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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Silent Night, Lake Casitas March 20, 2011

Midnight at a local lake. All alone, along side Highway 150; nobody around except the crickets. It was one long silent night, faced with a crescent moon and minimal motif.

The challenge was (once again), to make something out of relative nothing. The goal: to make a mountain out of a mole hill! I was to take something mundane and create something beautiful out of it.

Charles Bukowski once wrote: Genius could be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.

Well, that's a tall order; coming from a major 20th Century American Poet emulating Haiku-risma. But in the silence of the night, it gave me something to strive for.

Crescent Moon Over Lake Casitas
12x16 oil/board 2003
Collection of the Artist

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An Ice Cold Grave, Iceland March 18, 2011

Someone once said, "Only when a man is on the edge of his grave, can he conclude anything!".

When traveling in Iceland in 2002 we came upon this small shack out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by miles of frozen tundra and lava rock. As we drove up to it, we saw that it wasn't just a shack. Someone had the inspiration to build, (ironically), a chapel.

As it was in the middle of nowhere, I imagine the parishioner who built it, did so in hopes that, "If I build it, they will come". My guess is that this was his Field of Dreams moment. As the icy wind howled and blew, we prowled around the 'frozen ground'.

The Chapel was all closed up. We found no Vikings hanging around. There was one lonely unmarked grave in it's cemetery. (One could only assume it was, maybe, the parishioner) It was pathetically bleak, desolate, lonely.

I was there in Iceland; commissioned by Robert Eringer to paint the purity of the night sky in the middle of Winter. Using the inspiration I received from this motif, I created this painting from reference material gathered at this location.

In executing the painting, I flooded the sky with an exaggerated Aurora Borealis. Now, in retrospect, the 'feeling' of the painting reminds me of the great Northern European Expressionist painter, Edvard Munch; the painter of, "The Scream".

Speaking of Screaming, if anyone were to scream out there in the middle of nowhere,no matter the message, not many people would or could hear you. I hope whomever lies there in that ice cold grave rests in peace. It is a silent resting place for some pour soul.

Mankind must strive for completion while above ground; not wait until he is on the edge of his grave before concluding anything.

Dedicated to my friend, Mike Enlow. 1957- March 19, 2011

The Ice Grave, Iceland
24x36 oil/canvas 2002
collection of the artist

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Santa Barbara, Morning Light, March 17, 2010

Sunday Morning, Santa Barbara
Taking the time to capture the morning light on the American Riviera sets the tone for the rest of the week.

Morning Light, Santa Barbara
16"x20" oil/canvas 2011

Collection of the artist

Living here proviedes one fine quality of life.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

St. Anthony's Seminary

Painting Day, St. Anthony's Seminary, from Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

It was a day of Architectural Motif. The lesson, how to paint using a palette of colors which will express antiquity. The purpose this day seemed to be a quest to transcend the legacy of this building. to view it for it's beauty, and not get stuck on the legacy of what happened there decades ago.

The biggest when teaching challenge is to herd the students (and their easels), together, so I can get to them more easily, or that my voice can carry over a short distance so I don't strain too much. Sometimes it's though we are painting right on top of each other.

Sometimes... accidents happen, like when a student's cane falls and hits a persons car, or another student's dog gets out of a car and bites the leg of another student.
Plein air painting is full of unpredictable moments.

The direction you're facing, has much to do with your destination.