My ventures into painting in 2010 have been pathetically few. One of these was actually begun in Nevada in February of 2009. It was the first Nevada painting I did at the Red Barn. It was colder than [fill in the blank] and even with two electric heaters and my Montana winter coat and gloves, I was shivering. Jer wasn’t due for an hour and a half. The only thing that would keep me from walking the four miles to Beatty was painting (well, that and the south wind at about 25 mph).
So I painted my first Nevada painting, shivering, as if I were working in watercolor:
From the Red Barn, oil on canvas, about 20 x 30″, 2009
I really liked the effect of the landscape reaching into the barn’s concrete walls and taking over even my shivery body. Later in that residency I tried to recapitulate something of the effect. The paintings were dreadful and ultimately discarded. But I kept this one; I still have it, hanging alongside of a watercolor done in the first painting class I ever took. Both mean something to me personally.
What that something is, at least in terms of the desert landscape, may be becoming clearer.
This is a plein air painting, although done in the studio. It’s a rather neat trick — to paint the outside while sitting inside and paint the inside too. Really neat when it’s 45 degrees and raining outside
More of these will appear as time goes by. I’m more housebound these days — tricky hip problem that will take some time to resolve — so inside-outside seems to be a solution. And of course, I’m inspired by Jennifer Bartlett’s art, done often from the window of her Italian villa, about whom I wrote a couple of days ago. I forgot to include a link to the book of hers that has so caught me up, but here it is, In the Garden. The book is about $50 used, so a library copy might be preferable. But it made me feel like we might be comrades in our endeavors. –June