Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crimes Against Creativity

As an artist and a former race tracker and now getting fairly ancient, I have a lot to say and a lot that I'd love to share with the world. But I hesitate for fear of being misconstrued as negative. I don't want to be a downer. So, I've been posting only about travels, accomplishments, finished work, goals and other neutral pursuits. Lately I've been rethinking that rosy persona. Wondering if honesty about some of life's career challenges would be helpful to some of my readers. Hmm...

So let me drop this bomb on you: there are so many dear humans who blithely go through their lives without an original thought in their heads. Ever. There, I said it. Furthermore, these humans are perfectly fine with stealing my ideas and blatantly copying my artwork for their own financial gain. I can't begin to tell you how frustrating and demoralizing this is. After this latest episode, I'm going to get a bit more vocal about the matter and perhaps my experiences will help some of you arm yourselves against these thieves.


All last week I worked on the program cover for the Palamountain Scholarship Benefit. With the recent passing of Anna Palamountain, I wanted this year's artwork to be a poignant yet loving tribute. I think I achieved the feeling I was going for. I'll post the image after the organizers give me the okay.

Passion and heart...something the copycats are devoid of.

I revisited a spot that I had plein air painted last year to see if I could improve. The image on the left is the older piece on paper and the right is new and on panel. I do see progress but I'm still pressuring myself to rush when there is so much to consider and process. While that incessant conversation rolls through my brain I have to remember to apply the same "passion and heart" to landscape that I can so easily translate into my equine paintings. It seems to be about depicting a sense of place, but not just a physical place, and not just technique. Using all of the senses is vital of course but it's also feeling the soul of the environment. Acknowledging a unique identity. Listening to the ghosts who whisper the secrets of timelessness.

Waxing philosophical,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

High Hope Steeplechase 2015

For the second year in a row my artwork will grace the program cover for the High Hope Steeplechase in Lexington, Kentucky at the gorgeous Kentucky Horse Park. I'm honored. Last year an older painting was used, this year I've painted something special for them:
Oil on canvas, 24"x12" (as yet untitled)
These are the silks of Mrs. S.K. Johnston, a prominent owner of jumpers and flat racers. The event takes place the Sunday after the Preakness, this year falling on May 17th. I'll have a booth exhibiting my artwork, soooo, if you're in or around Lexington that weekend, do stop by! Y'all know I love Kentucky and will use any excuse to visit.


Monday, April 06, 2015

First Day of Plein Air Painting!

The weather warmed a bit and I was out!

Set up my easel at the state boat ramp access at Saratoga Lake. After the long, cold, wearisome days of a winter that wouldn't quit, it was a luscious pleasure to stand in the weak sunlight and bask in the balmy 60 degree temps while savoring the aroma of real turps.

It was mostly quiet except for the sound of cracking ice and the Canadian geese who were returning overhead as I applied my year-long study of plein air to a piece of Arches oil paper. It wasn't too bad an effort for the first day out in months:

I'm feeling confident in the knowledge I've acquired from different sources: books, video instruction and help from artist friends. I've been accepted in the Mountain Maryland Plein Air Competition taking place the first week of June.
Everything is still brown with nary a bud to be found. Most of the snow is melting and the lingering ice on the lakes is thinning...loudly. The winter has been tough, especially for an artist who desires to paint outdoors. Thankfully, I had lots of commission work to keep me busy in the studio.

Stall walking,