Hunkerin’ Down

With the summer shows and Autumn Open Studio Tour behind me, and the wood all stacked for winter, its now time to devote all my time to painting. I have a stack of pictures I’ve taken that I plan to work from, but current pictures are always the most exciting.

The Open Studio Tour was successful but rather slow. If nothing else it forces me to do a major cleaning. It also keeps me thinking about the pros and cons of having my own gallery. That is something I need to research, instead of just dream about. It always seems most attractive after a summer of schlepping all my things around to the numerous summer shows. Next year I am going to limit the shows to the larger venues.

This is the time of year it is time to slow down and hunker down to studio work. It feels good to have all the wood stacked in anticipation of winter. There are still leaves to rake, but most importantly its time to paint. I want to continue to work on shadows and light. Last fall and especially winter I focused on looking for strong shadows. That works well in winter against the white snow. But I now see shadows and light much more clearly, in all seasons. Of course there is the need for a healthy supply of sunlight, which is sometimes hard to do in November. Artificial light is always an option, although that means painting subjects other than landscapes. I recently completed a still life which brought my studies of shadows and light into another realm.

I sometimes look at the still life painting like playing scales on the piano. It was my least favorite thing to practice when I took piano lessons as a child. I am now beginning to appreciate the discipline involved. Not being a well disciplined creature, I do try, another one of those New Year’s resolutions which I think about – try and be more disciplined – yea, anyhow! For myself I find going back and forth between different types of subjects improves my focus, even if it pushes mastery further away. If we aren’t learning and going in new directions creating art becomes like any other job, not a passion and a joy.

As the year comes to a close, there is also the business end of things. I have my pile of receipts and a new copy of Quicken for Home and Business. Do you think I need another accountant, mine tends to do a lot of snoozing.