Tune up

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Dear Artist,

Where I live, the spiders come out in autumn. They’re in my face when I bend to turn on the garden hose. Going about their sky-harvest and their devious mating-games, they spread their webs across my larger windows. In the nearby forest there’s a surprise of mushrooms. The longer, darker nights bring the owl’s call closer. Even by day the night birds are more active, silently moving between the tall cedars. It’s time to step out into a season — something to do with what John Muir called “washing your spirit clean.”

John Muir (1838-–1914) was a Scottish-born naturalist, author, and early advocate of the preservation of wilderness. His essays and books were fresh with the spell of wilderness, particularly of the Sierra Nevada in California. Muir popularized the idea of nature as healer. Yosemite and Sequoia National Park, the Sierra Club and the modern environmental movement, are direct results of his gentle insight.

With the influence of a rigid, biblically-minded father, Muir, by age 11, could recite most of the bible by heart. Words and turn-of-phrase did him well, and while he escaped orthodox beliefs with little apology, he wrote well and often of a universal view of the power of deity through attention to nature.

When painters take their paints to the forest, they feel this presence. While the hiker, jogger and even the photographer can get some of the benefit, the richest spirit is released to the ones who sit in a spot for some time. Fitting in and adapting to the scene, we become part of nature’s furnishings. Alone, or with a quiet friend, with simple, timeless tools and procedures, we honour the privilege. Consistently, the surroundings that attracted us in the first place give up more secrets as we sit.

I wasn’t sure if Dorothy was bored or restless. She kept sniffing the air, alternately standing and sitting down. It was beyond squirrels; something deeper, something bigger. Suddenly she jumped up and took a rigid stance. It was a coyote — a rangy fellow about the same size as her, but skinny and ragged, as if his life might be a tough one. From not far away, he looked back at us with light yellow-grey eyes and some wild thought. Then, without notice or approval, he silently disappeared back into the mystery.

Best regards,

Robert

PS: “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” (John Muir)

Esoterica: For woodland work, a small set of Golden Open acrylics is a delicious choice. While I wouldn’t want to eat them, they seem less toxic than some other media. A test box of six “modern” colours (¾ ounce, 22ml), or something similar, is perfect for delicate mixing in an understated autumn. The paint stays maneuverable for a long time and cleans up neatly, leaving no evidence that anyone was there.

 

Photographers get joy too
by Kathy Neudorf, Langley, BC, Canada
 

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“Dancers”
original photograph
by Kathy Neudorf

I am a formally trained painter who now makes photographs. During my schooling, my 14 years as a painter, and my transition into photography, I frequently encountered the view that photography is not art, and by association, photographers are not artists. Some think we just point, and shoot, and the camera does it all. Not so. When out with my camera, the hours melt into minutes. I frequently spend extended periods at a single location, taking picture after picture, moving this way and that, experimenting with setting after setting. This is a whole body experience — sometimes I’m perched on a tree limb, other times I’m on my belly. Do I feel connected to my subject? Absolutely. Do I slip from the present into the subconscious, intuitive state that brings forth true creativity? Without question. Not surprisingly, I felt this way about painting too. Is my photography art? I believe so. It’s certainly every bit as satisfying as brushes and paint.



There are 2 comments for Photographers get joy too by Kathy Neudorf
 

From: Linda Bishop — Oct 06, 2009

Just to let you know Kathy, that I think you are absolutly an artist. People you just point and shoot ( that would be me) are not photographers. Learning how your tool works and creating images that otherwise could never exist in reality is a true art. As a painter and someone who uses the camera only to try and record the image for later use, I can truly appreciate your chosen medium as I find it very difficult to even take a decent photo with my own camera. All the best to you.

From: Anonymous — Oct 06, 2009

Amen, Linda – and thank you! (How https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inboxcome your name sounds familiar?:)) Kathy

 

Being painterly fit
by Jacqui Chapman
 

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“Autumn”
original painting
by Jacqui Chapman

Regarding your letter this week about seasonal change and John Muir’s spiritual connection to being quiet in nature, I have worked my socks off to get a body of work done for my next exhibition, entitled “Coast.” This is about the memories and longing I have of my homeland, South Africa, as I live on the Wirral in England in the North West. I am a mother first, and a painter second and a wife somewhere in-between! So I am often frustrated at not having a long run open ended to paint. However with a deadline to deliver work for a group exhibition opening on the 15 October, I had to get myself painting fit again. Being disciplined, I walked the dog or went to the gym and painted my work for “Coast” looking back over my shoulder to landscapes I remember that moved me and which I miss. It was hard. And then one night, as if in a trance out-poured a different painting. It’s not blue, it’s about Autumn mist and slow thinning sun, berry picking and hot crumble and cream — it is about here and now. For me, it is a breakthrough. Freedom and chance happens when you are painterly fit.



