Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red River Rats

If you've visited in the last few weeks, you know that I was recently an Artist in Residence with my friend, Denise, in northern Texas. Her professional name is D. LaRue Mahlke and she is not only a great friend, her pastel landscapes are fantastic, award-winning in fact! Check out her website and see for yourself here: www.dlaruemahlke.com 
We explored all around the wide Gateway to Texas, finding the Red River itself and lots of wildlife, including a coyote that was loping around the edges of this spot. But don't worry; we had two intrepid bodyguards watching out for us. They were also our chauffeur/tour guides, sherpas and photographers. Thank you, Jim Clark and Val Varley! They are immortalized in my little painting: Jim's in blue and Val's in red.
Jim and Val are key players in the AIR program in Clarksville. Val is the president of the Red River County Historical Society, which sponsored us. Jim's family founded the town back in the 1800's and owned a lot of the land that people in our history books walked over on their way into Texas! Also very interesting was learning that the last person to live in the Lennox House, where we stayed, was a woman named Martha who, like us, was an artist! She attended art school in the early part of the 1900's at the Corcoran in DC and the Art Student's League in NYC!!! This is a serious artist! Her paintings hung throughout the house and were very strong and bold; quite inspirational. We will continue to create works from our stay there for a while, and plan to go back very soon. 


Friday, November 2, 2012

I'm back from the Artist in Residence trip that I told you about, plus trips to the west coast and the east coast!
The picture shows our time of mentoring the students of Clarksville, TX (http://artistinresidenceredrivercounty.blogspot.com/p/about-clarksville-red-river-county.html ) More pics and stories to come, I promise.

The most important lesson I'm learning right now in my painting and my studies is that there is no short-cut to genius. Greatness requires work and more work!
Coincidentally, that is the subject of the current Twice Weekly Letter from Robert Genn and the Painter's Keys! Take a look:

There's a great story in David Bayles and Ted Orland's Art and Fear. Here it is:

 "The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of the work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work in the "quantity" group: fifty pounds of pots rated an "A", forty pounds a "B" and so on. Those being graded on "quality," however, needed to produce only one pot--albeit a perfect one--to get an "A". Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of the highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the "quantity" group was busy turning out piles of work--and learning from their mistakes--the "quality" group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay."
So, perfectionists take heed! Inspiration comes to the one who is already at the drawing board, not the poor sap who is just waiting for inspiration. 
I would encourage you to sign up for Mr. Genn's newsletter. It's a never-ending source of knowledge and insight: http://painterskeys.com/
I'll be back soon for more pics and stories, as I said~ Thanks for stopping by!