I decided to paint a serene landscape today, 1 - because I haven't painted a landscape in some time and 2 - it's a mellow Sunday and 3 - because I rocked out to the 30th Anniversary for Bob Dylan all afternoon while I painted.
left half detail
right half detail
A panoramic view from the coast on Rock Harbor, Cape Cod.
Most of you know bits and pieces of the life of Vincent van Gogh. I promise you, if you've never seen a painting of his in person, you're really missing out on the splendor of brush strokes, the thick, rich colors swirling around the canvas, the movement, the passion that van Gogh had of the world around him.
Van Gogh was 36-years-old when he painted 'Cypresses' - during his year-long stay at the asylum in Saint-Remy and a year before his death. It is a more close-up view of the the tall and massive trees he found 'beautiful as regards lines and proportions, like an Eyptian obelisk'.
Since I was a teenager, I've been fascinated with realism - or in this case, hyper-realism. Just the idea of how an artist executes the artwork boggles my mind. You see paintings in museums that look like a photograph, so precise it's staggering. I wanted to do that for years, until I realized I wasn't up to it. I'm more interested, now, in realism with a looser style - although you'll notice some paintings lean tighter and some, like much of these smaller pieces I frequently auction, are more painterly. It keeps me sane.
The hyper-realism sculpture I feature in this new painting is by Evan Penny titled 'Old Self: Portrait of the Artist as He Will (Not) Be'. Not only is this work of art insanely precise, down to every wrinkle and whisker and fold, the cast of shadows under the strong lighting is so very cool - not to mention the reactions of the museum patrons. Evan Penny has a great website and on the Crystal Bridges Museum's website, you can read 'A Conversation With Evan Penny' that will give you insight of the artist's thoughts.
"You should keep on painting no matter how difficult it is, because this is all part of experience, and the more experience you have, the better it is... unless it kills you, and then you know you have gone too far." ~ Alice Neel
"If I had the energy, I would have done it all over the country" - Edward Hopper
"It's what you carry to an object that counts." - Andrew Wyeth
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"When I'm old and gray, I want to have a house by the sea. And paint. With a lot of wonderful chums, good music, and booze around. And a damn good kitchen to cook in."