Thursday, May 26, 2016
Back here in Richmond, I am getting ready for DoorsOpen - June 4th and 5th. I have a couple of smaller snow scenes but now, with this Shanghai show, the rest of my snow series have gone.
I'm beginning to think I will have to travel a bit farther afield to see any more snowy landscapes, It has been a few winters now since there was any "paintable" snow around here.
Currently, of course, the garden is in full bloom with more subject matter than I can immediately handle. Sketchbook and photographs are coming to the rescue and reference material is being saved for winter studio painting. Plants seem to be blooming earlier but also finishing up earlier. The columbines have mostly gone to seed already. The pink peonies are over but the white ones are now out . I wonder why they didn't bloom together? I'm not sure that peonies appeal as individual subjects on their own - I think I'd like them in a bouquet - but then I'd have to pick them and I hate picking peonies as they never last indoors. Maybe later if any are available, I'll see if I can buy a bouquet - right now I seem to be busy enough with already painted paintings, setting them up for DoorsOpen,
Sunday, May 22, 2016
The Travel section of the weekend Globe and Mail runs a series of first-person stories from the road. This week, features "The pencil is mightier than the flash" by David Gillett on the joys of sketching. He tells about sketching in Oxford and notes, "Even now, five years later, I can flip open to these pages and smell the clematis that wound around the solid columns, hear laughter and the crack of a croquet ball on the lawn behind us, see the radius of the Palladian arches, feel the warmth of the May morning sun as it fluttered through the dappled leaves of Oxford. One look at the sketch and it all comes back to life." This is so true- it is nice to have photos but sketches somehow penetrate the memory much deeper so that all the senses bring their parts to the remembrance. Apparently some art museums- such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are now encouraging deeper looking by providing sketching materials so that visitors will pause and sketch to greater enjoyment than snapping a photo and quickly moving on. I've been out sketching columbines in the garden for a future painting. Somehow, drawing helps you see more. I think I will have to get back to even more frequent sketching.