Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Summer Hangs On Another Day
West Bay Water
West Bay Clouds
Summers in Northern Michigan are about as good as things can get. Summer this year was nearly a non-event during the time that we were supposed to be enjoying it, as luck would have it the first two weeks of September have turned out to be the most wonderful summer days of the season. Combine the warm weather with the typical September breezes and it makes for the most amazing sailing on the bay. Life being what it is you can't sail all the time, and when I am not sailing I have the bay to look at.
Truth be told, as much as I love sailing if I had to choose between sailing and painting, I would pick painting, that may not be much of a surprise to anyone, but I had to say it. As a painter looking is so very important. I realize that may sound stupid, that looking is important to an artist, but there is looking and there is looking. I am talking about really seeing what is happening with in shapes and observing the movement of the elements of the landscape, because really every thing is moving.
I had an interesting discussion about some of my work with a man the other day, and I was asked what the focal point of my painting "Blue Sky" was. No one had asked me that before and I had to think because I have always just thought of it as a beautiful blue sky day. And that is just it, it is not particularly a specific scene, it could really be almost anywhere. So it is not a portrait of a place, but a portrait of the day. With the blue sky, the breeze, the sun and warmth. All of those things are here.
So when I talk about that specific kind of looking I am talking about sucking in the whole experience of the moment as I am there inside of the subject I am painting. In this what "Blue Sky" is more of an impressionistic painting than anything.
But what I wanted to say in regards to the watercolor paintings I did yesterday afternoon on the shore of West Bay, was that it was a wonderful experience for me as a person and a painter to sit and look and respond with brushes and paint.
So go outside, sit down and really look at something today.