Posts Tagged ‘vintage door knob’

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.

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.