Posts Tagged ‘Marcel Proust’

Thoughts Meandering between Nostalgia and the Present

June 21, 2018

white sands

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

The places we have known do not belong only to the world of space on which we map them for our own convenience. None of them was ever more than a thin slice, held between the contiguous impressions that composed our life at that time; the memory of a particular image is but regret for a particular moment; and houses, roads, avenues are as fugitive, alas, as the years.

Proust, Swann’s Way

Nearly three hundred pages into Cezanne: A Life, by Alex Danchev, I’m completely absorbed by this intense artist’s life of painting. Cezanne certainly personifies the “driven” artist, and I’ve uncovered a host of amazing facts I never knew about the man and his ideas, though I’ve read about him since I was in high school. Last week while visiting the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, I thought of Cezanne’s fixation while painting Mont Sainte-Victoire. My feeble attempt to render the sand dunes at sundown with the San Andreas range behind them made me smile. I believe Cezanne attempted his mountain sixty times, and here I was, expecting something grand with my initial attempt.

However, I have been immersed in Cezanne’s theories of mountain painting, and have been reading of Martin Heidegger’s repeated visits to Cezanne’s home town and treks to Mont Sainte-Victoire as well as his writings about the mountain experience, and I have engaged in some serious mountain sketches of my own, beginning with my recent visit to Cloudcroft, New Mexico. In time, I plan to launch these activities and musings onto my blog.

Reading of Cezanne’s break with his lifelong friend Emile Zola was sobering, though. And the timing of this reading was poignant. A few days ago, I chose to unfriend over 150 people who were on my Facebook. I’m not going into the details here, but I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any reader that it was over politics; America is as deeply divided now as I’ve ever known her to be. I made a decision to eliminate scores of daily negative postings on my Facebook timeline, and in the days since, have thoroughly enjoyed a sunnier climate of expressions. I am working now to return to what I prefer writing and posting–art and daily musings.

The Proust quote above crossed my radar this morning while reading of the Cezanne/Zola split and I’m going to try now to put this into words. As Proust pointed out, our past experiences have been stitched together to create the complex individuals we find ourselves to be in the present. And when we find ourselves awash in those memories, we know the gratitude of warm memories as well as the melancholia of knowing those moments remain no longer, except in memory. When I discovered Facebook some years back, I felt genuine gratitude when over a hundred friends from high school and college came onto my page. Many of them I have had the privilege of re-visiting in person and enjoying warm conversation that included plenty of reminiscences. And, in line with Proust, that is how I choose to remember those friends, with grateful stories of things we encountered long ago. Unfortunately, it has to end there. The daily flow on Facebook of belittling discourse and political intolerance is not what improves my life, and I reached the conclusion that it would only be these kinds of postings waiting to greet me every day when I pulled up my page. So, I made my decision and there is no looking back, only forward.

My blog will still go to Facebook, and it won’t be political. And, as I’ve written before, my friend Wayne White https://ramblingsofafarrier.com/ and I only hope that readers will feel good when they read our musings. The world has too much hatred and vitriol already. It doesn’t need to hear that from us.

Thanks always for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

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Recollections 54 Redivivus

September 19, 2016

abandoned-cafe

The virtue of art lies in detachment, in sequestering one object from the embarrassing variety.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Art”

On February 7, 2002, over fourteen years ago, I was convinced that I had finally found my artistic voice, and responded by launching my sole proprietorship Recollections 54, creating a market for my watercolors (www.recollections54.com). My passion has always been to travel  county roads through the sleepy towns of America, my watercolor block riding at my side like a faithful travel dog. Always on the lookout for something to paint, I experienced every day as a new opportunity for discovery of some artifact reminiscent of earlier decades of energy and prosperity. Today, only the shells and husks remain of filling stations, general stores, movie theaters and other public buildings formerly stirring with conversations, stories and glimpses of life. The writer Marcel Proust has pointed out the thrill of beholding an object capable of triggering profound memories from youth, and being filled with a sense of warmth and gratitude.

Holding down two jobs has made painting with any kind of regularity a challenge, and should I be fortunate enough to retire one day, I have this fantasy of pursuing my watercolor passion with fewer restrictions. In addition to working full time, I have also taken a number of detours throughout the past fourteen years, traveling roads that involved significant changes in my signature genre–still life painting, plein air painting, Texas coastal themes and fly fishing, to name a few. But lately, I’ve found joy in returning to this Recollections 54 genre, selecting scenes from vanishing America.

