“…because I like to work from nature – although I do use a photograph – because I think that any detail from nature has a logic I would like to see in abstraction as well. On the other hand, painting from nature or painting still-lifes is a sort of diversion; creates balance. If I were to express it somewhat informally, I would say that the landscapes are a type of yearning, a yearning for a whole and simple life.”—Gerhard Richter Interview with Dorothea Dietrich 1985
“this slightly defocused and quite rich and densely interconnected thing… “—Brian Eno
“Art stands on the shoulders of craft”
— Ann patchett
“Jack White is how I’d like to act. You can tell he isn’t faking it and that the band really don’t know what they’re going to play next. It’s abandon. He just lets himself go. Abandon plus skill plus technique. That’s a great cocktail.”— Rachel Weisz
“are the shadow values luminous and not overly heavy?”
— ansel adams
“Paint should not be applied thick. It should be like a breath on the surface of a pane of glass.”
— James Abbot McNeill Whistler
history of human marks: from the most archaeologically primordial of scratches and incisions to the development of the rhythmic dexterities which would generate calligraphy, and then before they could be attached to meaning, would break up into the disrupted and disrupting raw matter of scribble, doodle, and scrawl”
— Simon Scharma on Cy Twombly
noticing is being a tourist in your own life
— frank chimero
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.
Ok, so I already expressed my love for Beverly Beach. And I’m not sure where technically Moolack Beach starts and Beverly Beach ends. The Oregon coast is great like that…it’s so expansive.
Anyway when we went to Moolack Beach we had the bright idea to bring our tent. Having a tent on the Oregon Coast was a brilliant thing..shielding us from the sun and and the wind, and we got a nice private area to snooze in. Naps on the beach are a win!
You know who has the most darling tiny home complete with a mossy roof and shiplap walls?
Jessica Helgerson, Portland interior designer who from what I can tell is part of the design elite- her beautiful work is all over the great design trade magazines. I would totally live in a tiny home on Sauvie Island in a heartbeat but land is rare and expensive on Sauvie. She has five acres! Le sigh.
I learned about Jessica first from a Dwell Magazinefeature of her Saul Zaik mid century modern remodel.
It is stunning and if I could afford her I would have her come to the Saul Zaik A1 MCM home I’m living in to give it a proper remodel. (Saul Zaik also designed this treehouse that you can book on airbnb!)
But alas you must have serious dough to afford her exquisite work, like this Portland, Alhambra area, kitchen or the Brooklyn brownstone renovation I’ve been drooling over on Instagram.
The gist: art and creativity is very important but don’t kill yourself over it. Forgive yourself, even if your art isn’t what you expect. As Elizabeth Gilbert says in the book, take art seriously, but not seriously.
Some paintings go through their teenage stage, an awkward, unfinished stage where you’re working stuff out, and you’re too embarrassed to show them in public and all pictures from that time must be deleted.
But if you get too down on yourself or give up too quickly, by taking yourself too seriously or art too seriously, you’ll miss out on some that have real potential to be great . Now that I look back on some of my rejection piles, I see some that could have been improved if I kept going.
I was told that my painting looked finished even in its previous stage, but I wanted to further develop the peach colored poppy and the pink ranunculus in the foreground. I really liked what was going on with the background area near the camellia stem and blossoms.
I love watercolors and thinking about how that translates to the transparency in oil paints. Oil paints excel at providing really great dark tones for luminous, transparent shadows. Certain colors are particularly transparent: alizarin crimson, ultramarine, and sap green. Sap green is the best green ever, it’s so balanced it’s like a neutral color that you could add anywhere. Some greens are too blue or saturated that they look fake when you use too much of them, but sap green is just so agreeable and you can use it even straight out of the tube. I’ve learned one way to make a great grey: mix sap green + alizarin crimson + naples yellow.
At this point in the painting, I’m feel really impatient to be DONE ALREADY. I keep needing to be reminded not to rush ahead, and to keep knocking back the the shadows, using the darks and midtones. With the peach poppy, I ended up mixing more murky greys and browns and then blending them, than using this awesome salmon color I mixed from yellow ochre + montserrat orange + cadmium red.
To create the yellow stamen and pistil center of the poppy, I used cadmium yellow, yellow ochre, and naples yellow. (Side note, mixing yellow ochre is good way to add the yellow hue without going too light in value.) 4 tones are needed to create 3 dimensional form, so I attempted to mix 4 ish yellowish tones. Again, I was feeling frustrated because I see this part being so clear and bright, but the first layer feels very vague and fuzzy.
For the ranunculus, I’m using magentas for the first time in the painting.
Man, Mount Talbert is a great looking butte. It’s in the Milwaukie / Clackamas area. We lucked out and went hiking up there in the middle of grey January on one of the lone sunny days that month. What a great park for hiking!
I took this on my iphone and it’s now my phone’s wallpaper. This is one of the few times that I think my iphone actually beat film!
Because I had anticipated some stormy late autumn weather, we booked a yurt.
We actually had awesome weather. And then we came back to Portland for the start of the rainiest December on record. It rained, A LOT. And it sucked. So I guess our glamping on the beach was kind of like the eye of the storm, tricking us into a false sense of security and bam! rain for days. I’ve never ever seen it rain that hard for so long. But enough of the doom and gloom, check out these amazing views.
And man look at this sunset. The sand was so smooth and endless … I really have no words. And yes this photo was #nofilter, that was all mother nature.