The Fourth of July Weekend

I promised myself a few days with a minimum of social media and politics and a lot of art, art making and other good stuff. Three days to rest and recover and recharge. Sunday I went to the Clark to look at the new Frankenthaler exhibits and listen to a lecture about exhibit paintings. I snuck in a quick painting too .

In the evening I went to see Natalie Merchant in concert at Tanglewood. She was great. The first half felt subdued but I had no complaints – one of my favs was song #3 –

It was a nice mix of oldies and new work like Giving Up Everything, Break Your Heart and Life is Sweet, and I’m Not Going to Beg.

I felt buoyed up by her comments about the political situation and impressed that she would turn over time in a concert to let someone else talk about local activism.

Yesterday I already wrote some about.

Let me interrupt myself to say: if you have a local museum or such and they offer membership, you should do that – I feel good about supporting The Clark Art Institute, love their impressionist collection and many others on permanent exhibit, get to go to good lectures and some member-only things. And, even though I feel virtuous about supporting them, I surely do get my money’s worth out of it because I go there a lot, probably more because I’m a member.

Today when I went in one of the admissions folks was putting on my wrist band. Members bands are black. Day people get a bright yellow or other color. I allowed as it would be nice if the members got the nice color and everyone else got the black. The young folks said they’d just been talking about that very thing so we agreed they should make that happen for next year. LOL I’m sure there’s a good reason for the brightly colored day-trippers.

My main purpose for the return trip was another look at the Frankenthaler woodcuts exhibit, No Rules. I do think the lighting could be better. These are big (BIG!) things covered in glass and reflections are a problem. The process of making these is collaborative and complex in my understanding. The pieces are each unique and yet strongly tied in to the artist’s earlier paintings on display and to the Japanese tradition of woodcuts.

Then I hung around outside for awhile and did this:

And tonight I did this because every time I go to the Clark I look at John Constable’s cloud studies. Here’s one of them.

Clouds and Cloud Chasing

I’ll be out chasing clouds the next few days. These are from the 27th.

Clouds 27 June 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I care about truth, not for truth’s sake but for my own. — Samuel Butler, novelist

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.

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 Joy of Summer – (almost here) – Late Sunsets

Click below for a Flickr album of last night’s photos.

sunset 12 June 2017//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Mother’s Day, Day Off

I had dinner with mom after work last night and she suggested that I go painting today. But it’s Mother’s Day, you know… Nope, she was pretty sure I should go painting if the weather held. So in her honor I took the new pochade box and all the gear and found the little Hand Hollow Conservation area in New Lebanon.

Right at the split of Hand Hollow Rd (?) and County 9, it was nicely marked, had a little parking area and trail maps and a nice pond with a couple picnic tables. Perfect for setting up the tripod and box. Because it rained buckets last night I used my beach backrest as a dry seat (because you know, wooden picnic table benches…). It was brisk so my black cap was welcome, as was the thermos.

Three cars pulled up while I was there, folks getting out and stretching their legs on a beautiful afternoon. The trail information talks about what to do if you come upon a bear – do not approach! make a lot of noise! – but all I saw was a pair of Canadian geese and small birds.

I tried very hard to channel the Brits and splash in washes to help define areas. I was not dismayed when the gray sky , which I’d painted rather well, turned beautiful and blue. I was more than glad to change that around. I was sorry no one wandered by to look over my shoulder while I was merrily dashing the initial washes about.