A Winter Stop in Arcadia

Whittling Away at the Hermann, Missouri watercolor

Whittling Away at the Hermann, Missouri watercolor

An awful lot of painting is just sitting and thinking.

Robert Motherwell

Recently in Advanced Placement Art History, we looked at the art of Nicolas Poussin, and this image of the young men looking intently at the epitaph on the monument has remained with me.  I see their focused scrutiny, and feel that same sentiment often when I lean over and peer deeply into the masterwork of some celebrated artist from the past.

Et in Arcadia Ego, by Nicolas Poussin

For the past couple of days, I have been listening to a new DVD celebrating Andrew Wyeth’s work: Self-Portrait: Snow Hill as I have worked in my studio.  This in turn has led me back into some of my books of his work, and I have taken another look into his brick texturing of vintage buildings, and his incredible build-up of dry brush of winter forests.  I am experimenting with some different techniques on the bricks and background forest in this winter painting I’ve begun of Hermann, Missouri.  My enthusiasm is building as I’m watching some of the results emerge that I hoped would take place.

As I write this and as I paint, a cold, grey northern winter light is slanting through my studio windows.  And I like it, deeply appreciate it.  There is a mystique to the winter light that I have been cognizant of since my early childhood, and I always wished I could capture a sense of it in my painting.  That is what I’m earnestly seeking now in this watercolor as I focus on the photographs I took last December when I tramped through Hermann, filled with delight at what I saw.

Funny thing–a cold, overcast day could just as easily lead to depression, I realize.  But today, it is filling me with a desire to paint, and I feel an exhilaration as I enter into this Arcadian zone.

Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and as we pass through them they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue . . . 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.


Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: