The Silence of the Night

A Quiet Night in the Garage Studio

A Quiet Night in the Garage Studio

We must reserve a little back-shop, all our own, entirely free wherein to establish our true liberty and principle retreat and solitude.

Montaigne

How wonderful to have my six-weeks report card grades finalized and posted by 7:05 pm on a Monday night!  I had already finished my school preparations for the following day, so like an elementary student released for playground recess, I dashed into the garage where I had already stretched four new 9 x 12″ watercolor papers onto canvas stretchers this afternoon.  Finding them dry, I tossed one on to the drafting table and began sketching the stove-top percolator in the heart of my new still life arrangement, and laid down several washes as quickly as I could.  I found myself impatient, waiting for the paint to dry, so I began fiddling with drybrush textures on the surface of the coffee pot, and before I knew it, I was lost in this new subject.

As I worked, I played a DVD of “Andrew Wyeth: Self-Portrait–Snow Hill” purchased a few winters ago when the three generations of Wyeth painters were on display at the Tyler Museum of Art in east Texas.  I have had Andrew Wyeth on my mind all day, perhaps because of the close studies I did last evening on the Maxwell House tin, and the nature of still life rendering in general.  I took my painting of yesterday to school with me today, and stole many glances of it across the room as my classes ran their course.  I just cannot seem to get enough of this painter and his ideas.  I’m always inspired by Andrew’s life of disciplined drawing and rendering of objects that were personal to him.  In many ways, the objects with which I surround myself in my own garage studio during these winter months exude stories and memories of my past.  I got lost tonight, staring at the surface textures of this coffee percolator–the abrasions, the stains, the light playing off the facets of the glass knob on the lid.  I could close my eyes and remember the gurgling sounds of the coffee percolating on my parents’ stove top during those dark and cold winter mornings.  The kitchen was flooded with the aroma of coffee as it steamed out of the spout.  The longer I gazed at this object, the more I wondered at the stories it could tell of its own farm kitchen, factory kitchen, or neighborhood kitchen.  Where had this coffee pot been?  Whose mornings did it begin?  What conversations did it overhear?

I love the feel of tonight.  My neighborhood is quiet.  The city around me has darkened.  And in this halo of garage light, I hear the words of N. C. Wyeth as his last letter to his son Andrew is read:

Great painting is like Bach’s music, in texture closely woven, subdued like early tapestries, no emphasis, no climaxes, no beginnings or endings, merely resumptions and transitions, a design so sustained that there is no effort in starting and every casual statement is equally great.

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.

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2 Responses to “The Silence of the Night”

  1. lindahalcombfineart Says:

    Thank you, David. Wonderful post. It looks like you are off to a good start with this painting.

    Like

  2. Xraypics Says:

    Lovely, looking forward to the finished picture. tony

    Like

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