Archive for February, 2014

Wisdom is not as complicated as people think.

Posted in art, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 13, 2014 by almostfinnish


This is a photo I keep coming back to from time to time. It’s a child hood memory. A time and place. 

No great artist ever sees things as they really are.

If they did, they would cease to be an artist.

Oscar Wilde.

Painting has been a vigorous and emotional endeavor. It has been a constant source of anxiety and delight.

I want it to be uncomplicated and practical.

you do not say the same thing in one room as you say in another…….Louis Kahn

Where do they get this stuff?

The same people who say “I want to make beautiful living effortless.”

Now this I like…practical no…but like yes.

As artists we encounter the unexpected.

We need to use our artist instincts.

And maybe reveal our secrets of the trade.

Wisdom is not as complicated as people think.

Idleness can be productive.

Posted in art, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 10, 2014 by almostfinnish


We went out for a Friday fish fry that’s a big thing here. Went to a place called Moonlighting. It’s a little place off the beaten path hidden in some small town that we happen to fall upon one day. So we thought we’d go back. We ordered cod, you get a choice of potatoes, coleslaw and some marbled rye bread on the side. And of course a beer. I agree they do have good fish frys like they claim.

Behind us they have this old crumpled American flag in a frame. They found it in the walls when they renovated the place and kept it in remembrance that history starts here. I felt a little patriotic sitting here wondering who might have sat at this very spot at some point in time.

I was reading Solitude Inner Visions in American Art.

“Early romantics and transcendentalists solitude was a subject of those who observe the life of pioneer immigrant settlers around the turn of the century and during the great depression.”

The subject of solitude has been probed by American writers. Some things that Henry David thoreau wrote I found worth repeating. 

“A high intellectual level is not a prerequisite for solitude.”

“One of the beauties of solitude is its availability to every person.”

“To be in the company, even with the best, is soon wearisome and dissipating. I love to be alone. I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude.”

“A man thinking or working is always alone.”

That idleness can be productive; and that one could go far by staying put.

The painting above is called Black in Deep Red, 1957 by Mark Rothko

Virtuosity has it’s limits.

Posted in art, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 2, 2014 by almostfinnish

“No one paints likes this today because no one can paint like this today.”

Frank Wright

A quote from The Artist Magazine in 2007 “Never the less, we can study and emulate an artist of such great technical ability and power.” Madame Moitessier. completed in 1856 by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.

This comment has hit me hard. I can’t disagree with it but I don’t agree. Some part of me as an artist has woken up.

In 1844 Ingres was approached through an intermediary with the idea of painting her portrait. Reluctant at this stage in his career to accept portrait commissions—he considered portraiture to be a lower form of art than history-painting—he initially refused Sigisbert’s request. However, when Ingres met Madame Moitessier, he was struck by her Junoesque beauty and agreed to produce a portrait.

The weather proclamation after Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow is six more weeks of winter.

Oh yeah!

In a speech in Wisconsin on Thursday, President Barack Obama insulted perhaps the most fervent members of his political base: art history majors. “But I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree,” Obama declared. “Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree — I love art history,” he then swore.

It is Sunday we go out for donuts if we can. You know it takes time to pick out the right ones even though it’s the usual. When we were done and came around I didn’t realize there was someone waiting in line and gave a short apology. They looked on and laughed as my son who stood right behind them carried the box of donuts and on top a can of fancy feast for the cat. We can’t forget the cat.

I’m sitting here contemplating my painting from a distance. The painting looks good for a moment. Little needs to be done and completion is not so far away. I learned some stuff from what I’ve been reading lately and I am better for it. They say artists make the mistake of painting everything in sharp focus. And that our eyes can not see everything in focus all at once.

Simply said.

So now I’m trying to understand the main focal point. I’m adding detail to the foreground where I want to add light and attention but some of that other stuff can stay as paint interesting enough as is.

Painting is problem solving once I solve all the problems I stop.