The winds from a furious Nor’easter pound against the studio windows. Whitecaps crash against the shore one after the other with ceaseless regularity, their white froth nearlty reaching the studio door. They say this storm will join with hurricane Sandy in the next day or so.
Inside it’s comfy-cozy. The only thing to complain of is the dim Fall light made worse by the gray skies. I prefer painting in natural light, a habit learned during art school. During the winter, the number of useful hours of natural light grows smaller and smaller. On overcast winter days, you couldn’t see the model from the back of the room at the Art Student’s League by 3:00 PM.
After working on the two paintings you see in the photograph, I pause to arrange them into a tableaux for study. Both paintings show my daughter in the arms of an adult, me in the left-hand painting, my oldest son in the right-hand one. Both show outdoors scenes.
Art–making art–is a journey. That’s a hackneyed cliche, I know, but how else can one say it? Art is an adventure? A series of discoveries? The problem with characterizing art-making as I just have, is that it doesn’t add any information to the topic. I remember when I was a wet-behind-the-ears beginner, being so excited about some technical discovery I’d made, but to my fellow students my discoveries were uninteresting—that adventure was a private one.
So, make your journeys real adventures. How? That’s the question!
Not long after starting these paintings, I placed them in another tableaux similar to this one along with other paintings started at that time. Studying them that day, I discovered that they all shared a theme: people (usually children) together, either holding hands, hugging, or just being together. I say ‘discovered’ because I hadn’t realized until that moment that those 7-8 paintings shared a theme.
Here are two finished paintings (click to see a larger format) started at that time that underline this point:
These paintings are not part of a series. They are simply a group of paintings that share a theme and were started at roughly the same time. They are informed by what I found interesting, by what filled my attention and my heart at the time (and still does).
UPDATE: Hurricane Sandy DID arrive. This link describes it