I have nearly completed another watercolor of this favorite genre, and posted it above. This relic of a roadside restaurant flooded me with a sense of loss and presence when I stopped and photographed it in New Mexico years ago. Loss, because the business was dead; presence, because the structure resonated with stories as I stood gazing at it from every possible angle, near and afar, taking dozens of photos and trying to imagine what it was like to pull into the gravel parking lot hungry and eager to enter a comfortable zone and be served.

Emerson wrote that detachment was the virtue of a piece of art, that ability to detach the subject from the surroundings that tried to draw away attention. Frequently that is what I do when selecting something to draw or paint. From buildings such as this, I frequently remove windows, air conditioning units, graffiti, dangling cables–anything I regard as taking away from the simple integrity of the subject. The surroundings often present that annoying tree or trash dumpster that is in the way. The fun thing about making art is the ability to make those decisions in framing up a composition. And so this subject also presented its own unique set of possibilities.

I believe the painting is nearly finished. As was the practice of Andrew Wyeth, I’ll put it up in my home somewhere, and glance at it as I enter or leave the room, always evaluating, figuring if there remains something to do before signing off on it.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.

 

Sunday Night Ponderings

July 10, 2016

LMFS 1 (2)

Power Plant visible from where I stayed this summer on an island in the Laguna Madre

LMFS 3 (2)Assortment of Fire Wheels and other grasses on the island in the Laguna Madre

. . . it’s always been private occasions that make me feel connected to the joys and sorrrows of the world, often in the form of communion with writers and musicians I’ll never meet in person.  Proust called these moments of unity between writer and reader “that fruitful miracle of a communication in the midst of solitude.”

Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Finally, I can relax, late this Sunday night.  Today was an indoor art festival in Fort Worth, held at Stage West Theater.  A Texas summer festival is delightful when held inside an air-conditioned venue. The theater space granted me was perfect for me to set up my work, and we were only open for three hours.  Still, the loading in and out on the same day (only 97 degrees today) has ways of sapping my energy, and of course, the days leading up to festivals still after all these years have ways of rolling anxiety throughout my being.

MADE (2)

But I’m happy with how things went.  I’ve posted two of the plein air watercolors I did recently while at the Laguna Madre Field Station.  They sold today, and I’m always happy when my art finds a home.  I had the time of my life, visiting with patrons and fellow artists, and am much better for the time spent in such good company.  It’s truly been a rewarding experience and I’m grateful to have been included in this event.

I’m happier still to find my calendar for the summer at an end–no more engagements booked before school begins in the fall.  I am juiced to begin my next series of watercolor experiments without interruption, and overjoyed to have some quality reading time before me.  The Susan Cain book I quoted above is overflowing my heart with joy as I read her affirmations concerning the introverted life I’ve known from my beginnings.  How wonderful to read a book that extols the virtues of solitude when I feel that I am bombarded with media messages around the clock arguing for the merits of group think, collaborative learning (I’ve always struggled with this as a public school teacher), staying connected on social media, etc.

From my shelves I am pulling Anthony Storr’s Solitude: A Return to the Self, and I have borrowed a copy of William Powers’s Hamlet’s Blackberry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age.  These three literary works are speaking to me in the most profound way, and this gift of time and space has arrived at a perfect time, I feel.  More than ever, I am eager to explore new horizons and learn new things as I pursue my art and ideas.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to learn.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Drinking from the Artistic Fountains

December 29, 2015

finished door knob winter 2015

Completed Still Life Watercolor Sketch of Vintage Door Knob

What the verbal artist would like to do would be to find out the secret of the pictorial, to drink at the same fountain.

