I was traveling with some relatives in Connecticut when I saw her. I stopped the car, got out with 2 cameras and took several pictures with a Polaroid, then switched to my Nikon and ate up the last of a roll of film.
It was a still evening with no ripples, the skiff like it was floating on a mirror. I tossed a pebble near the skiff to get some ripples but I had run out of film.
After returning home I painted the first oil painting I had done in over 20 years. I might have sold that painting had it been any bigger than 5″ x 7″.
Inexperienced with oils as I was then, I sealed that painting with spar varnish hoping it would create an authentic patina. it just made it more monochromatic.
I had searched the Mobile Bay area to find another like her but to no avail.
So while reading an issue of WoodenBoat magazine several years ago I found some plans for a Shellback dingy and decided to build my own.
It is a great little sailing skiff and have since given it to my sons. I’d painted it a few times with some success. But you never forget that first love.
I went back to those first reference photos and started painting it again. One of those paintings was featured in this blog last year. This one is my latest.
I will probably do a few more.
So what. . . . . I’m in love with someone elses boat. . . . . It’s a guy thing.
I’ve been trying to capture that edge-of-disater windy day where you sail on the edge of capsize. You never should cleat the main sheet in case you need to let go and regain some balance.
Some time ago I attempted this very maneuver to impress a girl. I did cleat the main sheet and did go over. We spent a few minutes righting the Hobie cat in front of a ferryboat coming into the marina.
I thought it was way cool.
The girl never went out with me again.
I’ve always had this fascination with boats. I’ve taken thousands of photos of them. During a trip to New England I stoped the car to use up a few rolls of film on this lovely little skiff at anchor in a very quiet little cove. After about 30 minutes I decided to add some ripples to the scene by tossing a few pebbles to get something besides a mirror image of the boat in the water. I heard a voice behind me ask what I was doing. I explained. He gruffly replied “don’t do that.”
So when I came home I spent the next year building my own skiff to photgraph and sail whenever I wanted.
At some point I decided to leave the boat out and focus on the water.
I still love boats.
Edgy? What does that mean?
I just finished a portrait that I will enter into a juried show titled “Woman” in a gallery that professes to be edgy. I asked the person in charge if I could enter a portrait that was pure realism. She said yes. So I looked at the portrait in question and asked myself “Is it edgy?” I thought of disguising the grid I had used with some color patches. I even thought I might redo the portrait with the subject in a box. Nothing seemed to have anything to do with the woman in the portrait. As a last thought I did create a code that appears in the background which may or may not say something refering to her expression. “You figure it out.” That is now the title of the painting. That’s about as edgy as I can get.
If it gets into the show titled “Woman” at this gallery then maybe it is edgy. We’ll see.
When you think about it the most reproduced painting ever. “Judge St. Bernard makes a bold bluff” known to most as “Dogs playing poker” was considered edgy.
I’m always telling my students “Do as I say, not as I do.”
A prime example is I will tell them to “Always keep a camera with you.”
I have two cameras that most of the time I don’t even know where they are.
This past Christmas I was sitting at the dining room table, finding appropriate sized boxes to mail some presents to my grand children in Washington, DC. One present I was considering was a slightly used digital camera. I was charging the battery and moving about the house looking for wrapping stuff, the double sided tape, a smaller box and so on.
I was testing the charge on the battery and looked to the left on the floor. I was able to actually get a shot of Daphne before she bolted out of the “too large box” at my feet and ran out the cat door.
I decided to keep the camera which is now in my car. . . . . . . . I think.
When I finally got around to painting from this once in a lifetime photo I decided to devide my palette into warm and cool versions of primary colors red, yellow and blue.
For the sunny areas I used cadmium scarlet, cerulean blue and cadmium yellow medium.
For the shadow areas I used only alizarine crimson, ultramarine blue and yellow ochre. Both sets of color were mixed wtih titanium white or ivory black as I needed lighter or darker shades.
The result, I think, created the warm sunny feel on Daphne’s face inside a box on a cold day
I started this painting as a demonstration for a local art study group.
Before I began I explained that every painting at some time goes through an ugly stage and it’s hard to keep working on it. Confidence of success is a great motivator.
I painted some more on it in my studio and even though it’s still in the ugly stage, it’s beginning to show signs of promise.
I’ll sleep on it for a while.
After about three hours of work this morning I think it’s finished.
So, don’t fear the ugly just make it your motivator.
I really love teaching. For one reason it helps to keep me actively painting. Though, I’m often compelled to complete and or fix every painting I start as a demonstration. I’ll overwork something that would best be sent to recycling.
A friend suggested I keep a decent picture frame handy. When I can’t seem to finish the painting and keep noodling on it, I’ll view it in the frame, be surprised and declare it done or cover the canvas with a new coat of gesso.
If I’m surprised I’ll get another frame for that painting and keep my “magic frame” to check out future work.
And don’t forget to sign it.