Posts Tagged ‘Art Jam’

Carving out a Niche in this World

November 13, 2013
Edom Tire Shop Finished

Edom Tire Shop Finished

Most people with whom I talk, men and women even of some originality and genius, have their scheme of the universe all cut and dried,–very dry, I assure you, to hear, dry enough to burn, dry-rotted and powder-post, methinks,–which they set up between you and them in the shortest intercourse; an ancient and tottering frame with all its boards blown off.

Henry David Thoreau, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

In recent days, I am drawing unspeakable riches from my students in philosophy and art history.  I sense a drive in many of them to articulate a personal philosophy, to design their own thought paradigms, to construct a meaningful worldview.  They share with me what they are reading from thinkers they choose to pursue, they bring to me their discoveries from the school and public libraries, epiphanies they’ve experienced at exhibits in local art museums.  The more I see them constructing their own worlds, the more driven I am to continue building my own.  I love this quote from a recent reading in Thoreau, the dry wit directed at worn-out, second-hand ideologies.

I am so pleased these past couple of days to find a little space, a slight crack in my professional routine, that has allowed some stolen moments for reading, reflection and painting.  Today I finished my first of at least three Edom, Texas subjects–the small tire shop at the main intersection of town near where I will set up on November 30 for an all-day Art Jam.  I finished out the surrounding foliage, darkening the perimeters of the composition, then tried to put in some accents in the pavement at the bottom of the picture plane.  I re-worked the dark shadows under the awning, laid some more rust and corrugated textures on the roof, and finally worked on some geometric shapes on the right side to give some kind of “pop” to the composition overall.  Finally, it was time to sign the darned thing and move on.  Already I have sketched out my next composition and tonight am ready to lay down my first watercolor washes on it.  It will be a second 8 x 10″ composition.

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.

A Late Night in the Studio

November 12, 2013
Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

Tire Shop in Edom, Texas

There are times when thought elbows her way through the underwood of words to the clear blue beyond.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, December 12, 1837

Today was Henry David Thoreau day in my high school Philosophy class.  Years ago, I feigned myself a decent lecturer–in these later years I’m not so sure.  But one thing I do know–it’s hard to muck up a Thoreau lecture, although I seemed to try that several times this morning.  I’m not sure why I was “off”, but I certainly saw determination, eagerness and enthusiasm in my students to get us through the ninety-minute segment.  The result was one of the best classes I have ever experienced in my high school career.  When students are “on”, it’s difficult for a teacher to fail.

Among the many facets of discussion this morning, there was a particularly good moment when we examined the idea of a Word emerging, like an Oracle, from the morass of words that daily engulfs us.  In public education, hoards of figures, statistics, spread sheets, surveys, audits, and every possible collection of numbers imaginable are hurled at me.  I often feel that I need a raincoat to protect me from the stains of such garbage.  In addition to the numbers are pages and pages of goals, objectives, directives, assessments–on and on and on.  Reading the plea from Walden to “Simplify, simplify,” I thank the sublime that a mind such as Thoreau is still capable of reaching through the tempest and uttering the Word with power sufficient to improve our lives.  Thanks to Thoreau, and thanks to my Philosophy students, I captured a warm sentiment early this morning that managed to accompany me throughout the day, even through my 7:00 p.m. Logic class at the university.

The hour is drawing late, Texas temperatures are expected to reach down into the twenties tonight, I’ve managed to cover my outdoor faucets, finish my A. P. and regular Art History preparations for the morrow, and even find time to pick up the brush and push this 8 x 10″ watercolor of the tire shop in Edom, Texas toward its conclusion.  On November 30, I will spend the day in Edom for their Art Jam, setting up inside The Shed Cafe, and attempt to sell some paintings, greeting cards and prints of my small-town subjects.  This is my first Edom composition.  I plan to move on to a painting of The Shed next.

This has been a most affirming day, and I’m proud that I had the space to share it with you, thanks for reading me tonight.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.