Henry James (quoted in Eric Karpeles, Paintings in Proust)

I find myself early this morning on the opposite shore of Henry James. From the banks of the pictorial, I gaze longingly across this vast sea at the distant verbal horizon.  As I drink from the literary fountains of Shakespeare, Yeats and Proust, I wonder how one could tap that artesian well of words and produce such wondrous prose and poetry.  I acknowledge that I’ve been blessed with a pictorial imagination since early childhood, and have had the good fortune of acquiring a toolbox of skills to reproduce some of this in works of visual art.  But still, I feel so enriched when I read texts from these immortal authors who still tug at my heart strings long after they have passed from this earth.  Returning this morning to Proust’s Swann’s Way and reading a delightful volume titled Paintings in Proust, I felt the urge to enter the studio and complete a watercolor sketch that I’ve had on my mind since before the Christmas holiday commenced.  I’ve finally signed off on it and will price this 8 x 10″ watercolor at $150, matted.

hemingway desk closeup

Hemingway desk

My Morning Sanctuary

I suppose it would have been amazing to live in Paris during the days of la belle epoque.  True, the society artists were disappearing, and only the museum-worthy ones are accessible to most of us today, but nevertheless the age was amazing, because the poets and novelists of that period were slowly yielding to the painters in the public’s eye.  As cafes began to fill with writers and artists in dialogue, the age became so rich in the arts, and today I still wonder over what it must have been like to sit at the table hearing those discussions.

Currently I am blessed to meet almost weekly with a pair of visual artists over coffee, and the exchange of ideas and dreams really fuels my own artistic output.  I often wonder if Arlington, Texas could ever become such a garden for fertile minds wishing to explore more deeply the literary and visual arts.

Thanks for reading.

I make art in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Wordsworth’s Lonely Cloud

July 14, 2015
Beginning a Large Cloud Portrait

Beginning a Large Cloud Portrait

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”
Marcel Proust wrote of the primal remembrances we experience by surprise when certain sensations confront us in our adult life. That experience happened to me repeatedly while residing on an island in the Texas Laguna Madre a few weeks back. I wrote earlier today that I was cycling back to earlier remembrances in my art endeavors. As a child, I would lie in the grass and gaze up at the billowing clouds suspended overhead, often looking for recognizable shapes. In my adult years, I still admire cloud formations, but usually while on extended road trips. When painting en plein air, I have tended to give the clouds a cursory treatment, focusing instead on my main subject of architecture or other such grounded subjects. But recently at the Laguna Madre, when looking out over water, horizon and sky, I began trying for the first time to paint what I call “cloud portraits.”
The studio version I am beginning today of the island is my largest to date: a 20 x 24″ composition on stretched 140-lb. cold press D’Arches paper. The work is requiring a great deal of time and planning, but I’m enjoying the challenge. The Wordsworth poem is fitting for this watercolor composition and how I feel this day, with the Laguna Madre flashing on my inward eye. In the painting, however, fire wheels will replace the daffodils.
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.

Watercolor Respite

April 21, 2015
Picking up the brush again

Picking up the brush again

Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists . . . 

Marcel Proust

A gentle reminder from a special friend sent me back to reading Proust last week after another long hiatus. Then I had to close up my shop and leave for a three-day art festival. Once the festival closed, I returned to two days of grading hell, promising me not one minute of down time. Finally I return home late today to find a surprise in my mailbox–a gift book Paintings in Proust. I’ve had some wonderful rocking-chair time with this beautiful volume. Now I’ll need to design a way to continue my reading of Proust’s novel, as well as The Fountainhead.

I managed a little time today on the watercolor I abandoned last week. The more I stare at the sprawling land around that house, the more I think of a passage from The Fountainhead as an architect surveyed the surrounding landscape:

The earth was like the outline of a great story, like the steel frame of a building–to be filled and finished, holding all the splendor of the future in naked simplification. . . . Wynand wondered what reins this man was gathering from all the points of the landscape into his hand.

Between this Ayn Rand novel, the writings of Proust, and a library book I checked out today on Andrew Wyeth, I am getting a profound itch to explore the land in watercolor and pencil, and find a way to fit the architecture into its natural surroundings. So many things are starting to come together in my mind, and it’s been frustrating that I’ve been buried in administrative details to explore them. To borrow again from The Fountainhead:

It was as if an underground stream flowed through the country and broke out in sudden springs that shot to the surface at random, in unpredictable places.

