Specs: 99 entries; 34,200 Words; 94 Oil paintings by the author.
Students of art and conoisseurs alike will appreciate this perspective from an artist, and Copley Master, making a living in today's world. The Artist's Conundrum: An Oil Painter's Journal is an account of the hazards in being a landscape painter: whether it is the child who leans on the artist to touch the wet canvas or the focused painter sitting in the rising tide; from the vicissitudes of being an unwitting street performer to a handout about the history of the mahl stick. It is the story of a kayaker drowning off-shore while the artist and his wife continue to paint and the whales dive in unison just a few feet away from the French easel.
The artist searches for new ways of seeing and studies optical effects like diffusion and halation and happens upon the camera obscura aberations of floating highlights on headlights in the fog. He learns of a unique drawing technique in a dream and describes a visitation by the masters to the studio. The author discusses the beauty of arsenic induced flesh tones, the symbolism of elements in still-lifes and the habits of the eye. From the maudlin to the sublime, the artist struggles to elevate his work beyond just a photo-copying of the subject while his audience comes to him searching for "tickle imagination paintings".
The author is party to the ramblings of a figure painting group named the Depressionists with a member who bargains down the price of his work. There is the tale of a secret mission when the sketcher leaves an anonymous drawing in a coffee shop and the embarrassment of embracing the wrong girlfriend (twice) while on a museum trip. There is the mystery of a Q-tip and note found in a Rhode Island School of Design mailbox. There are unanswerable questions by tourists on location and a photographer who steals his composition.
These writings describe the artist at play, with his ode to organic pigments and the joy of biking under the moon to an excerpt where a detective reveals that an imposter is, in fact, an artist.
This is an honest account of an artist at work supporting a family and the struggle between the inspirational world of aesthetics and the demands of the commercial. Beginning with early training at an atelier and a graphic design job staring at a monitor to a turn back towards the analog world and carving inscriptions in slate without an "undo" command. This is the path that led the artist to a shared studio/gallery, an artist wife, and happily engaged with the Muse.
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About the Author