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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.

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/

 

There it is.IMG_4239I was at the art store the other day to buy turpentine. THEY WERE OUT OF TURPENTINE. This was not Michael’s, this was Jerry’s Art-a-Rama, a reputable supply chain. The guy apologized to me and said someone had been in a few days earlier and cleaned them out; he then tried to sell me Gamsol. Out of forlorn hope I asked him about Flake White and he had some extremely overpriced small tubes which I didn’t buy (this just came in the mail). That got me started on the subject of metallic pigments and their relative toxicity. I said why worry about lead when cadmium and chrome are just as bad and he wordlessly pointed at a sign hung above the paint section: Winsor Newton is phasing cadmium colors and replacing them with Azo pigments.

It’s all the fault of the fucking namby-pamby Europeans. Stop trying to make my hobby safe! Are you going to restrict welders to using sparklers? Can sculptors now only work in styrofoam? And the same message to artists who are wrapped up in safety issues: if you feel obliged to wear a respirator and rubber gloves to paint in oils, DON’T PAINT IN OILS. MY access to potentially hazardous materials does not affect YOUR ability to avoid them. Stop trying to police my materials!

Grr.

New Portraits

June 5, 2018

Kris (left) and Dave.