Two weeks ago I decided to see what would happen if I added figures in my work and possibly start actually painting the figure. Over the past ten years of painting, I have focused solely landscapes and seascapes. Maybe I boxed myself into this "landscape painter" box too early and now a door has blown open and I am bravely going through it while relooking at my abundant supply of art books, most especially the Bay Area Figurative painters.
The above is the beginning of this new direction, that is after working a smaller figure into one of my large landscapes seen on my home page (link here). I was motivated to start by painting from a photo of my mom that has always been in my studio. This is from back in the 1960's when we vacationed on Cape Cod and mom always wanted to stop at this jelly stand in Brewster to get her favorite Wild Rose Hip Jelly. As it was my first attempt I think I'll paint a few more but this now sits on one of my easels. Then I went through a box of old family photos and pulled out about eight I'd like to paint.
During this time of isolation I signed up for an online residency called the Yellow Chair Salon run by Michael David, Stephanie Hargrave and Cherie Mittenthall and the Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill (Cape Cod). This has fostered much-needed discussions on art and life, support during a time of isolation, camaraderie and personal growth. And I am happy to report that I am back in the studio with a much needed "eagerness to learn" mindset. I just, like all others, want to keep pushing myself to become a better painter and as my shows and exhibitions were all but canceled this year what better time than now. This connection with other artists and a re-connection with myself and my art has been invaluable. What a gift.
This one is of my brother Doug from sometime in the 1970's. Doug was "born" blind, meaning he was a preemie baby and back then (1950) they put preemies into an incubator with too much oxygen and the result for these kids were cognitive issues and permanent blindness. Doug's love of sports was evident at an early age when he would listen to the Yankee games on his transitor radio and as he grew my dad had a small basketball "court" poured outside our suburban home's garage and Doug would be out there all day and almost year-round shooting baskets. I was much younger and just remember the pounding against the backboard all day...until I noticed it was quiet and would go out and help him find the ball which had invariably rolled down into the backyard. Doug is now 70 and has been living in Chelsea (NYC) for nearly 50 years as he held a job working for the state listening to tapes and transcribing them. I have been sketching from this photo and a few of the studies and small works are shown below. More to follow.