Showing posts from September, 2020

I Really Didn't Like Charles Burchfield's Work, Then...

Charles Burchfield, North Wind in March, watercolor, 47.5 x 59.5 inches, 1960-66. Ogunquit Museum of American Art When I first saw Charles Burchfield's paintings as a young art student I didn't like them at all. To my teenage eyes Burchfield's landscapes seemed cartoon-like and childish. It didn't help that he had lived in Buffalo, NY. I was from the next town over, Rochester, and wanted nothing more than to see myself as fully grown and sophisticated. Burchfield reminded me of everything I was desperate to leave behind.  Leaving home to go off to college opened a new world to me. Most exciting of my discoveries was modern art. I decided to become a painter, and early on worked abstractly under the influence of Minimal Art and Color Field Painting.  Burchfield seemed to go just the opposite way. Most of his strongest work is of his little hometown. He found there aspects we either overlook or outright fail to imagine. Somehow his art becomes a vehicle that take us to a

Do Paintings Talk to Each Other When No One Is Around?

  Paintings are inanimate objects I know. But sometimes lying in bed at  night I think I almost hear some whispering downstairs in my studio. Making paintings is like nurturing your houseplants as it can't be rushed. You have to take as long as needed to complete a painting.  Above is my studio this morning with the two easels I always have  side by side. On the right is Turret House, Nyack , oil on panel, 9 x 12 inches. It was begun in 2015. I worked on it on and off until summer of 2020 when I was finally satisfied it was saying what it needed to say. The painting's sort of a proud veteran who went through lots of changes before it was done.  On the left is a new oil that's just getting started. It has an even longer history- it's based on a tiny oil I painted on the coast of Maine in 2009. Still in its infancy this new oil faces growing pains and uncertainties before it comes into its own. I know I'm projecting but I imagine a painting at this stage would be feel