Watercolorists at Work

One of the books I brought home today was this: Watercolorists at Work by Susan Meyer and Norman Kent, 1972. Norman Kent, when editor of American Artist had asked twenty-five artists to contribute to a book showing their process. His successor, Susan Meyer brought the book to publication after his death. What a book it is. Each artist, in alphabetical order, has several pages of photos and text showing a work start to finish.

Tonight as I was spending time with the book I turned a page and there was John Pike, known to me as the creator of the palette I use, developing a fine ocean scene.

NaPoWriMo, Day Twenty-One

I got up very early this morning to go to the book sale in Williamstown and I’d been warned that these bags would be with the “vintage” books but little did I imagine just how mysterious and irresistible they would be be. I couldn’t wait to get home and go through each ziplock bag.

Things Found in Books

At the library sale, in a small box,
bags labelled – ephemera – things found in books
So irresistible, these sifted treasures:
printed bookmarks, some from bookshops long gone
Prayers, birthday and christmas cards, ticket stubs,
gift tags, thank you notes, picture postcards,
some received with messages, some purchased;
recipes, three pages thick with typed spanish,
envelopes, study notes, a sewing pattern,
a business card with an old-fashioned phone number,
a baby announcement, clever, with all the details,
bits of newspaper, ads and notices.
All thrust between pages to mark a place,
now unexpected mysteries to share

Neil Gaiman, Bryan Fuller and American Gods

A fabulous time was had by all. Neil Gaiman came out and introduced the first episode and said it was odd because at most screenings he’s not there and they show a clip of him apologizing for not being there and apologizing for all the blood. After a few minutes he ended with, and sorry about all the blood.

It was quite the tour de force, episode one. The audience gasped and cringed and laughed in all the right places.

Then there was a fifteen minute or so intermission and Neil and Bryan took the stagee to talk about how it all came to be and they had a stack of questions submitted by the audience. Alas they didn’t answer my question but that was good because the other questions were more on topic (except for the ‘it’s my girlfriend’s birthday, so Neil could you wish Stacey a happy birthday?’ which he did) and a lot more interesting.

Only felt lost for a few minutes but I think I was ok and once I got the maps thing going I was back on track right away so if I was lost it was easier than what I thought it should have been.

It Followed Me Home From The Clark

I went over to the Clark. My intention was to maybe climb the hill an sketch or paint but that didn’t happen. I went in, got banded (LOVE being a member! support your local art org!) and wandered around looking at paintings. Mostly favorites, but I did look at some of the Dutch genre pieces (very cool) and I looked at part of the Looking North and South exhibit which was mostly drawings and printed material. I saved that for another day because I ran out of time before the movie. Like any movie venue they run little announcements of upcoming events, remind you to look for the exits and not to eat in the auditorium etc. When the feature started though, it was so quiet that a good portion of the audience kept right on talking… They finally settled down.

Visually I, Claude Monet was beautiful, often morphing between real landscapes and views to the work of the artist. I didn’t know anything about his biography so there were parts that were interesting, all told via his letters to others but it seemed to devolve into ‘my life is miserable, the painting is hard or impossible and I need money.’ It was all done with a single narrator, which didn’t help. Monet did have hard stretches of life especially in is young adulthood, but I would have liked to know more about his thoughts about the work of others or other’s reactions to Monet’s work etc. To put it better, they could have made him more three dimensional.

I might watch it again given the chance because I was warm and sleep-deprived and my eyes wanted to close. I fought this because the views were gorgeous and seeing the paintings that large was wonderful.

When it was over, I went back through the building to get to my car and this book leapt into a bag and insisted on going with me. Whatcha gonna do?

Another Tuesday, Another…

Grey rainy Tuesday. I’m tired of having a scratchy hoarse throat. But, I got up, took care of the cats and headed out. Two missions: to get a few of the colors that one watercolorist/vlogger keeps touting and maybe some William Carlos Williams.

The color I most wanted to get, Azo Green was nowhere to be seen but I did get these:

The white-handled brush in the photo is one I use all the time and love. I decided that bigger is often better so the other one is new.

I keep a sheet of paper with my palette colors and new colors as I get them, so I put a bit of each out on the cover of the palette. The Quinacridone Red GUSHED out of the tube… The other colors are Red Oxide, Prussian Blue and Sepia.

I sploshed some around on another bit of scrap paper just to see what they would do.

Cleaned off the bottom part of the palette so after some soup I can actually do something.

Afterwards I went to see about the book and while they didn’t have the one I wanted I managed to come home with much more than I intended. Oh dear – retail therapy anyone? These days the painting and poetry are big-time therapy.

Last night’s poetry discussion

Had a great time at the East Greenbush library last night discussing poems by Emily Dickenson and a little bit of Wallace Stevens. What a joy to have a real conversation and study of some superbly crafted poems. This is a view of the papers I came home with. I really need to get a collected works of Stevens. Next week: Robert Frost.

And PS: I’m listening to American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I’d started to read it before but it just didn’t click with me. This time I took a chance on the 10th anniversary audio version with multiple actors (including the author) and it’s great. Could be helped by the recent reading/listening to Norse Mythology so I’m more up to snuff on what’s going on. Just saying. Also, it’s chock full of great quotables like this:

If Hell is other people, thought Shadow, then Purgatory is airports.

I got to tell you, you don’t look too bright. I got a son, stupid as a man who bought his stupid at a two-for-one sale, and you remind me of him.

So many books

not enough awake time…