Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Picasso’

Sometimes Wyeth; Sometimes Picasso

November 19, 2014
Looking for the Balance

Looking for the Balance

You can waste an awful lot of time farting around for great occasions.  Pete and Henriette carried on the social game . . .all the artists I’ve ever known did it, except maybe Edward Hopper.

Andrew Wyeth

Please don’t interpret tonight’s post as a complaint–it isn’t.  Over the past decades, I have sought this indefinable center between the public and private side of an artful life.  I love living after the examples of the Thoreaus, the Hoppers and the Wyeths of the art and literary world, one steeped in creative solitude and contemplation.  Winters are especially wonderful for that (especially now that my furnace is repaired, after six days of frigid living!).  But I also ache for that creative collaboration among kindred spirits.  I love the cafes, the salons, the gatherings of inquisitive minds who feed off one another’s inspirations.  Tonight I am headed for the latter, a monthly salon gathering that I enjoy to the depths.  What I wish is that I could return to my studio and work on some art pieces after the meeting, because a number of ideas have been percolating with me over the past several days and I just cannot seem to catch a break to pursue them in solitude.  Part of my teaching load this semester is an online college course and tonight I have promised myself that all assignments submitted over this past week will be graded before I retire to bed–the students deserve that.  And so, perhaps tomorrow I will get back into the studio.  Tonight I can only salute those artists that managed to balance their solitude with their society. I am just as much charmed by Thoreau’s Walden cabin as I am Picasso’s Parisian Cafe Gerbois.  The former looked into the face of nature and drew unlimited resources; the latter listened to the poets, artists and philosophers in the cafe around him and transformed their ideas into art.

Thanks for reading.

I paint in order to remember.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am never alone.

Saturday Morning Unscheduled Bliss

November 8, 2014
One of my Murals in Arlington Martin High School

One of my Murals in Arlington Martin High School

All which is beautiful, even humanly beautiful, dies, except in art.

Leonardo da Vinci

Waking to a bright and cold Saturday morning in Arlington, Texas, I decided at the start to spend some time writing in my journal, and that led me back to some old journals where I re-read with surprise some thoughts written long ago and forgotten (with over a hundred volumes of handwritten journals, I wish I had devised a way to index them in order to pull up ideas I had recorded going back to 1985).  I did find this, however, written in August 1988.  I had intended to hang the statement next to a public mural I had just finished (pictured above), but forgot all about it, until now:

Most of these creative spirits have left this world, yet their legacy remains with us.  And this mural is a visual record of how they made living here more worthwhile.  Dreams, visions and inspiration for books, plays, philosophies, songs and works of art were born in environments such as this.

My Favorite Artists

My Favorite Artists

My Favorite Musicians

My Favorite Musicians

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.

Thoreau Wins Out Over Picasso in the Studio Tonight

June 14, 2012

Close up of the Tarrant County Courthouse Cupola

This has been a day filled with reward, and I’m feeling grateful for the gifts.  I’m growing weary of the close, tight work this courthouse cupola is demanding at this moment.  An hour ago, I felt a kinship with Picasso who spent late, late nights in the studio, sometimes toiling till daylight, always spinning out new creations.  But my eyes are starting to fail me, and my back is getting tired of hunching over the drafting table.

Besides, this beautiful volume of Thoreau Journals has been sitting at my elbow, and I think it’s time that I drink from his waters.  With a little reluctance, I’ll turn off Alabama Live and listen to the night sounds outside my open garage door.  I haven’t done much quality journaling on this day, and I think it’s time to get some good things on the page.

Thanks for all of you who follow me on this blog.  It has been a rewarding spread of days lately.  Talk to you tomorrow!

I journal because I am alone.

I blog to remind myself that I am not alone.

Lost in Colorado Wonder

May 20, 2012

Painting St. Elmo, Colorado, late night in the studio

I always laughed at the stories of Pablo Picasso working in his studio at 3 a.m.  Long ago, I lost the ability to pull all-nighters.  I miss them.  But this could be a late one.  I took a nap this evening (had a pretty miserable afternoon) and now am waking more as the hours roll by, and am getting lost in the rustic architecture of this Colorado mountain town.  I recall it as vividly as if it were yesterday.  Four of us were about to embark on a foolhardy trip over Tin Cup pass in a Jeep Grand Cherokee 4-wheel drive.  We made the trip, but I still think the decision was foolish.  I don’t bother to sport the bumper sticker “I Survived Tin Cup Pass”‘; I don’t take a lot of pride in doing that trip with a vehicle not quite cut out for it (Geez, 4-ply tires even!  What a fool).

I lingered around St. Elmo for quite a long time that afternoon, shooting my old 35mm camera, using Kodachrome slide film.  I’m glad I saved the slides, though technology in the schools has all but made them obsolete.  I don’t know how much longer this Kodak carousel projector is going to hold up.

I took a break from painting to read a bit (I’m re-reading Basquiat by Phoebe Hoban), and to look at this work-in-progress on an easel across the room from my man cave.  I like the habit of Andrew Wyeth, putting up his work so he could glance up at it while doing something else, or while entering a room, and thus get a snapshot impression of it to know what works, what doesn’t, and most of all, figure out when to quit the thing.  I’m making myself stop right now because I’ve crawled into the painting to the point that I’m focusing on all these minute details and forgetting to see the entire work, compositionally.  That’s how I lose a painting.  There is a haunting soliloquy in the motion picture Six Degrees of Separation, where Donald Sutherland muses over how it feels to “lose a painting.”  I have no words for this.  But I regret those countless times when, signing a painting, I sighed and admitted to myself that it “looked better a week ago.”  I pushed it too far.  Right now, I have questions about this Colorado painting, and so I’ve decided to set it aside while I muse over it, and meanwhile, continue reading Basquiat. 

Thanks always for reading.

Public Murals in a Local High School

February 17, 2012

Arlington Martin High School Little Theater Mural

Since I have  been unable to pick up the watercolor brush for a few days, I decided to post a few of the eight public murals I was privileged to design and paint at Arlington Martin High School, where I teach full time.  This is on the second floor, outside the Little Theater.  I painted it sometime in the late 90’s over a 17-day span one summer.  I was given total license as to subject matter.  I chose as an interior the Trent River Coffee Company I discovered on vacation that summer in New Bern, North Carolina.

I chose my favorite heroes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  I was inspired by the murals inside the Barnes and Noble cafes I was seeing in those days, with writers sitting around the tables, conversing.  I chose my favorite philosophers, poets, novelists, playwrights, painters and musicians to fill this environment.  Most visible from this perspective are Maya Angelou, Arthur Miller, Bernard Shaw, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse.  I must admit that I did harbor somewhat of a communion with them as I worked on this, particularly on one of my 18-hour days.  Spending that much uninterrupted time alone on a large scale work tends to do those kinds of things to me.

I may post some additional images in the days ahead.  I hate to let this blog languish during the hiatus when nothing new is being created and I’m buried in grading and lesson planning.  Times like this are certainly low moments in my life.  I look forward to the day when space returns to create.

Thanks for reading.