Saturday, September 26, 2009

The State of My heART

Roller coasters are thrilling at the amusement park. Not so much in daily studio life.

It's tough love, babe. Deciding to separate from the muse can leave an artist treading water without land in sight. Placing a lifetime of passion and dedication up on the shelf calls for stern resolve of epic proportion. I did it, I experimented, and now I'm back to mend the relationship if only temporarily. Let's say we're dating.

Advice from friends and associates sounds something like this:
"It was a great ride while it lasted, wasn't it?"
"What a terrible time to be in the horse racing business - for anyone."
"Paint something else until the business fixes itself."

I'm a bit more optimistic about the future of horse racing. It will survive albeit not as we presently recognize it. Owners will continue to buy good horses as well as treat themselves to the luxury of expensive cars, beautiful homes and collect great equine art that elicits personal and emotional resonance. These purchases will occur within a changed climate, like everything else that's newly...changed. The smart artist acknowledges and is ready.

I'm so glad for the expansion.

foxhounds"Full Cry" oil on canvas, 11"x14"

horses in swamp"Twilight" oil on two canvases, each 11"x14"

"If I keep a green bough in my heart, the singing bird will come." - Chinese Proverb

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to the River

A bad day on the river is better that a good day in___(fill in the blank).

As we electric motored our way up the Oklawaha, we realized that a dredging company was fishing out the submerged logs and other flora to clear the waterway about two miles upstream from us. This made the water thick and murky and the big gators jittery. Saw a couple of biggies, probably 8-footers, but they hauled butt from us with annoyed attitude upon sighting the canoe. So, we had to settle for the wee ones sunning on the log pictured below. These were babies, and I apologize for not getting closer. Mama was nearby, no doubt.

baby alligatorsFlorida Wildlife authorities have been capturing these feral monkeys over the past year but missed this crewe. These rascals are several generation descendants of the escapees from film and TV productions at Silver Springs in the 50's and 60's. Think Sea Hunt and Tarzan.

monkeysThis is the alpha male keeping a close eye on us.

silver riverFemales with infants crossed the river over our heads.

monkeys in treesForgive the shakiness of this photo, but it is a...a...snake. This is a Florida Water Snake, unfortunately often confused with cottonmouths. Their color and markings are similar but the head shape is different. This sleek-headed snake was docile and ignored us.

florida water snakeCats and monkeys, monkeys and cats - all human life is there - Henry James

Saturday, September 12, 2009

International World Wide Paint Out

A hardy bunch of plein air painters descended on Ocala today in observance of the World Wide Paint Out. Gray skies and occasional rain did not deter these focused artists from painting, painting, painting. As a sheltered studio artist, I'm impressed.

Voilart! served as a base for the painters to check in and provide their approximate location, get a cold drink of water and most important - use the bathroom! And that's another challenge for these artists that I am just not aware of. I guess a tree would stand in for facilities when they paint in the woods.

international plein air paint outImportant equipment like this umbrella to serve rain or shine.

world wide plein air paint out
plein air paintingLove this woody that this painter works out of.

downtown Ocala
Blakley HouseSome painters planned ahead such as Carole Drost
who's working on the porch of the Blakley House.

Heat, rain, wind, bugs, rapidly changing light, weirdos, animals - I admire them for their tenacity under all these conditions.

"All pictures painted inside in the studio will never be as good as the things done outside." - Paul Cezanne. Well, there you go.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Gala Ribbon Cutting

In a light drizzle and under a full moon we conducted our ribbon cutting ceremony last night for Voilart!

ribbon cutting ceremonyHolding the ribbon from left to right: Marion Cultural Alliance Executive Director Nancy Ledding; Marion County Administrator Dr. Lee Niblock; Florida landscape artist (my partner) Jackie Schindehette; moi; and Marion County Commissioner Barbara Fitos.

art galleryI love our red archway.

art studioThe turnout was fabulous and we were packed with well-wishers all night.

painting studio and gallery
As enjoyable as it was, I'm relieved the various pomp and circumstance is over with, enabling Jackie and I to get back to the serious business of painting. We both have shows and exhibits fast approaching and need to buckle down and get productive.

Next Saturday Voilart! will serve as headquarters for local plein air painters participating in the International Worldwide Paint Out. We'll provide the initial sign-up for artists and also provide approximate locales where they can be found painting for interested observers. For more info check out the Ocala Plein Air Painters website.

"The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more." - Jonas Salk