Posts Tagged ‘Vintage’

A Quiet Afternoon, Contemplating the Still Life in the Cave

February 4, 2013
A Fishing Still-Life, Growing Like Corn in the Night

A Fishing Still-Life, Growing Like Corn in the Night

Aeschylus had a clear eye for the commonest of things. . . . This universal wonderment at those old men is as if a matured grown person should discover that the aspirations of his youth argued a diviner life than the contented wisdom of his manhood.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal, January 29, 1840

Anyone peeking inside my Man Cave now would draw the wrong conclusion that this Monday afternoon is a quiet and serene one.  I have Joseph Campbell on the TV/VCR lecturing on James Joyce and his Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  I have this splendid still-life arrangement spotlighted before me, and slowly, deliberately, I am chiseling out details with pencil and brush, and applying washes.  Beside me, my cat purrs and stretches in his comfy chair (mine actually, but he doesn’t realize that).  The neighborhood is quiet this afternoon, and all seems calm and leisurely.

But what is on the surface often belies what lies beneath.  This has been quite a day, filled with my Philosophy Class discussions of St. Augustine, my early readings from the Journal of Thoreau, my musings over a past weekend packed with activities and people, my preparations for tomorrow’s A. P. Art History (Dutch and Flemish Baroque) and English IV (the Victorian Age).  And then, my own thoughts, independent even of all this, that just will not settle down and fly in formation.  When all this mental, emotional stimuli swirls as it does now, I believe that the best I can do is sit down at my drafting table, gaze at the composition before me, and work.  My breathing changes.  My heart rate changes.  And the swirling world slowly settles down, as I settle down.

Now, having said all the above, let me address the painting.  The weekend was packed with activity, so I couldn’t even look at it.  But I never stopped thinking about it, and I knew that as soon as I could touch it this afternoon, I wanted to get into the “guts” of it–to the heart, to the congeries of rods, reels, fishing tackle and assortment of highlights and shadows right in the midst.  So, today’s attention has been given to the coffee can, the bait caster resting on top of it, the leather backpack behind it, a piece of the door, one of the rods with its facets and wrappings, the lures in the tackle box–so much more to go after, but it will happen, in good time.

But for now, I paint, I think, and I enjoy life this Monday afternoon, grateful to be in the Cave again.  I think the cat is glad to see me too.

Thanks for reading.

Visions of Kerouac, November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010

Visions of Kerouac

After a long weekend of delivering my art to three separate events (competition, gallery opening, and 2-day festival), I feel rather “wasted” this Monday morning.  But school still beckons, I’m a teacher, and therefore I answer the bell.

While at the festival, I worked on a painting each day.  The one posted is what I began yesterday (Sunday) morning, and tinkered with throughout the day (patrons were very few and even further between).  This is a 1950 Chevy Sedan Delivery that I have visited several times, thanks to the gracious owner of the property that allows me to “trespass.”  It is parked in a field north of Highway 77 just east of Interstate 35W, north of Hillsboro, Texas.

Making the one-hour drive to and from the festival each day gave me plenty of time to muse as I listened to CDs of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, narrated by Matt Dillon.  Kerouac’s work always leaves me in a contented state of mind, especially when I’m staring through the windshield of my Jeep and driving through wide-open country.  I decided on that second day of the festival that I would return to this subject of the Chevy.

I feel “drawn in,” Proust-like, when I see a vintage car rusting in an open field somewhere (and they are getting harder to find these days).  Cars from the fifties remind me of long road trips with my parents.  Seated in the backseat, I could not read (carsickness), so I had to stare out the window at the American countryside scrolling across my window as it were a TV screen.  I had hoped when I was younger that I would grow up to be a man with the ability to capture these American scenes either through story-telling or artist illustration.  I still feel that compulsion.

I’m experimenting more and more with the Masquepen when I work with tree foliage, weeds, and automobile texturing.  And I’m also finding salt to be more and more fun with all the surprises it leaves behind during the drying stages of the wet-on-wet washes.

Thank you for reading.