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As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Rocks in My Head

"Rocks In My Head"
15 x 22 Inches, Watercolor

For as long as I can remember in my painting life, painting rocks and water has been an endless fascination. Reflections, currents, textures, shapes, and the contrasts between granite and fluid draw me into a state of which I cannot describe.

I remember the day well. I had risen from breakfast to go outdoors to paint. The weather was perfect. But where should I go? There was so much from which to choose. Then it struck: rocks in the river!!!!!! I couldn’t get to the car fast enough!!! It wasn’t long before my shoes were wet and I was assembling my easel as fast as my hands could move.

In reviewing the paintings made in Yosemite, this week, with a friend, I commented that I got the same overwhelming calm and simultaneous excitement when I was fishing at the edge of a small river or creek. I have experienced that feeling since I was a little boy and can remember well being at a certain spot when I was six years old picnicking with my parents.

Then there are the towering rocks of Yosemite. When I am there, they fill my dreams. And I like very much the sheer fun of painting bizarre designs from sketches and memory. In those paintings I allow myself the freedom to Play. While at creek side, however, I am swept up in all the dazzling light, the movement of the water and the glory of the fresh air and wildness of it all. It seems to me that I could no more shift into the ‘play’ mode there than to fly.

But put me into the studio without distractions . . . . .anything can happen . . . .and that is for another post.


7 comments:

Ross Lynem said...

I feel like going to the river now. But it is frozen! Sigh!
Your painting is beautiful, reminding me of many splendid days spent by the river.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mike, Your strong connection to the water shows; stunning!

Ellen Roles said...

Mike; Great work. So strong and peaceful at the same time. It is there in the water, but not everyone can find it. ellen

Amber L. Bailey said...

Great piece, I've been following your blog for some time now and always enjoy your posts.

Sandeep Khedkar said...

Wonderful! Superb composition and colors!

Mary Paquet said...

Great post and love the rocks and reflections. I was especially taken with your linemen. The unique perspective and the strong diagonals hold my attention. I like the manly subject from a man's point of view. Quite unique.

D.D said...

Beautiful painting. Your bold brush strokes are amazing.