Friday, July 21, 2017

The luxury of the loaded brush

This week was a bit slower in the studio but work got done nonetheless. I have to be somewhat reasonable in my expectations of myself, I know I can only maintain the fervor that comes at the start of a new series for so long. The important thing is to maintain and accept the new pace after the initial rush. I didn't take that big overall look over of the series that I had meant to at the start of the week. I just kept moving forward, leaving several paintings behind to rest. I did start a large 80x80cm./36x36in. canvas this week and really enjoyed the size. It's a luxury to paint work of any real size because of course, it's a luxury to have enough paint to cover the larger canvas. I have some new paints as well and it feels so good- oh, the luxury of the loaded brush!

I think I worked on two or three pieces this week as well as finishing off one of the Accidental Portraits so I could send it off to its new home. Any week I make it to the post office is a real victory. I also created my Tuesday video as well and if you missed you can catch it here.

Besides painting, my week was punctuated with several wonderful cultural opportunities. I spent some time Monday and Tuesday of this week with poet Terry Blackhawk who was visiting Edinburgh. Terry's work is featured in the current Interim: Journal of Poetry and Poetics, the same journal of which my painting graces the cover! It was a wonderful reminder of how the arts connect us and make our communities richer. Terry and I took in the Beyond Caravaggio exhibition at the National Gallery of Scotland. I am a Caravaggio fan and we were both excited to see the exhibition. I think I have only ever seen one of his paintings in the flesh, Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness at The Nelson - Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. I think the National Gallery should really call this current exhibition Beyond, Beyond, Caravaggio as there are only 4 of his works surrounded by other works by his school, contemporaries, or thieving admirers. The La Tour was a good inclusion but I am also a fan of his. I am not saying that the other works, notably the Gentisleshi works are anything to sneeze at but when you come for Caravaggio you want Caravaggio. However, the four works in the exhibition delivered. So, I have now seen 5 Caravaggios and I am all the better for it. To see The Taking of Christ in person is stunning.

Now to another artist I admire, I happened to make an emphatic comment on the Facebook page of artist David Mankin and was delightfully invited to the private view of the Night Tide exhibition at Arusha gallery on Dundas street in Edinburgh. I made sure to make it and was richly rewarded by David's strong and turbulent work, Ground swell running. The painting was a show stopper and it was lovely to meet the artist in person.

David Mankin with his painting in the studio. Photo from his Facebook page. 

The sun was out, I met a poet, I met an artist, I saw two brilliant exhibitions and continued to work on the Resilience Series. That my friends is a good week! So until next week, keep fighting, keep making, keep dreaming and know that the world needs you and your work, and I bet you need your work too. I know I do.

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