There are 3 comments for Being painterly fit by Jacqui Chapman
 

From: Liz Schamehorn, Canada — Oct 06, 2009

I lOVE this painting!

From: Janet Toney — Oct 06, 2009

This is one beautiful painting! I love the brilliant autumn color and the lacy white over it, even though I didn’t understand what it was until reading your letter, what didn’t matter, it was still beautiful and fun to view.

From: Jennie Castle Ireland — Oct 09, 2009

Jacqui – such depth out of abstarction – of light trapped between distant tracery and the milky layers on the surface. Strangely, I think sunup over the Indian Ocean of the Wild Coast, Umgazi, South Africa! Interested to see your other ‘Coast’ paintings. Good luck! Jennie Castle

 

Allowing art to take over
by Vera Smith, São Paulo, Brazil
 

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Spider web

I enjoy your letters and am keeping for myself the feelings and the thoughts they bring me. Today`s was too much and I really want, almost need to reply, mostly to thank you, for this particular letter and for your book. Since I first saw Love Letters to Art I felt accompanied. Maybe I should look at you and your writings like a master. But the way you write is from a friend, with lots of magic, at least for two reasons: the themes are always appropriate for me at that very moment and it comes from someone I never met personally. Magic. I am a Brazilian, ex-professor, ex-psychologist, ex- a few other things, that late (not too late) went to an Art school. I am now allowing art to take over.

 

 

Food for the soul
by Ellie Harold, Norcross, GA, USA
 

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“Sleeping Bear (Norconk) Meadow”
oil painting 20 x 24 inches
by Ellie Harold

Last week I completed a three-week stay at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Northern Michigan — my first Artist-in-Residency. As I was already accustomed to painting outdoors on a regular basis, I’d not anticipated how profoundly I’d be affected by this immersion experience. The farmhouse where I lived was isolated — no phone, television, radio or Internet service. I chose to leave CDs behind so canvas and paint were the only media available. With no outer diversions, I had only to contend with inner distractions. With tremendous gratitude for the opportunity, I discovered I really do want to spend my days painting. I painted well and left knowing I have what it takes for my life to be a work of Art. Driving back home to Atlanta yesterday, however, I felt depressed. After hours delighting in the landscape of the agricultural Midwest, I succumbed to bad food and endless reports of plunging stock prices before finally arriving in the traffic-jammed city. Seen in the relief of my residency, everything from the relatively “enlightened” NPR programming to on-the-road meal offerings seem designed to satisfy superficial whim rather than deep soul needs. I’m reminded of Neil Postman’s book Amusing Ourselves to Death.

Painting outdoors gave me what I need most: absorption in the world that existed prior to our crazy culture.

 

Come paint with me
by Joan Polishook, New York City, New York
 

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“View of the Pond”
acrylic painting 11 x 14 inches
by Joan Polishook

Communing with nature is something I do on a daily basis; I live in a rural area where the outside is as much a part of everyday living as the indoors. Each week for 21 sessions, spring, summer and fall, I orchestrate a group of plein air painters, taking them into Mother Nature’s Studio at a variety of sites here in the Northeast region of Pennsylvania. It is in this atmosphere that we connect with nature, while discovering the elements that lead to our creativity. Yesterday, for example, we observed the mist and our first light snow over the upper Delaware in nearby Narrowsburg, NY. The wind whipped up to chill us as we went searching for gloves to warm cold hands. But we painted just the same as we went from a stormy sky to some afternoon sun that warmed us as we lunched outdoors on the deck above the river. My group which has been around since 1997 (and grows with new interest each year) is called Come Paint With Me.

 

Benefits of sitting still
by Kathy Weber, RI, USA
 

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Untitled
original painting by Kathy Weber

I know that my landscape paintings are not my strongest suit, but I enjoy doing them. I love it when the birds decide to ignore you and land in the grass just a few feet away, to hunt around for bugs or worms. One time when I was painting, a mole or vole (or some little thing) crashed into my foot. Apparently I was standing in a path that he’d traveled many times before without interference. And then there’s the humans, possibly annoying but not always, as when a troop of Cub Scouts out for a walk in the woods saw my friend and I painting and came running to see what we were doing. They were so excited to see people painting outside! What an idea.

