During an expedition to the attic for some fans, I spotted these two books and inside one of them was this letter from home.

Seen at work – a very digital switch with some gnarly font explaining that it’s to run the pump.

After a day full of disappointment, a scrap of paper, a little paint and some water gave me a different view. This is drying now before proceeding further. The paper is part of a sheet from a pad of Canson that had a weird imperfection so I ripped it into two pieces to get rid of the weirdness resulting in two odd shaped pieces.

From the Quote Box

I am in the present. I cannot know what tomorrow will bring forth. I can know only what the truth is for me today. That is what I am called upon to serve, and I serve it in all lucidity. — Igor Stravinsky 1936

The Winding Path of Friday

When I got home I added test swatches for two new colors I’d gotten this morning.

I stopped at Arlene’s Art Supplies on my way to work because I was waiting for my car to hit 100,000 miles and didn’t want to be on the highway when it did. [obligatory dash photo]

I also documented that I’m still getting over 40 miles per gallon with this car, a 2012 Fiat 500c.

The other night I tried this quick painting of some clouds. The paper is a corner of some white Arches paper I’d gotten to try but geesh it has this huge impressed logo in TWO corners… Really?

Tonight after a hard day at work, I did this 4×6″ postcard on Strathmore postcard paper.

And finally, a week or so ago, Mom shared a bag of oranges with me. They were truly the most wonderful tasting oranges I ever had! She thought so too. They were huge and it turned out we each ate half an orange at a time, savoring every slice and we were both sad when we’d eaten the last one. She went back to her source and came home with another bag! Big naval oranges with super bitter, orange-y skin and sweet juiciness within. Thanks Mom!

Day Off For Chasing Clouds and Picasso

I went up a road I didn’t remember, looking for some clear view of some impressive morning clouds today. This took me away from my normal Stewart’s coffee but luckily brought me out to the Cumberland Farms in Stephentown which has Dunkin Donuts! What a treat. Since I was that far I went on over to the Clark. I lugged my stuff up the hill and painted for awhile, sitting on a rather soggy log (used the tripod sleeve as a seat though so it was all good.)

Treated myself to lunch – some delicious chicken curry, some watermelon and a great ginger molasses cookie.

This Flickr album has photos taken in the morning, atop the hill at The Clark and then on the way home.

Clouds 20 June 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

After I trudged back down the hill and had my lunch, I toodled around in the galleries. Some of my favorites were on hiatus and the big piano has been moved to a special exhibit recreating more of the room it was in. An interesting history of its design and the people who’d come in contact with it.

The real reason for going to The Clark right now though is the exhibit of Picassos. Whoa. (The crowd response was not totally supportive. There were parents giving patient and perhaps too thorough explanations of reductive printing processes and Minotaurs. One man was overheard to say, ‘well what is the point of all this?’ and his companion said, ‘I don’t get it.’ I heard them both again in the parking lot assuring each other that they had a new appreciation for Picasso… OK then.) I’m going to try to get over some morning first thing. It’s in a space that feels small although it’s not cramped but I’d prefer to have less commentary and people reading the signage aloud. If not I’ll just use my headphones and don the “I’m rude and wearing my headphones so I don’t hear you” persona. What ever it takes.

I super loved the colorful prints at the end – some still life arrangements which just seemed to smack of everything Picasso. How confident and sure his marks were! The colors are much stronger than in the catalogue so go and enjoy them in person!

Clouds 19 June 2017

these clouds were definitely wet in wet! Rain to come.

all the photos!

The Things We Do (Getting Ready and Doing the Work)

I’m the first to admit, I can be an over-learner. Other times I don’t really care about the details, the fine minutiae, or even the over-arching tale. But when I’m trying to learn something, trying to do something, I’m there. I read, I listen, I ask questions.

I quilted for many years. I could tell you all about techniques, about the work of contemporary quilters and about antique quilts. I made several quilts a year, often a couple big quilts in there. One year, about to photograph two quilts for a competition the next day, I got up in the morning with two quilts and went to bed in the wee hours with a third totally unexpected quilt. It was a few more years before I got into that competition but I got there.

A few years after that, I made a quilt that got accepted. It was a big deal. Not only did I make the quilt but I took the slides that I sent in to be juried. That was a big deal to me. I’d learned a lot about photography in college and then didn’t use it in the way I thought I would.

Anyway, then for a few years I didn’t make quilts. Didn’t have a quilt thought in my head. One day I decided to make bread. I got a serious book about bread making (not the super-serious book that I still covet, The Taste of Bread but a great book nonetheless). I learned about the impact of temperature and action on the dough and the differences in flour and all sorts of things and learned to make a pretty darn good loaf of bread and more importantly, pizza dough. There’s something seriously alchemistic about taking flour and water and a little yeast (very little yeast) and for the pizza dough a splash of oil and making something that is life-sustaining.

I tell you this because you’ve been watching my entry into watercolor and I appreciate your response a lot. I’m warning you that there’s more to come. Because that’s what I do. I gather the tools, I take some classes, I read, I look at the work of others, I watch videos, but just like quilting and bread-making, the work is the work and it’s got to get done so I do it. I’m a beginner and I’m getting better at knowing how it works.