THE ART STUDIO as a WAY OF LIFE


I’m planning to make a picture book of my studios some day.  I wish to heaven I’d had the sense to photograph the first dozens of them.  But then it had not occurred to me that they were important artifacts to this life I’ve chosen, unique in form and content. Which is why what follows here is a kind of alert to my fellows:  Pay attention to your environs.    

CV, Corozon at Barn Studio                      Tack Room Barn Studio.  Mule Corazon awaits carrots, Holman Ranch

 

 When I move into a new place, and if you happen to have witnessed the before and the after of where I am moving in to, you might exclaim: 

 This is very like the circus came to town!  DSCF7016

 And you would be right.

 I adore Excess. DSCF7044 Profusion. Plenty. Hilltop House Studio, StripesCV, Studio, Holman Ranch Barn, plants   MCV, Gallery Interior 6 MCV, Gallery Interior 7

Daybreak, outdoor studio

(Brief aside: I don’t mean the yacht in the harbor. I can see going somewhere unique. However. It’s hard to imagine a more boring time than climbing aboard a big boat on purpose, jumping into the water below, climb back, eat drink jump off again, and climb back to be waited on by a dubious hired bunch who are expected to scrape, bow, take good selfies of you and your buddies, clean up purgative messes following your misbehavior, and the dreaded exposure to stranger’s body parts which may fall short of movie star perfection).

I am instead BS, Gallery Interior 3talking about the

MCV, Gallery Interior 2expansive joys of the luxury of emotion, and an excess of that which, with imagination and substance, you at once may call your own no matter your finances because you carry it with you wherever you are.

DSCF5695   DSCF5715   It’s given me endless pleasure and I want to pass it on in case you haven’t discovered it yet.

It is the business of living inside who you are.DSCF5121.JPG

 

DSCF5096Ever since I was the only grown up at home, which is presently and has been a very long time prior to now, I have by accident then by purpose centered my nesting around my studio; the rest of my life spirals out from there, cornucopia form.Mid April Big Sur house 008

 

I had a friend who wouldn’t hear of it for herself.  A fellow painter.  She could not bear the thought of waking up and going to sleep on unfinished work screaming at her in the dark, hectoring her in daylight: yes yes and yes: One’s painting(s) in progress are thoroughly in charge of your life.  Her finished work she did very moderately display where she lived, and you really had to have it pointed out to you.

 

Well then, I am a glutton for torture by her defining.  DSCF4608By my defining? I like immersion.  I rather like the communicating with my paintings and drawings, and therefore want all my work around me always and forever up and down the other side of every existing wall that makes up my home. WallDSCF4047 It does not torment. It edifies. It expands my history. It lays bare where my brain was heading on days I can recall at once with every sense I have and more. It fills my eyes with colors I will always think are marvelous; it fills my heart with emotions to see the portraits of flowers, the faces of friends, both animal and human.

Now that’s a fine excess is it not. I’ve only just begun here, the new place.DSCF7014

 

You know, Turner chose those paintings of his he wanted buried with him bless his heart, something I understood the minute I read that because of the intensity of love for some particular ones of your own work. Fortunately for the world nobody paid attention to his post mortem demand.

(I do pray you have not troubled your soul by watching the recently released Turner movie.  It is a blatant assault on a lively genius with the courage to depart from the rigid demands of artist-as-documentarian, and to launch an opposite, headstrong appeal to the human heart. More on the wretched movie which depicts Turner a brainless bouillon, another time.)

 

Back to STUDIOS.

 

I have another friend who, though a professional photographer, will not hang her work around her in her own home for fear critics will disturb her balance. I get angry at her for that, but know I may have overcome my own same terrors by finally opening one gallery of my paintings, then another. I hope she will do that, too. It may be an uneasy thought initially, but once you plunge in, you will be pleasantly surprised.