 

Method for keeping going
by Len Platt, Sooke, BC, Canada
 

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“Winter Morning on Ayum Creek”
original painting by Len Platt

One of the main ways I like to keep my creative pump primed and prevent painters block is by not letting myself have less than 2 paintings on the go, with 3 or 4 giving me a comfortable buffer. Being an oil painter I can afford to let some work dry, or give myself time to resolve a problem, or go on a creative tear, as long as I have at least another painting to go to. If my brush is active, even on a small painting, then the creative ideas seem to keep flowing and starting something new doesn’t intimidate me as much. The only time I start to panic is when I finish all of my paintings fairly close together and I haven’t nailed a final decision on what my next painting will be. I also like to mix it up between landscapes and portraiture… as I find they both have things about them that spark my interest if I find I am lagging with creative ideas in one or the other.



There are 2 comments for Method for keeping going by Len Platt
 

From: Anonymous — Oct 06, 2009

I really like this painting very much, the limited palette, the brightness contrasted with deep shadows, the brushwork is beautiful, the subject is inherently interesting. . . nearly everything. Just one thing bothered me. The slanted tree limb that transverses the canvas. At first I thought it was because it sent the eye off the canvas near the edge and the dark mass of the far shore was not enough to deter, but now I see it is the angle istself, an extension of the left bank of the river which gives it that much more momentum. Maybe this adds interesting tension? But for me it’s uneasy, I want another limb to bring me back down. I would love to see more of the inky black water under the right bank. The more I look at this the more I find to like about it. I would like to see more of your work do you have some on a web site? Well done Len. Very well done.

Stella

From: Len Platt — Oct 08, 2009

I appreciate your comments and insight Stella. You gave me lots to evaluate and consider. My website is http://plattinumtouchstudio.blogspot.com/

Thank you,

Len

 

Interactive acrylics
by Ronnie Romeo-Maziarek, Naperville, IL
 

I noticed your mention of Golden Acrylic Paints and I’d like to suggest another acrylic our readers might have fun trying. They are Chroma Interactive acrylics by Atelier and have the same ‘open’ properties of Golden, but go one step further. When they dry, and until they cure in approximately 5 days, you can ‘reopen’ them with their unlocking formula and keep working wet in wet instead of wet in dry like the slow dry acrylics after they’ve dried. It’s absolutely fabulous, almost like working with oil… you have the slow drying properties of the Golden paints but the added versatility of going home, if you’re painting plein air, to continue working even after the paint is touch dry.



There are 5 comments for Interactive acrylics by Ronnie Romeo-Maziarek
 

From: tom black — Oct 05, 2009

why do acrylic painters constantly hunt for the perfect acrylic paint that has the properties of oil? why not paint in oil?

tom

http://tomblackart.com/

From: Anonymous — Oct 06, 2009

Some of us think the oil paint and solvents can be toxic, especially those who paint indoors.

From: Ginny — Oct 06, 2009

And oil takes 6 months or more to cure. Acrylic quite a bit less..although longer than some imagine! They have little odor and althought I wouldn’t want acrylic to stay on my hands for long, are not as toxic. I haven’t done a cost comparison…Open acrylic and Interactive are not cheap. I often find myself, as a sometime acrylic painter,saying to acrylic painters, if you want your paintings to look like watercolor, why not get watercolor? But to my eye, acrylic can never look transparent like waterccolor!

From: Judy Lalingo — Oct 06, 2009

Acrylic can never have those deep, rich transparent oil glazes, either. I love acrylics for their fast drying properties, cleaning them up with water. I love oils for their slow-drying manipulation, wiping, layering, glazing.

They are both so different, but I love them just the way they are.

From: tatjana m-p — Oct 06, 2009

Actually, I find that acrylic painters and oil painters are in different frames of mind. Once you have been painting in one medium for a while, you get into a routine way of planning of the rhythm of your work. You subconsciously know how long each “phase” of painting takes and when to time the “interruptions”, planning for next work and so on. I think that deciding to switch to another medium (as “the main”) is a major change in artist’s life. It’s like a factory switching to another production line – there are many artistic and technical considerations and costly logistics which mostly end up in wasted time and even affect the quality of work. There are advantages and disadvantages in any medium and once you get those worked out for you, it doesn’t make sense to switch without a compelling reason – it makes more sense to get all the best out of, and excel in using one medium. Having said that, I love many mediums and I like to use them from time to time, especially for experimentation, but I find that I am most efficient in one at the time. I have been wanting to “go back to oils” for a while now and my friends keep asking me how come that isn’t happening. In fact I have a bunch of started oils – under paintings which are getting desperate waiting for the next phase. Somehow those acrylics keep cranking out.

