Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Use It

Or, lose it.  This trip to New York and the New England coast was most difficult from a painting point of view.

We arrived in New York after the Friday morning rush.  After Toronto it was an easy drive.  Why?  Right to my daughter's building and parking area on Worth Street in Tribeca, lower Manhatten.  I watched in horror as the driver took my car to an unknown parking spot in the sky - my painting equipment included.  Oh well, I'll get it back in 3 days I thought.  In the mean time my daughter tried to walk our legs off exploring what she thought we should see in the city.  Didn't work.  Saw all sorts of interesting things.  Since our last visit, much cleaner, less spooky, cell phones as part of facials welded to everyone.  We were hot, OK, I was hot.  We gained weight.  My favourite painting motif was.....

Three Of 'Em

Those wooden water towers are everywhere.  I got the story but didn't get to paint them.  Maybe in the studio.  Before we left we got to the Peanut Butter store.  UMMMM, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and sour cherry preserve!  Three in one, but no painting.

Left New York on Monday in the rush.  Still easy.  But rain began.  Got to the Cape in the rain.  No painting.  But lots of potential in Woods Hole.

Go Nautical, Avoid the Green

On to Cape Ann - in the rain.  I was sure my painting stuff was in the trunk somewhere.  Stayed in Rockport - great little spot - Seven South Street - close to town and the famous Motif #1.  And now sunshine!

Just Like 12 Years Ago - Almost

Now I'm not inspired to paint.  Can't settle into it.  Maybe in Gloucester Harbour........

Gone plastic

And the rain was coming in again.  Maybe tomorrow........  We are going to Kennybunkport.

Tidal Pond

At days end the sun appeared.  Suddenly I want to paint.  Set up on the road - sure, may as well practice dodging cars.  In my mind this is a bit nautical and fits the series I have going at home.  Concept, thumbnail, I know what I want to do.  I see the shapes, the colours.  But - can't do anything.  Can't mix, can't get the values, can't paint.  Frustration.  Scrape it off?  Why bother, it's a skimmer.  Amazing, confidence disappeared, can't focus.  What to do?  Well, it is like starting all over again to some degree.  Have to get back in shape.  Step two tomorrow.  We travel to BoothBay Harbour.  Beautiful small working harbour and the sun cooperates.  Set up, choose this as a nautical motif - had seafood so...

Captain Dave's Red Boat

I got further than this then packed it in so the couple on their 25th anniversary weren't bothered.

Thinking back to this trip it amazes me how my process erodes so quickly.  After initial frustration of not painting, I found it difficult to pick out a motif from the huge variety presented.  I felt rushed, not relaxed.  Then I started to doubt my ability to deal with them and confidence waned.  Then I became somewhat indifferent.  Of course I had excuses - my wife was with me, the sun didn't shine, it rained, was too cool, too hot......  Then I found I had a great deal of difficulty once I did get started.  Fortunately it is like running.  You get back to where you were a lot faster than a beginner.  So just keep on painting and relax.

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