 

BS, The Gallery, April 18, 2010 023

The Hawks Perch Gallery I, Opening Day, Big Sur

 

The midnight before my opening, my paintings hung and windows covered with bits of unprimed canvas to frustrate the passersby until I was ready to open my doors to them, the broom at rest, the hammer finished with its day, the screw eyes and copper wire shimmering darkly from a far corner after so much action, the spotlights perfect; the rug just so, the bouquets perked and spread and lit, I sat alone at last amongst all this and trembled and shook and wept and laughed and tore hair and pronounced myself insane for the risk I was taking by showing my guts to the hard cold world…..before I finally went to bed exhausted by my endless internal tyrannies and remembered again the intent of joy that had started me on that path.  Mermaid Sign, facing right

 

 

I learned considerable in the days that followed.  As it turns out the world was almost universally as interested in seeing what I had up my sleeve as I have been myself.

                                                                     Cowabonga.

 They didn’t even have to like it all — though that was nice too.

But instead of my every unwarranted anxiety I got to talk with total strangers about my single brushstrokes! My PaletteMy palette!      

Why I painted what!Two Bouquets, new  Why I painted at all.

It was an unrivaled revelation of comfort and joy which had very rarely happened before in over fifty years of exploring my artistic impulses. You still have to be prepared for not making much money; if you’re at all well-located the overhead’s a killer and landlords are generally ruthless. Artist’s profiting from their art remains illusive, which is why it is so especially important that your fulfilment comes undeniable from you yourself.

 

Spirits Studio, full paintingThis is all to say I recommend making what you dearly love a current, pressing, unshakable, crowding, smelly, pushing shoving part of your daily existence. I would even go so far as to say that if you in this regard fail your art, that your dying breath will pulse forth the cry:  MY STUDIO….WHERE IS MY STUDIO…… 

….which should have been around you every minute of every day, and where, if we any of us have the luck of it, we get to die.

Please, pay attention to your heart.

 

Central Coast Skies


We don’t usually get this much rainfall but the past month has been water-rich and it’s doing marvelous things to the atmosphere.    Here’s a recent dawn…

DSCF6814

DSCF6802

We’re getting the huge picturebook skies I remember from childhood, those illustrations of clouds filling every square inch, huge and billowing, on the move….

DSCF6759

and an invitation to flight, don’t you think?  DSCF6762

Antoine de St Exupery, one of my favorite writers (Le Petit Prince; Wind, Sand, and Sky; Night Flight; etc)  said the most marvelous things about inspiring exploration:

Antoine de Saint Exupery quotes.jpeg

Only for the Brave ~ Storm Imogen Hits Cornwall


STORM IMOGEN

 ~ CORNWALL ~

(and keep going to the bottom of this post, nice Sparhawk Stormy Oil Paintings, too!)1.Cliffs at Sennen near Land's End in CornwallThey’re having a weather experience4.Cornish Coast at Porthleven, 20 miles east of Porthchapel Beach in Cornwall, (below is the lighthouse getting a drench……)6.Longships Lighthouse off Cornish coastand they have8.Cornwall had it before, quite a coastline.  2.Land's End, CornwallMust be some brilliant architecture and bricklaying because the houses survive the turmoil.  5.PORTHLEVEN IN CORNWALL, 63 FT WAVES IN ST IVES

coast of cornwal, Sennen 

 

 

Don’t turn your back on the ocean is still good advice.  9. Photographer towed 50 feet along beach by crashing wavesIf you’re out there taking pictures, don’t forget to duck (the woman above, a photographer, got knocked down and dragged fifty feet on the beach, and survived with a bloody face and broken arm).

 

You can be in for a great treat in the hours and nights following turbulent skies.

Big Sur Dawn sky

Big Sur Dawn, original oil painting by Sparhawk

 

Big Sur River Meets Pacific

Big Sur Dawn, original oil painting by Sparhawk

South Coast The Wild Coast Is Lonely

Big Sur Dawn, original oil painting by Sparhawk

 

Humans do like wild weather.  Some even paint it.

