12 August

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood…

When I begin a painting the first step is to “oil out” the gessoed panel. A thin coat of oil paint is wiped onto the panel to tone down the blaring white and to give a layer of paint on which to build. If you have company for dinner the night before (which turned out to be a wonderful evening with Saren, Cori and Mike )… and are watching the neighbors’ dog while they are away and you get several phone calls in between and you and Pat spent a hilarious afternoon taking turns modeling for this next painting in house dresses and aprons and oven mitts…and you don’t have time to do this oiling out proceedure the day before…

well then you have to find something else the to do the next morning while you are waiting for it to dry…

I got up early today and quickly oiled out the panel on the studio porch and then went up to let Jed out for his morning check for all the wee beasties he tends in Sue’s rock garden. While he was running and playing I saw a deer in Walt’s corn field across the street. From her yard, you get a great view of the farm and, since Jed was otherwise occupied, the deer walked peacefully around the field and disappeared back into the corn field undisturbed. It got me to thinking about another painting I am beginning to work on… The Corn Trilogy.

 In our corner of central Pennsylvania, corn is a repeating backdrop. Unlike the flat factory fields in the mid-west, corn fields here seem to tuck into the pockets and hollows between the heavily wooded hills…settling to hug the rolling landscape like Sandburg’s fog. This time of year, in a summer when we’ve had some decent rainfall, there is wall of a dusty bluegreen sage color on either side of every back road. From our studio yard I’ve been watching Walt’s corn field all summer.

But as you can see, it’s distant enough to read only as background. So today, when it caught my attention via the deer muse, and the first rays of the morning sun were coming through these hickory trees, I decided to come home, put my boots on and grab the camera and trespass myself right over there for a closer look.

But when I got up close and personal I realized… it’s missing its ears!

I’m still not sure what form this trilogy will take. I’ve seen some artist’s lately who are incorporating elaborate framing designs that resemble altar pieces surrounding paintings… hinged panels that open wing-style or close up into a cabinet that lend themselves well to the trilogy format. (see and explore Rob Evans new work as an example…Click Here ).  And I found some very old sketches I had done decades ago, after seeing a show at the Danforth museum, with similar designs for some small cabinets that when opened reveal trompe l’oeuil paintings. So the symmetry of being drawn once again to paint from my authentic self, and the iconic gesture of the corn fields in their annual rise to the sky, and the challenge of taming both in a new format has my synapses on overdrive.

I’m going to chronicle the development of The Corn Trilogy and will set up a separate category for anyone interested in following along.

Meanwhile, the panel for today’s painting is dry and ready for the sketch to be traced on. I can’t wait to get some paint on that puppy.

And as I sit working at my easel, I can watch while, across the street, the corn fairies dust those tassels and tend to the stalks and get that crop ready for the artiste…

Get the butter out !  HN


~ by hnartisan on August 12, 2008.

2 Responses to “Waiting…”

  1. Ever since Zola went with Linda I’ve been sitting here checking out your blog like you told me to. See I do listen!! You are so talented in so many ways. Your loving, kind way that makes Zola and I love you you so much Your writing is so wonderful and filled with your humor that I adore. The way your pictures capture the wonder and beauty of this world along with the irony.I can’t wait until Zola gets home to show her what you wrote about the tadpole. Zola and I are so blessed to have you and Pat in our lives. I thank you both for being such positive and strong rolemodels for her.
    I love you both. I loved looking through your site. sue

  2. Ditto.

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