Saturday, August 8, 2009

Vast Worlds & Intimate Whispers





These are two images showing some of the variety of work I've been involved with the last decades. Funny thing is, the relative sizes are reversed. At the top is The Morning,  oil on canvas, 42 x 84", 1990. I was photographing it yesterday and fell into looking at it once again. It is also one big painting. Below is the tiny Nightfall, pastel, 9 x 9", 2009, and I was working from it in my studio just minutes ago.

Sometimes ideas come to you in a big, bold fashion, with trumpets blaring, other times they sift their way into your awareness like lightly falling snow. In either case an artist is going to need a different format to get those feelings across. There is a tendency to value the large and expensive over the diminutive (and less expensive) in our society. We in the art world need to put that way of thinking aside and take both modes of expression equally seriously.

The Morning was painted in the studio from a plein air oil study I'd done in Wellfleet on Cape Cod. It was a wide open space that just called out to be painted on a major horizontal canvas. It says in a booming voice "Look how big our world is." I like it a lot. Nightfall is a more intimate little fantasy, perhaps my idea of a dream I'd like to have. It probably owes as much to my love of  the wonderful American artist Rockwell Kent as anything else. I'd recommend Kent's book N by E with its amazing wood engravings it anyone. To me Nightfall represents what the spark of of creative spirit might look like if we could see such things. Certainly we can feel them.


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