Ocean, Wild Sky

Big Sur Dawn, original oil painting by Sparhawk

and the sweet aftermath……

Big Sur Sunset, Dunes

 

Starry Starry Night, Sept '12

Starry Starry Ocean Night, original oil by Sparhawk

 

(Photos of Storm Imogen from The UK Daily Mail, February 9, 2016)

 

 

HERON in the MEADOW, Signs of Spring

Image


                                     HERON ON THE MEADOW ~~ Signs of Spring

Heron, 1     My neighbor and I spotted a marvelous tall slim bird in the meadow this morning, and it obliged my closeness  Heron, 2 with it’s

remarkable calm,  Heron, 3  coming I imagine with the knowledge it can fly off when choosing to despite my enthusiastic admiration, and prior even to that greet me with a stern and serious eye to eye challenge to its territory. Heron, 7 I don’t know what it sought here, or if it found the treat of frog or snake, the meal, the sustenance.  Or if, soaring over one Sunday afternoon, returned simply because it wondered what this lovely patch of flat ground next to the river held.   (And PS if you know birds and this is not a Heron please do tell.)

Lavender, 2

The
French Lavender, as well as the fruit trees in the neighborhood are in bloom.  And daffodils. 

The Carmel River, which by the way has gone from zero to 3 pairs of Mallard ducks in less than a week, and become a roaring fine waterway, wide, clear and deep again.

Last week four bold Kayakers showed for a day’s frivolity, and yesterday a fellow and his Labrador stopped off, and trotted out to center bridge to see what the steelhead situation was.

It’s spring.

White Dogs of Big Sur Clyde


 

DSCF2930There was interesting man named Clyde who lived in the whereabouts of Big Sur, I have no idea exactly where, or if it was full-time van and campfire life.  I’m not even 100% sure of his name, I think I got it right.

Clyde bred and raised dogs.  They were all white, blue-eyed, and some exquisite combination of wolf or coyote and Shepherd and/or Husky. Clyde was very precise about the combination, he knew whose mate was who and when and where and how old. 

DSCF2931I’ll say this about the fellow’s very mixed reputation (which ranged from fearsome to deranged to saintly), he raised the most marvelous dogs you would ever want to know in your life.  Angelic, healthy, beautiful, dispositions of poets, and providing companions for a lot of locals who were lucky enough to end up with one of Clyde’s dogs.  There are a lot of all white wolf-like dogs in the Santa Lucia hills there now.DSCF2929

DSCF2926He never seemed quite firmly robust, and sometimes the dogs looked underfed.  When we met he was in what are stupidly noted as the golden sunset years of a life, which I suppose I now qualify for myself and I can tell you for a fact it’s hard work and not often golden or sunny. That takes more work than it used to.  I took these photographs around 2010. Aren’t they beautiful creatures?  Wish I’d noted their names. 

I heard that Clyde died two years or so ago.  I never did have a long conversation with him, not once;  he’d spend time with locals  he knew  DSCF2928near my The Hawks Perch Gallery off Highway 1, at the pub next door.

I took these photographs with his permission.  That’s Clyde’s hand assuring these handsome animals I could be trusted to get near his vehicle. 

May they all be blessed in their lives after the loss of the ruffian who did such a nice job loving them.  You can see in their eyes how they loved him back.  Not a bad legacy, old boy. Au revoir, Clyde.

 

 

 

NEW CONTACT INFO and MERRY CHRISTMAS


My darling standard old buddy computer crashed.  I got about everything back (WHEW!) all my photos, boy was that scary.  But not my email.  I’ve been working on it about a week and not making any progress.  I have a new email for contacting me though (hope springing eternal) eventually the old one may come back to life.

thehawksperch@outlook.com

 

Please use this for now.

And anyone trying to reach me since last week, please give it another shot with this one.