March 7, 2012
The kind of painting I do is probably regarded by many as old fashioned or simply out of date. An artist friend says I should refer to it as representational, that is it depicts a real place. But one advantage of this kind of painting for the artist is that it recalls memories. I can look at one of my paintings and recall how it felt to be there, who I was with, what that particular scene looked like.
In my dining room is a large painting of a lagoon and a large gnarled tree. I took the photo I used as reference in Kew Garden near London many years ago. I had accompanied husband on a business trip. While he attended meetings, I took a train, changing trains several times, to the large expanse of Kew Garden. It was November and the air was rather cold and damp. I wandered around the place by myself with my camera. Few people were about. I don’t think I realized what a good photo opportunity I had by that tree and lagoon until later when the photos were developed.
Other paintings hanging in the main rooms of my house remind me of a boat trip on a Norwegian Fjord, wandering about the Denver Botanical Gardens with my daughter, a family reunion at a Y Camp in Colorado and a camping trip in Yosemite National Park. Now I’m painting new memories recalling an Elderhostel trip to Ireland six years ago and more recently an autumn scene at the edge of a pond back in the woods at a friend’s farm. I had hauled my easel, chair, etc. out onto a rickety old dock that was almost too narrow to hold me and my equipment. I was attracted by the bright red clump of vines clinging to a tree on the other side of the pond. Yes, I know it was poison ivy but who cares? To me it added just the right touch to a beautiful scene. I finished that painting today and have added it to the Rural Midwest page.