Sometimes I think our decades of ideas and experiences from reading and living life form a deep, still reservoir which from time to time bursts forth like an artesian well. Over the past week, these streams from Rand, Proust and Wyeth have comingled with ideas gleaned from Thoreau in my Philosophy class and certain twentieth-century ideas in my A. P. Art History classes, particularly Frank Lloyd Wright. In a perfect world, I would shut down my school for a week, crawl under a rock, and give these ideas time to hatch and develop. But alas, the hour is drawing late, and I have school again tomorrow. It just never ends.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not really alone.

Stirring of the Muses on a Friday Night

July 18, 2014
Historic Flatiron Building in Fort Worth, Texas

Historic Flatiron Building in Fort Worth, Texas

I have been as sincere a worshipper of Aurora as the Greeks.

Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Aaron Copland plays “Appalachian Spring” as I sit up late on a Friday night, with a desire to think, to write, to be.  The day started beautifully at 6:00 a.m., with no school to go and teach.  I love the three-day weekends of summer school.  I sat in my living room and watched through the open blinds the dawn breaking across my backyard while I re-read chapter two of Thoreau’s Walden,“Where I Lived, and What I Lived For.”  I love his salute to Aurora and the beautiful meditations about the dawn being the heroic age–that all intelligences awake with the dawn.  The chapter marked a delicious start to the day.  Following Thoreau, I then turned to Proust and to Melville, reading for well over an hour before rising to enter the kitchen and make breakfast.  Following breakfast I worked a long time in the watercolor studio, mostly finishing up abandoned work that had piled up the past couple of months.

To begin this delicious night in my darkened studio, Marcel Proust delivered beautiful images in Swann’s Way.  The young narrator is smitten by the sight of a girl with a fair complexion and azure eyes.  The mere sight of her overpowers his eyes at the same time the hawthorns are flooding his senses.  He cannot separate the beauty of the two.  How many of us still recall those first instances of romantic love and how we lost all bearings?  What a marvelous gift it would be to set such a profound experience down in prose as Proust managed to do.

In Moby Dick, after 120 pages, Captain Ahab finally emerged into view, and what a powerful force his presence exerted on his surrounding environment.  Like the solid bronze of Cellini’s Perseus, he towers above his ship and crew, the mere sight of him with no accompanying speech evoking a sense of genuine awe from the narrator.  His aggressive gesture toward second mate Stubb rattled the otherwise stalwart officer, leaving the bemused fellow wondering what it was exactly that evoked such a fear from him.

With sadness, I resumed reading a biography of Jack Kerouac by Tom Clark.  I read the book several years ago, then lent it out and never got it back.  So now I’m reading a newly purchased copy, re-highlighting, etc., and of course, am very surprised at how much of the content I have already forgotten from the first reading.  The details of Kerouac’s migratory life always leave me with the same kind of disturbed thoughts that I get from reading about Hemingway: these men had such a passion for disciplined writing that always drives me to find another gear to crank out work, no matter how tired or discouraged I may become in my own life and work.  They truly induce me to work even harder in my research, thinking and writing.  But the misery of both these men brings me to such overwhelming sadness.  I’m glad I never mixed alcohol with my life’s work—I am not able to identify with that problem on a gut-level.  But the despondency, the self-doubt, the second-guessing—that kind of a hell I have known all-too-well, and don’t like to visit or re-visit.  And it hurts deeply every time I read these details in their life’s work.

This afternoon, I was deeply moved, listening to a trio of thirty-minute lectures from The Teaching Company.  I have been so fortunate to receive a number of these lecture sets, first in VHS and later in DVD, from a number of dear friends and occasionally from one of those “can’t miss” sales that the company offers.  One lecture was from Daren Staloff (“Hegel—History and Historicism”), and the other two from Daniel N. Robinson (“The Idea of Freedom” and “Human History as the Unfolding of the Ideal: The Hegelians”).  The lectures prompted me to draw out a volume placed in my hands earlier this year by our remarkable school librarian, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit.  Anyone familiar with this volume is no doubt grinning already, but I am actually getting enough from the text to stay with it.  Hegel’s mind was Faustian in the way he incorporated and excerpted virtually everything he studied throughout his lengthy life, and then fashioned all that knowledge into a comprehensive system.  His mind reminds me very much of that of Paul Tillich, with that interdisciplinary drive, and of course I have always wanted to be that way.  So, tonight I also spent some more time working over Hegel’s text and recording observations in my journal.

