Showing posts from November, 2020

What the Wicked Queen and Dracula Never Saw in the Mirror

Deep Forest Pool,  oil on panel, 32 x 40 inches, 2020. I grew up in the last remaining old growth forest in my county. To be honest in summer it could be a bit dark and solemn under all those trees. But peppered through the forest were small stands of white birch. Even on the cloudy days their bark shone out with delightful energy. No wonder that's a theme I so often return to in my paintings. Yesterday I hung two of my birch paintings alongside a decorative mirror.  Stepping back to look I saw the oils and mirror resonated with each other. Got to thinking about how they connect. We put a lot of stock in mirrors. There's the Disney film   where the evil queen relies on her mirror to tell her if she is still the fairest of them all. Even worse, in the 1930's classic, poor Dracula's image wouldn't even reflect in the mirror, apparently because he had no soul. In any case we all use mirrors to try to find out who we are.  Light in the Forest,  oil on panel, 18 x 24 inc

Birdsong: Things Absolutely Nobody But Charles Burchfield Would Think of to Paint

Charles Burchfield, Telegraph Music, watercolor Burchfield Penney Art Center, Buffalo, NY We cheat ourselves out of meaningful experiences.  So often we're too quick to turn the page and move on. We overlook things that matter. A job of artists is to say "Not so fast, there's still something here you should see." Art helps to enlarge and to deepen our experience. I can't think of a better example of this than the painter Charles Burchfield, an artist who loved to leave the well traveled path and find subjects in the unlikely and unexpected places. The sounds of nature fired up his imagination.  Burchfield Penney Art Center has an exhibition organized by Curator Nancy Weekly on just this topic- Birdsong: Audio-visual  Art by Charles Burchfield , but it ends soon- Nov. 29, 2020. Here's a link to the museum's page on the exhibition. It's odd how birds, while so ever present when we walk outside are notable by their absence in most of American art histor

New Heated Home for Dawn the Abandoned Cat

  A few years ago one of our neighbors found a stray cat and brought it home. They named her Dawn. She was happy to be fed and petted by them which they did on a somewhat regular basis, but she stayed pretty thin. They also discovered she insisted on staying outside as much as possible. These neighbors abruptly moved away and left the cat behind. We were dismayed.  Dawn has made a few friends in the neighborhood and some of us started leaving food and water out for her.  Then we got a serious blast of winter wind and cold.  I couldn't stop thinking about Dawn spending her nights outside.  I have cat allergies or I would have attempted to bring her in to our house. Online I found an inexpensive electrically heated outdoor cat shelter. I bought it and set the thing up in our front yard. Dawn refused to have anything to do with it for the first two days, but the next morning I came home and found her furry behind sticking out of the shelter's door.  To say she's moved in and m