Tree and Crick 1, 12 x 16, oil on board
Well, you always knew I was perverse. No one, at least publicly, thought this was the painting that I /should/would keep out of the box that is now on its way to Jersey Shore. But choose it I did.
Of course, I have reasons. Or rationales. Or excuses….. whatever.
The painting that Charlie liked, Cold Serenity, was a good possibility, but what spoiled it for me was that I had seen the original photograph.
I painted most of the Pine Creek work from Charlie’s photos, but most, I felt, took on a painterly quality that gave them their own presence. They were, I thought, close to equal to Charlie’s photos, only different. But about Cold Serenity, I felt only a bit of an ache. His photo was superior to anything I could achieve in my painting, I thought. So I couldn’t bring myself to save a painting that would only remind me of my own insufficiency.
Jer’s choice, the Cammal General Store, made me smile a bit.
It’s got enough resemblance to my wacky urban-scapes that I was flattered he would choose it. He liked the trees that threaten to swallow the store (a tad of wackiness there) and the signs that clutter and charm. But I also think that perhaps a bit of nostalgia crept into his choice. My memory is that we stayed at a cabin run by the proprietors of the Cammal Store, back in the dark ages of the 1960’s, and our various youthful follies there shaded his choice a bit.
The general favorite, Turkey Track Path Waterfall, has always been called “Tumbling Run” in my mind, even though Tumbling Run is on the other side of Pine Creek.
And I agree with my commentators that it might be the best painting of the lot — the colors, when seen in person, are delicious, and it really does tumble down the canvas. I almost chose it, but then, Tree and Crick 1 got the prize.
Some things about Tree and Crick 1 aren’t obvious on the web. The tree is juicy with paint and the greens worked their way with me almost as a conduit. There’s a misty smoothness about the Crick that shows on the web but could be mistaken for a soft photo. It’s not — it’s really the way the mist lies on the Crick under certain morning conditions. The tree is reaching for the Crick and the other bank and the relationship between these forms felt almost abstract, the way Pine Creek, at its finest, becomes more than just another Pine Creek on the map — it’s almost an abstraction of itself. Or something like that.
Anyway, you all made me think hard about what I should do and that was fun. Thanks for joining in. Now, if you really really liked one of the paintings, they will be on auction at the Moose Lodge in Jersey Shore PA on May 2, along with 11 other paintings of the Pine Creek Valley. You can get in touch with me if you want a proxy bidder. All funds to the Scholarship Fund of the Class of 1960, of course. This will be a first for me — an exhibit at a Moose Lodge! Onto my resume, top dog (or should I say, top moose!) –June