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Random Musing No. 1

August 4, 2018

The human eye has a range of 120°, mostly peripheral vision, compared to the camera’s typical 200° or more. That is why the figures sometimes seem distorted at the edges of a photograph. We make up for this seeming deficit by moving our focus (in movements called “saccades”) around a scene to build up a gestalt awareness of its appearance.
A painting, curated by human intelligence, is superior in every respect to a photograph, except for how long it takes to make it. If cameras took three hours to create the exact same image as they do now in a split second, there would be no question as to which medium people would choose when they needed an image recorded.

The Artist’s Nightmare

July 18, 2018

I have a recurring dream—a nightmare, really—in which I am off on a painting trip in some beauty spot and for, one reason or another, I never get around to actually doing any painting. It’s not hard to interpret, equal parts longing and guilt, but last night’s was a doozy.
I was off on a trip with my friend Ross and I could see a beautiful ocean view in the distance. Ross got out his paints and started to work but I went for a walk down to the shore, found the perfect spot, and went back for my gear. When I got back, someone had set up an easel in my spot. I considered saying something but figured I would just set up next to him. When I turned to the new spot, someone else had set up his easel there too. I looked the other way–also taken. I started walking along the shore but every place I wanted to paint, someone was already there. When I finally found an open location, the view was obstructed. I started walking back towards Ross but suddenly the entire open space was filled with artists Hundreds of artists, all busily at work, while I did nothing. Some of them were drawing nudes. I thought that was odd, then realized that a model was posing on a stand in three different spots, each completely surrounded by artists four or five deep. I couldn’t paint, I couldn’t draw… I woke up in a cold sweat, trembling.

Foxborough edition. Oil on unstretched canvas.

Maine Paintings

July 5, 2018

Back from my daughter’s wedding in Maine! One of the benefits of being a helpless male is that during the preparations for important events like this you are actually in the way and so are encouraged to take off and do your own thing. My wife insisted I go off and do these paintings! I know better than to ignore a direct order from my wife.

This is a painting of Ripley Creek, at a little bend in the road in Tenants Harbor.

It’s directly opposite my wife’s favorite view, which I painted in 1998:

The second, done the day after the wedding, is a view of the Camden Hills from Rte 133.

I love the Camden Hills and my original intention, when my wife suggested I bring my paints, was to redo one of the views I had painted more than 20 years ago, in 1996 and 1997.  I was very disappointed to find that the views I had painted years earlier were now marred by new construction and ticky tacky, but I did manage to find this almost untrammeled view.

Here are the 1996/1997 paintings:

https://www.facebook.com/ipaintwhatisee/

Plein Air Season!

June 5, 2018

Just getting started on outdoor painting. Here are a few new ones.

 

 

Daisies

October 17, 2017

Daisies

Oil on canvas

That is, I believe, a viceroy butterfly, not a monarch. Smaller, and monarchs only eat milkweed.