Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Just returned from my Montana trip, I stayed at my cousin's place, www.LastChanceRanch.biz
outside of Helena. He does wagon-ride dinners and the second night I was recruited to drive a team of Belgians and a wagon with 18 people in it because his regular driver was not able to make it - fun in spite of rain and hail and 43 degrees (in August!). The tepee where dinner was served had a fire going and was very cozy. Check out his website, its a great place up in the mountains surrounded by National Forest. I was busy with family and the outdoors - did not even bring my paints. Will get back at it this week.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
We have been busy preparing the last 15 acres for prairie planting this November; maybe I will post before and after planting photos so you can get an idea of what it's like. During much of the process we were so frustrated and at times wondered if it was worth it... but now watching all the birds and bugs and other critters who will have an undisturbed pesticide-free home, we would go through it again. Chimney swifts and swallows are having a great time swooping over the grasses and catching grasshoppers. I will be in Montana this week so will not be able to post again until the last week of August.
Accola Gallery landscape show
Sunday, August 10, 2008
I have been re-visiting a favorite book of mine, Zen in the Art of Archery. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in Eastern philosophy or mind training. In the forward, D.T. Suzuki writes:
"One of the most significant features we notice in the practice of archery, and in fact of all the arts as they are studied in Japan... is that they are not intended for utilitarian purposes only or for purely aesthetic enjoyments, but are meant to train the mind; indeed, to bring it into contact with the ultimate reality. If one really wishes to be master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an "artless art" growing out of the unconscious."
To use a western phrase, being in the flow. The painting paints itself. Something to strive for.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Here is another palette knife/limited palette painting of our prairie. I recently read this quote by painter George Inness which hit home to some of what I have been trying to get at:
"...I had begun to see that elaborateness in detail did not gain me meaning... I could not sustain it everywhere and produce the sense of spaces and distances and with them that subjective mystery of nature which wherever I went I was filled."
Friday, August 1, 2008
These coneflowers are in a bed in our front yard, they are not native to our area. The past days have been some of the hottest and muggiest this summer, I try to get up and out early to paint and with the tall grasses get covered with dew. I have been reading Peter Matthiessen's book End of the Earth, Voyages to Antarctica. A funny feeling reading about frigid temperatures and Ice bergs and blue and white, while here it is green green green and hot and humid.