Posts Tagged ‘antique door’

Relaxing into Christmas

December 24, 2016


Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:–

Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,

As the swift seasons roll!

Leave thy low-vaulted past!

Let each new temple, nobler than the last,

Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,

Till thou at length are free,

Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

Oliver Wendell Holmes, “The Chambered Nautilus”

Happy Holidays to all my treasured blog readers!  I haven’t posted for over a week, as Christmas obligations and errands, along with the responsibilities of closing out the fall semester, left me with little time for communication.  I did however begin work on my first new series that I am titling “Portals.”  I dragged an antique door from my man cave into my living room studio so I could enjoy painting near the fireplace while listening to Christmas music this past week.  As with every Chrstmas season, I leave a fresh painting-in-progress behind in my studio as I flee to St. Louis and visit with family and friends.  But I always am able to return to my home free of post-holiday depression because of a painting still waiting for me that I’m excited to engage.

I am re-reading an Andrew Wyeth biography that I enjoyed years ago, Richard Meryman’s Andrew Wyeth: A Secret Life.  My soul stirs deeply as I read of his life and legacy, and the life and ideas of his father N. C. have taken such a hold on me that I just ordered and received (thanks Amazon!) The Wyeths, by N. C. Wyeth.  That incredibly large man was so charged with literary ideas and philosophical sentiments that I cannot wait to read from the 1200 letters that he left behind, exposing his most intimate thoughts and dreams about art. So, in addition to enjoying my circle of family and friends, I’m enjoying some quality reading and times for reflection.  The holidays are such a warm and intimate time for these kinds of pursuits.

I wish all of you the very best of life as we sail through this season.  Christmas and the New Year always fill me with the most meaningful ponderings.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself tha I am not alone.

Retreat to the Wilderness–Archer City, Texas

June 30, 2013
Private Entrance, Archer City, Texas

Private Entrance, Archer City, Texas

I will write on the door of my studio: School of drawing, and I will make painters.  Drawing is the priority of art.

Copy, copy simply, wholeheartedly, abjectly that which you have before your eyes; art is never so perfect as when it resembles nature so closely that it might be mistaken for nature herself.

Poussin often said that it is in observing objects that a painter becomes skillful.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

The three-day weekend from summer school has been so therapeutic for me.  So many ideas have been flowing through my consciousness that I hardly know where to begin.  Drawing has been on my mind ever since I bought the new sketchbook and the Fluid watercolor block prior to the pair of workshops I conducted recently.  Though I am cranking out watercolor sketches daily, I am spending more and more time drawing, studying tonal values, textures and line qualities.

I took a quick trip to Archer City, long overdue, to see what was left of Larry McMurtry’s used book store for hopeless bibliophiles–Booked Up Inc.  The inventory has been reduced to a couple of hundred thousand volumes, mostly in one building now, instead of four, but there are no plans to close the store.  They just launched a new website.  I limited my purchase to two books, but absolutely love what I have been reading from Elizabeteh Gilmore Holt’s From the Classicists to the Impressionists: Art and Architecture in the 19th Century.  The quotes posted above from Ingres gave me great impetus to do some sketching and plein air watercoloring in Archer City, even though temperatures climbed to 105.  

I photographed several structures that I plan to paint very soon–the Royal Theater (site of  the film The Last Picture Show), two defunct gas stations, and several aged doors.  The sketch of the door above I began on site.  I found it between a real estate office still in business and an antique store no longer in business.  This particular door perhaps leads to a loft or attic above, and as I looked upon it, I was sorry to see the padlock, to me an indicator that whatever was behind the door was no longer in use.  I fantasized about having a studio there, or an apartment, or a study with all my books.  I didn’t know if the door opened to a flight of stairs or into a chamber.  And I suppose I’ll never know.  But the awning kept the sun off me, and I began a careful pencil sketch of it, then laid in some washes, followed by some drybrush texturing, and finally some more pencil detailing and rendering.  Finally it got too hot for me to continue.  I had drunk an entire bottle of water, then a jumbo-sized iced tea from the Barbecue place a few doors down from this site.

Once back home, I looked at several close-up photos I took of the door, and used them as models to finish this out.  I think I am nearly done–I may perhaps indicate the recessed panel in the upper right portion of the door.  This will be a 10 x 8″ composition inside a 14 x 11″ mat and plastic sleeve.  I’m going to offer it at $100 for anyone interested.  I’ve gotten attached to it already, though I only spent a little more than an hour total on the entire piece, maybe two hours.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I feel that I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.