Both the above 8x10 inches
oil on canvas panel
Oil on canvas panel
12 x 16"
It is said that “even a blind hog can find an acorn once in
a while.” Well, dear reader, there are
times when I do, indeed, feel like that proverbial porker.
It is also said that for a painter to reach the place where
one’s intention comes to the canvas with ease (painting skill), all one needs
to do is to record “brush mileage.”
That is to say, paint a lot, paint every day if you can, but just paint.
That is the key:
Just paint. No matter the
outcome, just pick up the brush and paint.
Wear out the brushes. Waste
canvas or paper. Give up the worry and
enjoy the process, but paint.
Seems simple enough, right?
A few years ago, I took up oil painting . . . .and
established this blog as a means of accountability to paint daily. Since then it has gone to the shelf for many
months while I returned to watercolor to hone my skills there. Now, I have reached a place where am doing
both . . . .switch hitting, as sports fans like to say.
In the last six weeks, or so, Scott, Butch and I have been
to some exciting and beautiful places to record our passion en plein air. (In fact, the Annual National Plein Air
Painting Convention is going to be held right on our stomping grounds, in
Monterey, California in the first part of April.) Some weeks, weather and work permitting, we
manage to get out two or three times to paint.
Yesterday was such a day for me.
I drove for 30 minutes, hiked into a place (with a new back pack,
incidentally) set up, painted for about 2 hours, packed up, hiked out and went
to another painting site to accomplish two paintings for the day.
I can’t imagine a pastime more soothing and yet offering
artistic growth. Sometimes lousy
paintings come out of the effort . . . .and hard lessons learned, too! Other times, the day is worth the effort,
but with lackluster results.
I believe my skills are getting to the point where more
decent paintings are coming out. But,
there is that ever changing standard of excellence in my mind. What I can do today, I couldn’t do a few
years ago. My standards of achievement
have changed, though. And, at a semi
advanced age, I realize that it isn’t the quality of the paintings that
matters. It’s the process. The joy.
The enthused excitement of another chance at it. The trying of new tricks. Experimenting with different brushes and
pigments. And, yes, the shopping for new
There is so much enjoyment in going out with a couple of
buddies to paint every week and doing so week after week after week. The
paintings pile up, friendships develop, and . . . . . .now and then, a good
painting shows up.
Like I said, “even a blind hog can find an acorn once in a
Paint on !!