Monday, January 3, 2011

TW3 - Messages from Never Never Land.

I have always rather disliked the week between Christmas and New Years. It is such an abyss generally. Especially in the corporate world; everyone is on vacation or out. And socially all the Christmas parties have been given and attended and nobody wants to waste social chits on a pre-New Year's Eve bash. Besides the weather is generally dismal this time of year.

But this year my sister arrived on Christmas Eve morning and stayed through the following Monday. Weather was in the 40's daytime and we 4-wheeled almost daily. She no sooner left than the good weather crashed and we got plunged into snow and sub-zero nights; Never Never Land. Huddled under lap robes in front of my new computer I sought escape from reality. Not easy when the indoor/outdoor weather gauge sits on the corner of the computer desk and reports the temperature. Burrr. Just as an aside the temperature outside as I type this predawn missive is already higher than many of the day time highs of the last week -- 22 F.

Bore an artist for long enough and good things can happen provided you keep explosives out of their reach (well, I guess depending upon your mindset that could be a good thing too). For the last few days of Never Never Land I have been looking through photographs I have taken, coffee table books of the Colorado Plateau, and websites of other painters. Then I began to sketch - free sketch. No pulling out from the morgue the old sketch books and tracings. No, just resizing an earlier "study." Sketch. Creatively sketch.

And if I like the sketch, if it sings to some inner muse, not doing it as a study first, avoiding the risk of a large painting I might not sell, but moving right on to enlarging the sketch to do it justice! And not a single church. Though in my favorite sketch book I found a few church sketches I have yet to paint! I also found a small sketch I had yet to develop seriously because it didn't fit my body of work. I have ended up with four new works to begin on this week after picking up the requisite stretcher bars for the canvases. Three point in a very new direction for me -  my dark side. I am excited.

I have friends whose goal is to live in a constantly temperate climate with no foul weather and no snow. Artists are lazy and don't want to shovel. But there is nothing wrong with getting frozen in as I see it. If I could walk on a beach everyday when would I paint? Would I paint? Being shut in with just your muse for entertainment has its benefits.

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