Thursday, December 17, 2015


 Summer Outbuildings (12x12) oil on linen SOLD!

One of the first ever local paintings to capture my attention was many years ago in a small gallery somewhere between here and the Oregon coast.  We used to stop there as a rest point on our way to the beach and check out the art.  One day as I was walking thru the gallery, I spotted a small (maybe 6x8 or 8x10) plein air sketch called "Outbuildings". It was a small masterpiece (to me anyway) very brief, very textural and creamy; everything I like in an oil painting -- the kind that makes an artist want to head out and paint right then and there...

 Outbuildings (12x12) oil on linen SOLD!

Unfortunately, I never made memory of the artist's name. Looking back, I assume they were local as it was a local scene, but even inquiring with the gallery staff months later, they could not help me identify the artist or the painting (which was long gone by then).

 Whomever the mystery artist was, they have never returned to that gallery as far as I know (I still look every time we pass that way).  I've never seen anything remotely like that little gem since, but it did leave a lasting impression; one that continues to inspire me as I hope some of my paintings will do for others... Well done mystery painter, wherever you are!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Belt of Venus, my birthday and twilight's brief moment...

Twilight's Brief Moment (18x18) oil on linen

Long before I was a landscape painter (still an artist, but just a kid) the golden hour thru dusk, especially in summer, was a magical time; I remember rushing back out after dinner to play with my friends, skateboarding around the neighborhood or riding our bikes -- time seemed more special then.

On those clear days as the sun set and the sky began to change it's hue from a peachy-green to pink, then down to a band of blue that began at the horizon, the long shadows fled away yet it would not be dark for another half hour or so. I would learn many years later that the blue band of sky at the horizon opposite the sunset, is actually the cast shadow of the earth against the atmosphere, and the pink band just above it is called the "Belt of Venus".

Astronomers and mariners have long measured twilight in 3 phases  beginning as soon as the sun is set below the horizon; Civil Twilight, Nautical Twilight and finally, Astronomical Twilight before the solid dark of Night.  This was (and still is) a magical time for me; the most beautiful time of evening, especially when accented by a full moon rise...

The best place I've experienced this phenomena is in the desert on a clear night. It is a brief moment, but tranquil in it's experience, watching bats flit about highlighted by the sound of crickets -- that transition from light to dark, signalling the close of another day.  I often pause and reflect on past memories then, and would not be surprised at all if John Lennon was inspired to write his poignant song, "In My Life" under it's spell. 

This Thursday I will turn another year older, and although the sunset will likely be eclipsed by rainy winter clouds, I will be thinking of days gone by and those yet to come, and the special allure twilight still holds over me.