 

Inspiration on TV
by Natalie Italiano, Philadelphia, PA, USA
 

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“Still life 8”
original painting by Natalie Italiano

We just watched the first installment of Ken Burns’ new National Parks History documentary series last Sunday night, and there was about an hour on John Muir. I highly recommend the series. It’s on for the next 5 Sundays. We were lucky enough to hear Ken speak to a packed house in Philadelphia about this new series recently, and it was apparent that the muse is with him. I found it very inspiring to listen to him, even thought he isn’t a painter. He has definitely tapped into something deeper and bigger than himself. There is a lot for painters to learn from listening to artists from other disciplines speak about their work. The visual beauty of this documentary series should inspire any landscape painter!

 

‘This is my place’
by Loretta West, Spokane,WA, USA
 

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“Mount Owen”
watercolour by Loretta West

Having just returned from Yoho and O’Hara in B.C., I heartily agree with your sentiment. At one point early on in our hiking/painting journey I sat down on the ground in the Yoho Valley for a break and thought, yes, this is my place, where I am most at home, close to the earth observing and absorbing all she has to offer in nature. A year ago I had some major surgery and used field sketching as a way of healing by redirecting my attention and allowing the earth to enter my soul. She has done her job well as I am mended now, and very grateful for the journey and to have not only survived but to have grown and thrived. While away I read Lisa Christensen’s book on J.E.H. MacDonald and his journeys to O’Hara.

She quotes a letter he wrote: “I feel like a bear or an old pack horse recuperating, nothing highly spiritual but a bodily satisfaction. Perhaps that is being in ‘toon with the infinite.'”

 

On the trail of John Muir
by Marianne Post, Vacaville, CA, USA
 

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“Pacific Crest Wilderness”
original painting
by Marianne Post

As an avid backpacker, a plein air painter and native Californian, I have personally experienced the influence of John Muir. I have fond memories, as a child of annual family stays in Yosemite National Park. But it was just within the last year that I had the opportunity to visit John Muir’s home in Martinez, California. A mere 30 miles from where I spent most of my youth! The special part about that visit was that I was as an artist to paint, to capture the place he called home. How fortunate we are as artists to be able to paint the generosity of nature preserved by the vision of Muir.

 

 

 

Encounters with nature
by Darrell Baschak, Manitou Beach, SK, Canada
 

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Untitled
original painting by Darrell Baschak

Although I always enjoy your musings, this latest one really struck a chord with me. Maybe it was because of the manner in which you composed your thoughts on paper or maybe because painting out of doors really is one of my fondest endeavors pertaining to my art. I was recently out for a walk with my two sheltie dogs and we by chance encountered a number of different species of birds, (Stellar jays, magpies and ravens) interacting in a most amazing and engrossing manner. They appeared to be trying to occupy a large nest and my dogs and I spent practically a half an hour just watching and listening to this spectacle. It also was amusing to watch my dogs with their sniffing noses and twitching ears, part of this spectacle. Such a seemingly simple thing to do, maybe even a waste of time for some people, but for me it was something I will always remember and cherish because in a strange sort of way I was involved in that drama before me.

 

 

World of Art Featured artist Edward Minoff,  

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Sibyl

oil painting 24 x 18 inches
by Edward Minoff

 

You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

That includes Kate Jackson of Merced, CA, USA, who wrote, “I loved that you mentioned and quoted Muir. I live in Merced which claims to be the only ‘all weather’ gateway to Yosemite. Your readers might like to know about a fabulous art competition held every year in Yosemite which then travels throughout the state for a year. It is called Yosemite Renaissance and there is still time to enter for next year’s show. They like all sorts of interesting and unique representations of Yosemite and the surrounding Sierras.

And also Angela Treat Lyon of Kailua, HI, USA, who wrote, “If I ever wonder about the glory of whatever enormity created all this, all I need to do is go down to my beach and get reminded and revitalized.”
 

 

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Tune up

 

 

From: Alan — Oct 01, 2009

This is beautiful. True artistic spirituality. Thank you.

