Tools of the Trade, Artist’s Landscape


Tools of the Trade. Artist's LandscapeI have moved a lot, and realized a couple of moves ago that I am eager to set up my familiars, part for work part for visual comfort. This is my landscape, I make it and put myself in it. I love my stuff.

This is my old wooden gate-leg table facing the meadow and bridge, interceded by a big old River Nile Begonia, black violets, pink, white cyclamen, an orchid…..and the tools of my trade up close. Paint tubes and paint boxes, ink and varnish bottles, pens, brushes, notebooks, sketchbooks, papers, bits of cloth, cigarettes, red wine in a glass, half eaten sandwich, shelf of odd things, chocolate bar in the drawer with more brushes and rags, mucho festoonery. I like the stimulation of a crowd.

oil on canvas, 18 X 22

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4 thoughts on “Tools of the Trade, Artist’s Landscape

  1. This is most kind of you, John. The painting gives me a rosy glow because of my own association with what I’ve put in it, makes me happy. To know it affects someone else whose landscapes are so entirely different (wild wolves, soaring eagles, hawks, lions, cameras, lenses) is especially rewarding for this painter.

  2. How wonderful, Barbara! Your ‘familiars” are indeed a vital part of you as an artist and you have so wonderfully captured their particulars. It’s not just the ‘tools of your trade’ up close and vivid that amazes, but also the composition that brings them into such a living breathing dynamic relationship.

    Lights & darks, the positioning of objects – some shy, some not – the juxtaposition of vibrant colors, the whole visual ‘mess’ so absolutely inspiring.

    Thanks for an uncontaminated vision that can teach the rest of us to “see”!

    • What wonderful words you send in my direction, too delish. I will read this several times and live on it for a week. You know, I never really know what I’m doing. It’s not an idiot savant thing, it’s just years of practice, and I keep at it until I say, okay leave that alone (as you say, the shy stuff) and it’s too dark here and too light there. I do purposefully try to balance bright colors hither then yon. I am certainly having much more pleasure connected with painting than ever before.
      Let that be a lesson to the attendant novice out there, just keep at it and at some point you will be jumping up and down screaming WHAT FUN!! I HAD NO IDEA!! I promise.
      Thanks, John. You do my heart good.

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