Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
I have been so busy doing shows, all I do is paint and frame paintings. This is not how I like to paint because I feel like I pick out obvious things. It is also mentally draining to be constantly painting under pressure. The light in Michigan is so different and the sandy soil makes the color of the fields different. It is nice to see different things, orchards and beech trees. I wish I could go back and not paint in such harsh lighting.
And by the way zinc white sucks. It is not very opaque and drove me nuts. Never again.
1.Farm with ceramic tile silo in shadow, near Manistee, MI, Hwy 31
2.White house with random cloud east of Traverse City, Hwy 72
3.Hay bales in Wood County, WI
4.Clouds over the East Arm of Grand Traveres Bay
5.Farm near Luddington, MI- had to paint quickly to get on the ferry, probably better that way
Thursday, August 12, 2010
I painted this barn whose owner is a 76 year old bachelor farmer named Merwin. As he walked his dog down the road I could see my grandpa in him with his slow gait and arthritic arms. It felt good to paint this barn.
The panoramic image is on Bryn Rd, which is really cool but I don't like it as much since they started planting corn.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
So I am drawing every fish that I keep this year to show my environmental impact on the mississippi river, in at least how many fish one person takes from the river. The fish are starting to add up and I think look interesting. I draw because I want to have a persnonal relationship with the world. If I would just take pictures I wouldn't be sitting there asking questions. When I ask questions I learn and care. When I care it gives my life meaning. When I have a relationship that is emotive and meaningful with something I think I am likely not wanting to destroy or hurt that relationship. So I paint and draw nature. So I care so deeply.
And yes I did eat the sheepshead
Monday, June 21, 2010
This is a new large painting- Road to Nowhere. Inspired by the oil spill in the gulf, capitalism and our culture.
I like to keep the site to be about my paintings but I am really proud of the martin house. It came from my great grandfathers farm. An hour after setting it up there where purple martins on it!
Saturday, June 12, 2010
I had to paint the calm evening sky, and so I paddled out in front of the house and did this one looking south.
It is the Missisippi River backwaters and main channel to the south.
I feels good just using a canoe and no motors. It kicks my butt somedays but I am not using any oil.
It also feels good to do a painting you like from time to time.
Can you tell I was looking at Monet this week?
Yup, a bad new thing happened this week-Trout Fishing
I love how intimate trout fishing is. There are fields near Coon Valley with bobolinks and meadowlarks. It is so nice to walk in places that aren't growing corn, where there is diversity in animals and plants.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A little painting on forrest view lane from a few weeks ago. It always takes a while to remember how to paint green, and the leaves on the trees. I painted the man walking his dog three times until I found the right spot, quickly like a figure drawing gesture. This painting is on a dead end road with not much traffic, I think the neighbors were a little confused as to what exactly I was doing.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Two new larger paintings. One is Misna Ridge in Vernon County. I worked on this for a month or so on and off. I have been busy with commitments and spring happened so damn fast this year that this painting took on a life of it's own. I got stuck up on the ridge during a pretty potent thunderstorm in April and that is what the painting became. I hadn't been scared of a storm for a long time, and I figured what the hell, if I am going to die this is probably the best I can do. It took a long time to draw out what I wanted with this painting, and I actually liked that process best.
This other painting is done from memory of a day in March when the sky was ominous and the ice was melting on the Mississippi. This painting took a couple months and I worked thinner than I usually do, and in a more layering way. I think the painting ended up being denser, and I learned something. The abstracted stripped down root is what causes feeling for most people, and that isn't limited to painting. The only question for me generally is how much detail is important. How much drawing does one include, and because I can really draw, not to be seduced be that ability. Hopefully the painting conveys the idea.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Snow and tree is near Lewiston MN
Barn is just south of La Crosse on Hwy 35, you can see the mississippi river and bluff on the left side. The farm is for sale and probably leaving us soon.
And the ice is a study for the panoramic painting.
I have been working in this format lately. It is hard to see this format on a computer but...
The icy bluffs was first, that is the view from my yard in February.
The end of February beginning of March snow sunest on the bottom was fun, except cold, it is up on Chipmunk Ridge Road, fast becoming one of my favorite all time spots.
And the sunset with the ice was last week also from my yard. I LOVE when the ice is retreating, I did three little paintings the day before I did the panoramic one. Yesterday was I think the last chance for me to paint the ice. Yesterday as I painted thousands of Tundra Swans, and hundreds of Pelicans splashed and honked in the dark distance. The Mergansers and Canadian Geese and Bald Eagles were out there too. The river is a dream somedays.
I am wondering if I am spouting off too much and should just post paintings, but I think Art really is a vehicle that gets us talking about the things that really matter, the environment in my case. I hope everyone feels this way.
Thursday, March 4, 2010
The difference between Stoddard, Wisconsin(where I am painting this week) and Lewiston, Minnesota(where I painted last week) is astounding. Lewiston is on the edge of the prairie and more gently rolling making it much more open or sparse. The land is farmed by bigger farms and overall has a lost feeling. Maybe it was just because it was cold, but to me it conjured up emotions of bleakness and decay. Sitting on a gravel road and giant pick up trucks zooming past me, or sitting along the main route and having so much traffic go by you stop noticing isn't exactly inviting. There was a disconnect. I favor the open vistas of the prairie, just not the factory farming and distruction of small communities and of course the land. The sunset painting is from near Lewiston.
Above Stoddard lies "the ridge people", as I am reminded by Ben Logan's classic "The Land Remembers". When taking Chimpmunk Ridge Road up from the Mississippi River valley you enter a differnent world. Winding higher along a one lane road through the tress along the bluff imparts a dramatic view of Pool 8 of the Mississippi River. And then when you get to the top the winding follows the ridge for five or six miles before the road connects with county trunk K. But that short serpantine road is spectacular. There is no sense of isolation but of a community of small farms working this upland. The houses are what you would think farm houses would look like. The farms are old and the buildings generally maintained and in working order. There is little traffic and what traffic there is must go slower because of the winding nature of the terrain. Yesterday I painted on top of Spring Coullee south of Stoddard and the traffic was more horse and buggy than trucks.
This barn painting is a farm that was worked by the Amish as I painted. It was interesting watching them watch me, them curious as to what the heck this crazy red hair was doing, and me curious about everything they were doing. At one point a sleigh and men came up a hill and I thought I really was living in a different universe. Driving down the ridge on Spring Coullee Road was stunning, with the warm afternoon light peeking around the ridges illuminating a sea of maple trees being tapped for the collection of the sap and the winding creek making it's way to the river I was just glad to be there. I can't remember the last time I had that feeling.
The root of many of our problems comes from places like the land near Lewiston. Cheap food, bad food, food dependent on fossil fuels, and unsustainable practices. Lewiston doesn't even have a grocery store and yet all that farmland surrounds it. The same can be said for Stoddard, except Stoddard is much closer to a city, but still the question I have is why are we doing this?
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Did this last week. It is the wetland around Coon Creek south of town. In the summer there are at times dozens of egrets here.
One thing I don't like about the river is that it is seemingly always bordered by highway or railway. It would make like the coolest bike trail in the world. I can dream......