What If

Drawn To Fire 1500

“Drawn By Fire”

From time to time my inner critic screams at me “Where is your focus Man? Don’t you know that a jack of all trade is a master of none?”. He has a point. I do have a tendency to be overly eclectic in my pursuits and I agree that in some ways life might be easier had I narrowed the field. The thing is that over and over again the words “WHAT IF” pop into my brain and I must drop what I’m doing and listen to the words that follow. What if I leave behind the safety of that solid career to try to build a new business from the ground up? That was a big one! What if I create videos that showcase the beauty of nature? What if those videos can promote tourism and the arts or sell real estate? What if I follow my childhood dream of being a photographer? What if I pick up a brush and move some paint around to see what happens? What if I use this time that I’m coping with illness to paint full moon winter scenes with cabins and skiers and full moons? WHAT IF? WHAT IF? WHAT IF?

Screen Shot 2017-11-30 at 1.22.08 PM

 

The truth is that listening to the “what if’s” can and will result in spinning wheels. You may be led down a few dead end paths and at times you may feel completely stranded but if you just keep the wheels moving eventually you will find traction. If you keep the wheels moving you will find yourself on a path to completeness that never would have been found had you played it safe. Don’t ever forget that “Every Brilliant Idea begins with ‘What If’”

 

TwoStepsForward 2500

“Two Steps Forward”

Fetching Water 2500

“Fetching Water”

 

IMG_3806

My Wall In The Denver Art District at Grace Gallery

 

Keeping The Home Fire Burning

 

Alpenglow 8 2000

Alpenglow Winter Adventure #8  (24 x 12) Acrylic on Board

The repetition of painting in a series is an effective way to experiment with subtle variations in technique and color.  Capturing the essence of alpenglow has not been easy but slowly I feel that I’m getting closer.  The bad thing about moving so quickly is that the similar compositions make it a challenge to come up with a meaningful title for each piece.

I have big news to share!  Much of the work that I completed this winter has now been dispersed to two gallery spaces and is beginning to sell.  I can’t explain how good it feels to have successfully made something positive out of my illness.  I do believe they call it making lemonade out of lemons.

On the health front things are looking up as well.  My energy level continues to improve and I’ve been successfully weaning myself off of the steroids.  At the current rate of improvement, I’m hoping to be in remission by the end of the summer.  (Polymyalgia Rheumatica)

Have a great Weekend!

IMG_2988

Small Paintings to take to this weeks “First Friday” at the Denver Art District

 

<a href=”https://fineartamerica.com/art/christmas&#8221; style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>christmas art for sale</a>

An Artist’s Work Is Never Finished

Alpenglow 6 2000

As promised in my last post I completed this piece this week and I’m sharing.

Something about finishing a job just feels so good, even euphoric.  You have arrived at the point where everything feels right and good enough.  You sign the painting, hang it on the wall and direct a light toward it at just the right angle.  You Love it!

Enjoy those moments of accomplishment because a sobering reality will follow.  It’s likely that it won’t be long before you see it with fresh eyes and wonder what in the hell you were thinking.  Perhaps it goes back on the easel for modifications, perhaps not.  In any event you soon realize that you aren’t finished at all.  A healthy dose of varnish will be needed to protect the piece from handling and UV light.  What about a name or title?  High quality photographs of the work will be needed for potential reproduction and marketing.  The tedious task of getting the work to market has only begun.