From: James Bright — Oct 02, 2009

Always enjoy your comments and insights. However be careful with the coyotes as here in the Ottawa area they are becoming very bold with reported attacks on humans. They use to be almost invisible but are getting bolder and bolder….Be careful.

From: Gail Harper,NY — Oct 02, 2009

This letter a real KEEPER ….I am SO looking forward to your book of collection of your letters, Robert.

From: Melanie Desjardines B.C. — Oct 02, 2009

I sure enjoy your letters. This one hits home with me as I don’t even have to pack up to go to the forest to paint for they are all around me. Our house, nestled on 5 beautiful acres in northern B.C. provides me with a lifetime of inspiration. The towering, thick evergreens with peppered birch and poplar that add interest to the landscape as a backdrop to my beautiful winding gardens, are a constant source of material. The wildlife is plentiful and accept me cautiously, however the bears, moose, and coyotes, I prefer to enjoy through the windows of my studio.

From: Linda — Oct 02, 2009

Your prose is like poetry Robert. I so enjoy reading your letters and also look forward to your upcoming book collection of letters.

I was interested in your comment about the “modern colors” of the Open Acrylics set. I too bought a set of these for plein air work but did not find they mixed in the same delicate understated way you mentioned. They seem to me just the opposite -garish and overstated. I’m experimenting with changing from watercolor to acrylic so my lack of knowledge with mixing acrylics may be the problem. Do you or any of your readers have any pointers for me?

From: Linda Jolly Calgary — Oct 02, 2009

I enjoy all of your letters, Robert. This one on Tune Up is of particular interest because not only do I love been out in Nature and finding the spiritual connection but I also have been watching a series on PBS called The National Parks by Ken Burns. The first segment was on John Muir. He was a fascinating man. I also want to thank you for your letter, L’il Van Go. That is such a neat idea which I hope to pursue.

From: Richard Smith — Oct 02, 2009

Yeppers, your letter was in itself a bit of mental refreshment. Thanks.

From: Wally Whitcomb — Oct 02, 2009

Aspirin is one great panacea. So is watching bodies of water, and sitting on a log in the forest, or a rock in a meadow. Too bad about the young people that suffer from nature deficit syndrome. Aspirin is great for minor pain, but it doesn’t touch the spirit as much as the out of doors.

From: B J Adams — Oct 05, 2009

Being in and near your woods, as in drawing a single object, you become at one with it, seeing each tiny detail, absorbing all the parts. Now what to include and what to soften or blur, all your concentration goes in to that view. Your first poetic paragraph brings into my mind many small intimate scenes, each worth a painting.

From: Cathy Harville — Oct 05, 2009

I love autumn. The air is crisp, the sky is clear, and the world is starting the nesting process. The slowing down of the pace of life brings a peace not felt in the hectic summer months. It is, for me, a time of reflection, on life and on my work. As the sunlight shortens each day, the dark evenings are filled with reading and cooking comfort foods. I look upon nature’s signals to get ready for a sort of hibernation, a time to renew my body and soul.

Autumn gives me the opportunity to use the warm colors in my palette. My versions of the changing leaves are a bit different than nature, but I like to create surprises and something more for the art viewer to look at. While the splendor of nature cannot be improved upon, my color palette celebrates the season. I throw out the rule book, and just go for it!

Slowing down, gracefully,

From: Charlene Kull Brighton, MI — Oct 05, 2009

Some days you really hit the nail on the head. The timing was perfect. I just learned that we can not travel to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula this weekend and found it difficult to express why this is so upsetting.

Up there we experience everything you mentioned – deeply. The air, the woods, the lakes. Although we live in a rural area “downstate,” a weekend here ends up filled with chores and activities that leave little time for soaking up the outdoors.

I know you, as a traveler in the northern reaches, understand how drawn you can be to such an environment.

Guess I have to read up on John Muir now. Thank you for a morning lift, understanding, and inspiration.

From: Beth Deuble — Oct 05, 2009

Thanks for mentioning John Muir. His influence was very great on me at a young age. Upon seeing photographs many years later of Yosemite by Ansel Adams I came to understand the full dimension of what Muir had experienced and tried to convey

to the world.

As I state on my own art web site: ” All things come from and flow through nature”

From: Julie Roberts Coquitlam BC Canada — Oct 05, 2009

Those garden spiders I now regard somewhat as pets. I watch them grow through the summer and try not to rip into their huge effort built with exquisite design. As you say, those webs are everywhere to rip into now and startling when you don’t know where the spider, now too big to be a pet, has landed. We are living at the edge of a forest where an owl has been calling out in the night. I clearly heard it say ‘Toowit, toowit, toowoo’ after thinking all these years that little Brownies (my daughter was one at age 7) were silly to believe owls actually said that.

