Now that the Skylines series is "in the bag", I feel a little dizzy. What to focus on next? Actually I have a pretty clear vision of Women and Windows, but until I lure some friends into the frame and work up the nerve to tackle figurative work*, I'm keeping my eyes still on the sky and land.
The above image is from a walk I took with my camera a couple of weeks ago- when my curiosity finally met the opportunity to photograph irrigation in Yolo. Instead of hindsight, I thought it might be fun to offer forethought here in describing my creative process. These images may or may not enter my paintings, but here's what has caught my eye. I like so much about these massive sprinklers: the arcing, veiling blurs connecting sky and land; the flimsy, filmy textures of the water meeting with the dark, hungry earth; the concepts behind this "rain"; and since October is the Month of Haunting Grief at our house, the concept of rows and rows of such clouds spoke to my mood of Rain by Patty Griffin.
Friends, peace be with you, and hold on.
*Funny story and some disclose: a bit of my trepidation about including figures in my painting has to do with simple inexperience. I haven't done much/haven't had a lot of opportunity to paint the flesh. I mean, honestly, how would you approach someone if you're as socially-awkward, child- and economy-centric as I am: Erm, um, hey, can you sit here on this chair for a few minutes? For free, please? Um, I was sort of picturing doing this naked- I mean, YOU not having clothes on. I'm mean I'll keep mine on, but you know? Er, um, now, don't move ok? Hey, don't MOVE. Oh, you got a text. Is that the babysitter texting you? It's mine? Oh crap, it's mine! Move! Move!
Sometime, if there's ever a spare bottle of Allagash's Curieux to share, I'll tell you the more full, curious story of my first and only Figure Drawing class. In short, I was a wide-eyed 19 year old and had no idea that figure implied "nude". Certainly the latter wasn't printed in my small, Christian college's course catalog. Maybe there was something in my facial expression, coming in late to the first class nonetheless, upon seeing..... for the first time ever in my life..... a nude man, ...uncut... on a pedestal. I mean, you agree it would make an impression on a young soul, right?! Something in my demeanor, ever so slight I like to think, made my professor pull me aside. And no, this wasn't a casual "You cool?" check in at the end of the session. Oh no, this was a special meeting with the head of the department who, poor man, had been tasked with doing a "post-mortem/pick up the pieces of this innocent" during the following week. The faculty probably drew straws. The only other time of I was asked to depict the human form was in the next year when I faced, palette in hand, a middle-aged primapara female. Since I fiercely hated my own body at the time, it was hard to accept the challenge of painting worn and tired-out breasts. It was sort of like an illustration that things were going to go from bad to worse. Like I said, more details would be laughable over an Allagash, or sure, Maker's Mark if I have to.