As if the whole process isn’t overwhelming enough life keeps throwing all sorts of curve balls at us.  Shit Happens, right?  Take my first ever Colonoscopy this past week for instance.  People kept telling me it really wasn’t that bad and now that I’m experienced I have to tell you that I disagree.  No person should have to gulp down a gallon of stool softener as if it were beer at a college kegger and no male should have to discover what it is to have water break…over and over again.  Anyway, you get the picture!

me 6

<a href=”https://fineartamerica.com/art/paintings/ski&#8221; style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>ski paintings for sale</a>

<a href=”https://fineartamerica.com/art/ski+house&#8221; style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>ski house art for sale</a>

<a href=”https://fineartamerica.com/art/winter+snow&#8221; style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>winter snow art for sale</a>

<a href=”https://fineartamerica.com/art/snowy+scene&#8221; style=”font: 10pt arial; text-decoration: underline;”>snowy scene art for sale</a>

Dreaming Of Alpenglow

IMG_2830

My third piece in a new series is underway and the deviation from rising super moon values has been a challenge.  I’m trying to capture the essence of alpenglow which in my mind is the time of day that the last direct light from the sun is hitting the clouds and perhaps the mountain tops.  In my minds eye there is a magic that occurs in the valleys below where the snow almost glows.  Do the shadows disappear or is there just a slight contrast indicating the position of the setting or rising sun?  So many new riddles to solve.  I’ll post the finished piece soon.

Physically I had a difficult week.  Polymyalgia Rheumatica is a roller coaster ride and finding the correct dosage of prednisone to keep the inflammation in check without increasing the side effects of the medication can be the real trick.  Finally this past week I felt myself finding some balance on that front when a serious chest cold took me hostage.           Once again, having my studio and a passion to paint has been great therapy.

Now for show and tell before signing off.  One of my photographs made the front cover of Open Fences Magazine.  It was uplifting to see how great it looks and on the other hand it saddens me to think that I may not be in condition to do serious shooting this Summer.

open fences

 

 

Finding Balance Through Art

 

Supermoon 16 FAA

During the winter of 2011 I found myself out of work for the first time in my adult life. Cabin bound at our remote home in the high mountains of Colorado I spent endless hours teaching myself how to paint with oils. By Spring I had completed a dozen or so pieces that I referred to as a “Full Moon Winter Adventure Series” At first my palette was limited to Paynes Grey, Titanium White and Liquin with which I concocted compositions in shades of grey. Images of mountain settings, log cabins, skiers and skaters seemed to flow from life experience and imagination with absolutely no visual reference. As the series progressed I added Cerulean Blue to better represent the atmospheric colors of a full moon winter night as well as a primary reds and yellows to represent firelight. At the time I was quite pleased with the outcome. I had leveled up as a painter; made great improvements over my earlier attempts at painting.

finding balance

“Finding Balance” 18″x24″ Oil on Canvas (2011)

I now find myself being forced to take time off from my business for health reasons. My battle with a painful autoimmune disease, Polymyalgia Rheumatica has once again left me house bound through an entire winter and once again I am striving to level up as a painter. Fifteen pieces later, I’ve completed a series that I call the “Super-moon Winter Adventure Series”. This time however, I’m using top shelf acrylics and lots of colors and I’m having a blast. I’m also experimenting with wood panels and painting board in addition to canvas. The verdict is still out on which support I prefer.

For reasons that I can’t describe, these compositions just seem incomplete without the inclusion of people. I guess I don’t really buy in to the idea that an image can be adventurous without an adventurer. My male figures often closely resemble me or at least the me of my minds eye, even if I set out to draw a human shape that is entirely different. Ooops..I did it again..that guy looks a lot like me.

Back in 2011, I painted a lonely ice skater gliding over a frozen pond and I titled it “Finding Balance”. Once again I’m compelled to compose adventurous ice skating scenes and I’ve included two of the new pieces for comparison. I’ve been so busy painting that as of yet I haven’t titled them. As always, I welcome critique and comment.

In my next post I’ll show more from the Super-moon Series and I’ll talk about a surprising way that I’m using photography to paint better. Until then take care and remember that Art Is Therapy.