Once I sat myself out at the edge of the garden to paint a favourite rotting stump surrounded by trees of maple, fir, hemlock, and cedar with the presence also of ferns, berry bushes of some sort, and periwinkle ground cover. Rather than ‘wash my spirit clean’ nature bombarded my visual receptors, overwhelmed and confused me, so I packed up and went defeated back into the house never to try again…..yet.

From: suelin maria low chew tung — Oct 05, 2009

I got up this morning, opened my door and realised that I own a jungle.

Complete with lizards, spiders, millipedes and a garden snake, it surrounds my house as far as the eye can see, well at least as far as my eye can see. My jungle is barely five feet from my kitchen window. On windy days, it is even closer. Coconut branches finger the dishes drying near the sink. During the rainy season, the jungle moves into my house, taking hold in places that normal support spiders. And those spiders are very spoilt. Sheltered in the creases of my walls and ceilings, behind bags of clothing and miscellaneous finds for some society-altering art project, (in the back of my mind), these spiders have gotten fat.

There is a Chinese saying about spiders – to kill them brings bad luck. I should then be the luckiest person on this island. And maybe I am.

Through my ups and downs this year, from my recently found phobia about flying, to my sliding phases of artist block reaching so deep into my bones that it hurts just to think about painting, I realised just this morning, that my jungle could possibly be my saving grace.

It has saved me from going hungry, and for the most part has absorbed a good bit of the intense heat that has exhausted me on top of everything else. I have coconuts, green bananas, bilimbi (a cousin of the carambola) and chayamansa (mayan tree spinach). Broad leaf thyme, lemongrass, chadon beni (Mexican coriander), sugarapples, limes, tangerines, mandarins, ugli fruit and mangoes, West Indian cherries, avocados and cashews (the one with the nut) grow in my jungle and most within easy reach of a rod and fruit picker.

They have come into season one after the other, many at the same time. They may not sound appetizing, but they are nutritious and have kept me from going hungry in this extended period when my paintings are not selling, (probably because I am not painting) and projects that I have received funding for (in principle) have stalled somewhere along the line.

I have not thought to paint my plant saviours as of yet. I have taken lots of photos though.My stepping out from under this suffocating artist block is to perhaps paint my gratitude for the simple and quiet life I have surrounded by my own jungle, watched over by the spiders and the large lizard that lives in my bathroom.

So together with my jungle and the posts I get in my inbox from you, I am managing to hold together and walk towards that light at the end of my dark tunnel.

From: Emma Conracke — Oct 05, 2009

Living in an urban area, I like to frequent the urban marginalia — those nooks and crannies that haven’t been overrun by pavers. Sometimes listening to water run through the storm sewer takes my mind out to sea. I don’t mean to make this sound worse than it is. The plain fact is that we are part of nature, and our living habit is an artifact of that, not unlike the spun web or the Orb-weaver. There are times when I commune with nature best by sitting in a dark room, but I sure do love driving down-state to watch the elk graze on the hillsides! It’s all in how you look at it.

From: Winston Givens — Oct 05, 2009

We are the wild places. All that other stuff? It’s home.

From: Brad Greek — Oct 06, 2009

As I sit here on the Emerald Coast, the Panhandle of Florida, looking out over the emerald green and blue water, I often think of how lucky I am to be here. The sea birds, the boats and other water sport activities going by. The sounds, the smells, the bliss.

Then I remember the days of my childhood in Ohio, walking in corn fields, patches of woods or playing in an old barn. I think, I wish I was painting outdoors in those days. I’ve never seen the Rockies, the Grand Canyon or the West at all. I scares me, for I know if I go there, I won’t return. I would be over whelmed by it’s beauty and would have to capture it all on canvas first. I feel the same way about going to a large city. To view the street scenes by day or the lights of the skyscrapers at night.

I think what I’m saying here is, appreciate where you are, remember where you’ve been, dream of those places you’ve only heard about.

Thanks Robert, Brad

From: Junior Mark David — Oct 07, 2009

I collect art, do not make it. I love to read what you all go through to get your art made. I am jealous of you for your lives and I think you do a very nice job with them — so we should all take note of the lives of artists.

 

 

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