Home, Where I Belong

A Long Overdue Quiet Evening at Home

A Long Overdue Quiet Evening at Home

Current wisdom, especially that propagated by the various schools of psycho-analysis, assumes that man is a social being who needs the companionship and affection of other human beings from cradle to grave. It is widely believed that interpersonal relationships of an intimate kind are the chief, if not the only, source of human happiness. Yet the lives of creative individuals often seem to run counter to this assumption.

Anthony Storr, Solitude: A Return to the Self

This evening has been long overdue. I believe in what I’ve been doing lately, but must admit that the grind of nearly-nightly meetings and engagements have taken their toll. I’m glad at this early hour of the evening to have all my art history prepared for tomorrow’s classes and still some time for reading, for guitar, and even watercolor experimenting in my studio. I have been away from all this (and blogging) far too long. I guess I’m just not a social animal, though I’ve been covered up in people for a couple of weeks now. Tonight I feel that I finally got back to what I am about–not necessarily a creative spirit, but one who wants to create and explore.

Back in the summer of 2009, I was privileged with some time to study art at the Rachovsky House in north Dallas, and a book was given to me as a gift: Inside the Studio: Two Decades of Talks with Artists in New York, edited by Judith Olch Richards.  After reading the transcripts of more than a dozen interviews, I found myself intrigued with these words from Susan Rothenberg:

I start by taking a lot from intuition and then I depend on composition, on building the painting’s architecture. I use all the formal values of painting but it’s not terribly examined, I just let it come. I’m finding more and more that it’s coming out of drawing, which is new to me.

I take these words to heart, not only because I often begin my watercolors in the way she described, but because I have rediscovered drawing in the past months to be a prime mover in my decisions regarding subject matter and composition. In a funny way, this same principle has emerged in my recent attempt to play blues music on guitar. For several days now, I’ve been trying to “feel” Blues lead patterns by working on scales. Tonight my dear friend and Guitar God, Reid Rogers, opened my eyes to wondrous things with the A-minor scale, and showed me how to build a ladder.  My head is swimming with possibilities now.  Finally, an architecture to give confidence to these flailing attempts!

Working on Some Blues Scales

Working on Some Blues Scales

I’m also pleased to return to my abandoned garage studio.  I found this afternoon a stack of watercolors of subjects began a long time ago and abandoned, unfinished. This particular landscape I thought might have possibilities. I was fascinated with the portion of the Davis Mountain Range I photographed nearly ten years ago and started, hesitantly, with this watercolor. Years later now, I’m attempting to put some tree foliage at the base of the work and see if I can re-enter the composition. Baby steps!

Returning to My Garage Studio, and to an Old Watercolor

Returning to My Garage Studio, and to an Old Watercolor

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not really alone.

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