Supermoon 17 FAA

After Monday And Tuesday, Even The Calendar Says WTF

April Fools Day came and went without a glitch.  For a change, the first of April completely snuck up on me and I failed to pull off a single stunt.  On the flipside, I was not on the receiving end either. The Kids(23, 21 and 20) were visiting for the weekend, we played frisbee golf on the property, had a bar-b-q and got sun burned.   Well, Today is the 3rd, and guess what?  Somebody put a slow burning fuse on a pretty good April Fools prank, three feet of snow and still coming down with a fury, boy did I get punked.

I usually try to refrain from profanity in my posts and all the more in a headline.  Today is the exception to the rule.  I know we need the moisture and this storm is an absolute Godsend as far as the wildfires and the farmers are concerned, but the truth is, I’m Mad as Hell about it and I’m not gonna take it anymore, I Want Summer!

I thought I’d write down some of the crazy thoughts that have gone through my mind and some of the things that have come out of my mouth so far this morning.  Enjoy.

–        (Laying in bed at sunrise) – “looks kind of cloudy outside.”

–        (First look out the window) – “OMG – Looks Like I’m gonna have to put the plow back on the four wheeler.”

–        “Hey, where IS the four wheeler?”

–        “Hey, where did I leave the plow?”

–        “My snow boots must be in the car.”

–        “Hey, where IS the car?”

–        “I don’t think the four wheeler could plow four feet of snow anyway.”

–        “Where are my keys?, oh yea, left them out on the deck next to the ….oh shit!”

–        “I’ll just cozy up and get some work done on the computer.”

–        “Did I really write a post called Two Springs Forward And One Spring Back just one week ago on the other blog, LocalTouristColorado.com?”

–        “I’ll write another post today called Spring Back, Way Back.”

–        “Why isn’t the satellite working?”

–        “Charlie (our dog) needs to go potty, c’mon Charlie lets dig our way over there.”

–        “Where did I leave that snow shovel?”

–        “%8&-#!^0, my back hurts.”

–        “Charlie..Charlie where are you?”

–        “Ok, where is that satellite dish?”

–        “What time are those 30 MPH winds suppose to start again?”

–        “Am I out of wine?”

–        “April showers bring May flowers, April showers bring May flowers, April showers bring May flowers.”

–        “I can use profanity in my posts every once in a while, can’t I?”

–        “The last thing I remember I was reading my Law of Attraction book, and then I was hoping it wouldn’t snow anymore.”

–        “I can’t wait for the temperature to get back in the 60’s the day after tomorrow?”

–        “I thought…maybe mud season was over”

–        “I sure am glad I graded out all those deep ruts in the driveway last week”

–        “I sure am glad we didn’t hide those Easter eggs in the yard.”

–        “Have they ever cancelled Easter?”

–        “Today is a good day to paint.”

I Love Comments and Questions!  If you enjoyed this post, please let me know by using the LIKE Button and by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter

Full Moon Skiing and Oil Painting, A Match Made in Heaven

Stairway to Heaven - alt text

"Stairway to Heaven" oil on canvas 18x24

I have been discovering that my skiing memories are one of my great sources of inspiration for artistic expression.  As a kid growing up in Vail, Colorado, my skiing counterparts and I lived for adventure on the mountain.  Each significant snowfall was like a permission slip from heaven to jump off the school bus at the village and spend the day seeking and jumping off of cornices and cliffs.  For me, it wasn’t like what you see in the Warren Miller Movies, some fearless (or insane) soul cascading down avalanche prone slopes and catching “big air” at break neck speed.    No, I was more cautious.  Each drop was carefully looked over and calculated as I understood that once I took flight, there was no turning back.  In the end I always overcame my fears and took that “leap of faith”.

Thirty years and a couple of surgeries have passed since those days of adventure but I continue to live much as I did back then.  Today, I find myself ready to take another leap of faith as I am about to click the publish button, sending this first blog post into the abyss.  There is a lot that I have yet to learn about what is on the other side of this cliff.  Yea, I’m a bit scared and uncertain and I know that there is no turning back.  But hey, that is what life is all about.  I hope to see you on the other side.  So here goes nothing…and….PUBLISH.