Wednesday, April 16, 2008

painting outdoors again

I had an epiphany the other day. I have been happily painting in the studio, big, from photos and memories. Painting from photos is always just can't see what you are painting. I make larger printouts and printouts in different combos and zoom in...but you still can only see what is in the photo. So I went outside which I haven't done in a while.
What a difference. The color and fresh air and birdsong just seeps through your body. What you feel comes through your hands and ends up on the canvas.

I went to Pacifica and went up on top of a mountain. So beautiful. This is a view I would like to see every day if I could, of the mountains east of Devil's Slide. There was a house for sale here a couple of months ago -- $799,000 -- too much for me but I really wanted it. As I was hiking up the hot hill with all my gear and the heavy bottles of water one of my design clients called. It's always funny to do business like that -- so far off in another world.

I got all the way up there and noticed that I had forgotten to bring my white paint. One can't stop the sun from moving and changing the view, so I did a sort of watercolor which worked out ok. That's one way not to overwork a painting!

Later I went to a hardware store and bought some white craft paint, had lunch and went to paint on the beach. I found a perfect Carolyn view.

After a really good season in the fall, I was concentrating a too much on what people were buying. But that doesn't work for me. I can only paint when I just think about what views thrill Carolyn. They are usually weird views or unusual takes on a common subject.

This time is was something about this beautiful marsh filled with ducks, coots and some rarish birds with a bright yellow Denny's sign and malls right across the street. Something about the contrast of ancient and wild next to a fast food company.

The view was next to the beach with hundreds of beach goers, most of whom came by and gave me their opinion as the day progressed. I was so into what I was doing that it was fine and fun. Occasionally I had to wave them out of my remaining pool of sunlight.

My favorite comment was "You are a good painter. You should stick with it!"

Haha. If he only knew for how long I have been sticking with it!