Sunday, November 25, 2018

Changes 2

I suppose it is time to put something here.. an update to the changes post.

The traveling circus that is our lives has moved on to Cape Cod from Western Mass. The house in Seattle bought a house out here, 30 miles out into the Atlantic on a windy sandbar. Technically, the location is Harwich, MA, but we are closer to Dennis and Brewster. The back property line is the Harwich/Brewster line. It is beautiful, but remote.

So, we have been here since July, and there is a lot of deferred maintenance on the place that has taken a lot of my time. Trying to get it ready for winter, routing water away from foundations, plugging mouse holes and heat loss gaps. Testing mechanicals, generator, heating system, hvac, etc. Lots to do. The place has a finished barn in back, which I have high hopes will be studio when all the scut is done. It is larger than I need, and will cost some money to adequately refigure. It is currently a shop space and warehouse for 'stuff' that eventually needs to go away.

I have my days... days when I miss Seattle. Mostly the people that took 30 years to get to know. It is isolated here, and the starting over seems overwhelming and our new neighbors seem uninterested in newcomers. It is hard for me to be actively social, so going out and meeting people is an unpracticed skill. I keep in touch with Seattle peeps as much as possible but it is not the same as being around them. Just knowing that friends are a stones throw away was a comfort that I took for granted.

As a painter, my paintings all come out of some intimacy with the subject, and intimacy takes interaction and time. It takes time to know what moves you about something or someone. But you have to spend the time observing, living in the presence.. and I have to start spending time doing that here, and less time doing handyman stuff.

Hopefully in the next couple weeks I can carve out a space in the barn to build an easel.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Changes

How things change...

It is February, and there is new thinking on the grill. There has been precious little to look at for sale here that would work for Saltmine. So we are retooling the search to look at Cape Cod. It seems to have more of what I need, and at more competitive prices, oddly enough. Plus, we know people there. The climate is milder, as well. Spent the last two weekends in the area, and I really like it.

I dont regret this time here. You have to experience a place to see if it wants you, and if you still want it. Test drive. Western Mass was picked on a whim. On stats and buildings and potentials based on things that needed to be verified. Nothing puts things into perspective like presence.

Right now it is gray out and raining. Temps here in Hatfield are just up in upper 30's, and all the snow on the ground is turning into flood by the rain. the neighbor's large yard to the west of us is completely under around 6 inches of water. It is coming through the basement walls of this building, which is hurting for some landscaping to make water go away from the foundation instead of toward it like it is now. From the second floor here (which is more like third floor in a house) I can see most of the fields and yards in the area, and all are lakes. Our parking lot here is more of a moat. If we leave this, I wont miss this stuff.

So, this next week will be spent on and around the Cape, looking at things...

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Western Mass Continued

Well, lost the bid on the place in Hatfield. But, as fate would have it, we will be renting the apartment in that building for 6 months to put us in the area to look. Too hard to do it from Boston south shore area... almost as bad as from Seattle. We move in next week, and a trip to Ikea is in order.

The apartment includes an 800 sq ft. open area that will serve as a temporary studio area. Small things for now.

Starting to feel some of the intimacy with this area that needs to happen. Looking forward to being in the area and on my bike.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Back In Western Mass

Not exactly an art post, but insofar as everything is connected this is appropriate.

We left the home and studio in Seattle in August, after a horrendous several months of preparation and packing and shedding, and then loading trucks and moving it all to the Pioneer Valley in Western Mass., where it sits in a storage facility. Still sitting there. 

We have looked at many things, and bid and vied, and discussed... but the main objective was to buy a place that would be a permanent, self owned, studio space with some show potential. Not easy to find. A house or living place would also need to be in the picture.

We may have succeeded. I don't want to jinx it, but after several rounds of getting close then walking away we may, MAY be back to close again. Lots of money, lots of needs, old buildings can be problematic. I just have to make sure we don't buy anything with problems that are bigger than I am...

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Moving notes

Bought a group of Clydesdale road cases, also called flight cases. Will use them after gutting the custom insides for moving paintings from Seattle to Mass. Lots of work...

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Month of April Foolishness

We are packing up to move the studio to Massachusetts as of this writing. The house goes on the market in May and I suspect we will need to be mobile by the end of the month.

Still looking into actual moving options. What we need is a storage option in central Mass., and eventually a place to rent while looking when we get there. We need a plan soon for loading into something here, that can go to there. Pods are an idea, but it is amazing how difficult it is to get a straight answer out of movers to even get an estimate. Such a game...

Been combing the area for shipping containers etc. Anvil cases, pelican cases, etc. Big things.

The last couple months have been very good. I did the Paintings of Ireland show in my studio building, and it was very good. The followup after the show closed has been even better. I am very thankful for all those who purchased paintings, the whole process of meeting people and collectors new and old has been a rich experience, one that the painter is often not a part of. The good people who came in after the show have made this move possible.

That said, I have fielded a lot of questions from collectors and collector-painters about my process and a few things come up over and over. I cannot stress enough the 'commandments of painting' from an earlier post. The tendency to overshoot is ever present, and is a trap. Have a point... have a reason for doing this, have something to say. Then say it simply. When you go outside into the landscape, try not painting. Try seeing. Then writing and sketching. Use a camera to just frame what you are looking at. You cant paint what you see without knowing something about what it is.




Saturday, December 3, 2016

Painting Commandments

I found this in my google docs, from awhile back. I called it my commandments of painting.



The Commandments of Painting

Keep it simple

Know your skill level. Pick a subject or model that you can paint.

Stay humble. Then practice practice practice.

Don’t get too involved personally in the outcome.

Don’t get caught up in materials fetishes.

Paint what you care about. Have an articulated reason why you do it.

Don’t labor a point. Simple description, then move on.

Watch for crutches.

Mix it up. Do different subjects.

Use a spare and simple palette, start new each day, palette, paint, and enthusiasm.

Don’t expect growth with a hobby commitment. Decide which it will be and be happy with that.