Last night I took out my Latin grammars and workbooks and resumed a project I started in 2003, but abandoned on three subsequent occasions.  Eleven years later, I still cannot read Latin, but love and respect the language and am now finding myself devoting some summer evenings to working on my vocabulary and grammar exercises, and pulling out occasional texts from one of my Loeb Classical Library volumes as well as my Biblia Sacra Vulgata.  Tonight marks my second consecutive night working in the Latin text.  I had always hoped I could work this language as I do the ancient Greek, but alas, I took many semesters of Greek and it stayed with me fortunately.  Latin was never available in the schools I attended.  I love the line from Byron’s Beppo:

I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,

Which melts like kisses from a female mouth.

All of tonight has been given to reading, note-taking and writing.  I did manage today to finish a number of watercolor projects that had been abandoned over the past months.  Above, I have posted my finished product of the historic flatiron building on the south side of downtown Fort Worth, Texas.  I don’t know why I had laid it aside for so long, but now I’m glad it’s finished and has been delivered to the Weiler House Fine Art Gallery.

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.

 

Late Night Moments with Proust

July 17, 2014
Proust Collage and French Editions

Proust Collage and French Editions

I dined with Legrandin on the terrace of his house, by moonlight.  “There is a charming quality, is there not,” he said to me, “in this silence; for hearts that are wounded, as mine is, a novelist whom you will read in time to come asserts that there is no remedy but silence and shadow.  And see you this, my boy, there comes in all our lives a time, towards which you still have far to go, when the weary eyes can endure but one kind of light, the light which a fine evening like this prepares for us in the stillroom of darkness, when the ears can listen to no music save what the moonlight breathes through the flute of silence.”

Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way

The hour is drawing late.  I have read and written since about 4:30 this afternoon.  I taught summer school from 7:30 till 12:45.  But there is no school on Fridays, and that is very good, since sleep is nowhere near at this point for me, and I am deeply stirred by these beautiful words, even in translation.  I am perpetually amazed that a French author can resonate so deeply with me, knowing that I am reading an English translation, and wondering at the same time what it must be like to read him directly in his own language.  What amazing feeling and insight!  As I read these words, I had the soulful harp music playing from Hilary Stagg’s CD “The Edge of Forever.”  The ethereal quality of this music is no doubt enhancing the kind of reading I’m doing tonight.  I am committed to reading Proust because he wrote from a perspective that we experience primal re-visitations of warm memories from our past, often triggered by some sensation of taste, hearing, touch, smell or vision.  I have always held firmly to that conviction, and love reading his work.

I have posted a small collage I did of Proust some years back, and added some photos of his early publications that were sent me last year when I placed in a Proust competition sponsored by one of our WordPress bloggers.  

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog ro remind myself that I am not alone.

 

Afternoon Drybrush Study of Screen Door and Companion

April 23, 2013
Drybrush Watercolor Study of Pair of Doors

Drybrush Watercolor Study of Pair of Doors

I was confronted for the first time, I suppose, really with the thing that I did, whereas up until that moment I was able to remove myself from the act of painting, or from the painting itself.  The painting was something that I was making, whereas somehow for the first time with this painting, the painting itself had a life of its own in a way that I don’t think the others did, as much.

Barnett Newman, April 1965 Interview

Wow.  I am breathless right now.  This 8 x 10″ drybrush I began several days ago, having only about 45 minutes to begin it before I lost the light.  Today after school, being tired of the cafe piece I had been working on, I decided to set up the easel in front of my pair of doors and resume this, though the light was rather poor.  Didn’t matter–I decided to focus on the wood textures of the door on the right, and see if I could find a way to solve the screen door on the left.

I don’t know how to say this, except to say that I felt that this composition painted itself.  I felt that I put out very little effort, puzzled very little, hesitated almost not at all.  Next thing I knew, I was stopping.  I believe I worked on it only about an hour, certainly not any longer.  And suddenly, it looked “finished.”  Maybe tomorrow I’ll change my mind and push it further.  But I’m stopping for now and just looking at it.

I posted the Barnett Newman quote, because that is what I experienced this afternoon in the Man Cave.  It doesn’t come along very often.  I felt as though the picture was painting itself before my very eyes, and all I had to do was watch it happen.  Amazing.

