I’m blaming Facebook for the absence of southeastmain posts for the last two days. Why not? Everyone knows that Facebook is the evil that makes the IRS randomly choose your name out of a hat and your health insurance decide your face pimple was a pre-existing condition. Actually, the latter is false; it’s those MBA’s who worked out the pimple deal with Big Pharm.
And merry Christmas to you, too.
Sorry for that bit of a rant. I’ve been cleaning out paintings and it always makes me squirm — should I throw out this dreadful bit or save it for its nostalgic value? And who am I to be saving things that are undoubtedly “false lying nostalgia?” (I quote Doris Lessing, not myself, albeit I’ve said this many times since first reading the phrase in the 1960’s.)
Here’s the empty spaces left behind by my pitching out efforts. (A friend came by and said, “Hey, you repainted.” Nope. I just took down a lot of detritus.)
OK, enough of the digressions. Beside throwing out 15 or so paintings (not enough, but all I had heart for) I repainted a piece that I left behind in October. It was the big linen canvas I was practicing on, and when I left I knew it didn’t work. I even knew _where_ it didn’t work; I just didn’t know what to do about that “where” (which was about 1/4 of the 4′ x 5′ canvas).
Here’s a version of the canvas (not the one I came home to, because I couldn’t bring myself to photograph that one):
What I liked about this big piece of linen was the bottom half. What I didn’t like was the top half. That’s a lot not to like (the canvas is 4′ x 5′, so 2.5 feet or so of canvas to dislike). Before I went to Nevada I fixed the trees in the upper half and got them to where I sort of liked them — Draft 5 or so. But the upper mountains were still bad; I made them worse before I left and then left, thinking I would pitch the canvas when I came home.
But glory be — all good stories have happy — or at least funny endings. When I came home I knew exactly what I needed to do with those stiff cones:
What I did was make the mountains shape echo the water’s curve. Not too obvious, but curved to bring us back home again. I might have to darken the mountains a bit, but maybe it’s just the way the light hits the canvas in this photo. I’ll look later.
And then I put this honking big piece up in the empty spot in the studio, where the crows could admire it.