I have so many Proustian memories of the screen door growing up–my grandparents’ houses, the country store I frequented when visiting grandparents.  How I loved the slap of the door slamming shut (it always angered my Dad when I let it “thwap” loudly like that). Perhaps later I’ll write more about those memories.

But for now, I’m pretty wiped out–the state-mandated testing at school today (with no relief break during the four hours, thank you very much), followed by regular classes in the afternoon, pretty much sucked the best out of me, and I’m surprised I had anything left to come home and paint today.  Glad I did.

And thank you for reading.

A Delicious Afternoon in the Man Cave, Sketching, Watercoloring, Reading, Journaling, Pondering

April 19, 2013
Beginnings of a cafe still-life

Beginnings of a Cafe Still-Life

Only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another’s view of the universe which is not the same as ours and see landscapes which would otherwise have remained unknown to us like the landscapes of the moon.  Thanks to art, instead of seeing a single world, our own, we see it multiply until we have before us as many worlds as there are original artists.

Marcel Proust

I emerged from school to face my weekend with a heart full of gladness.  The 67-degree sunshine and soothing breeze made for a heavenly afternoon in the Man Cave, and I immediately went back to the work I barely commenced late last night–a diner’s mug on a checkered cloth, with vintage spectacles and an old envelope.  All I accomplished last night were laying down the shadows, wet-on-wet. This afternoon I got after some color blocks on the fabric, some further modeling and glazing on the mug (including some of reflected pinks of the cloth on the side of the mug), and a little bit of work on the spectacles.

Once the painting got overly wet, I decided to settle into the comfy chair for some reading in the Hemingway biography.  But the Cave was darkened by the positioning of my doors (trying to control the lamp source on the still-life), and I suddenly got an idea for some reading light.  Yesterday, while browsing the antique store, I found something I had wanted for ten years but could never find–an old vintage “farmhouse-style” screen door!  Price was $37.  I loaded it in the Jeep and brought it to the cave.  It had been propped behind some still life objects for a future composition, but today I decided to use it functionally–I spread my doors and inserted the screen between them to let in the light and the breeze.

Once I sat with the Hemingway biography in my lap, and felt that first caress of the breeze coming through, I laughed out loud, remembering the Seinfeld episode when Kramer installed the screen door on his apartment entrance, and sat outside in the hall with a garden hose, watering plants!

Interior of Man Cave. looking out screen door
Interior of Man Cave. looking out screen door
Standing Outside the Man Cave, looking in the screen door

Standing Outside the Man Cave, looking in the screen door

Quick Attempt to Sketch the Man Cave Doors

Quick Attempt to Sketch the Man Cave Doors

After reading the Hemingway biography for a stretch of time, I then turned to my Journal and recorded some of the highlights of this day, especially some new ideas planted recently by my high school students (at my age, they still astound me with their insight and creative ways of looking at the world).  I then returned to work a little further on the table cloth patterns of my new cafe painting.  Then, taking a stretch break, I stepped outside the Cave and was surprised by the sight of the western sun on my screen door and the adjoining one.  I quickly installed a porcelain doorknob, set up my plein air easel, and went to work as quickly as possible, like a man possessed, before I lost the sunset light (about 15 minutes).  I absolutely loved getting into the wood surfaces of the doors along with their knobs, handles, keyholes, etc.  Once the light faded, I decided to call it quits on this one, and perhaps will return to it at the same time tomorrow evening, or Sunday evening.

I cannot describe my disposition this afternoon, except to say I was quite “scattered”.  I wanted to paint everything, draw everything (I left out the detail that I also worked out some pencil sketches of the diner’s mug because I was having some problems “solving” it’s form.  I didn’t bother posting those photographs, because I feel I’ve already loaded plenty into this post).  It was a delightful afternoon, divided between two paintings, some sketches, excellent reading, as well as some thinking and journaling.  All the best things were here for me this day.

Rapid Watercolor Sketch of the Door knob

Rapid Watercolor Sketch of the Door knob (about 15 minutes)

I have an invitation to go on a plein air excursion with friends this weekend, and I’m seriously considering it.  I’ve waited all winter for this opportunity, and have had only one such encounter.  I’m ready once again to get outside and into the light.

This has been a beautiful afternoon and evening.  Thank you for sharing in it with me.  And thank you always for caring enough to read me.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.