Rainstorm on Pond

John, I started having the most phenomenal experience with painting yesterday. I got to the gallery in the afternoon, late-ish. And I have to watch that now because I’m entirely accustomed to strong natural light and when the sun goes, earlier every day! Damn! it goes and then I go.

But I’m working (along with your portrait) on a large floral. Big waving flowers that increased in sized and long stems in a nice floating in the air thing, and starting some light along the top then I realized, oh, they’re underwater. So I kept increasing the water level on the horizon from about an inch to three inches deep and yesterday suddenly began distorting the tips of the blossoms that are both under and out of water and oh my God it’s beautiful! I got so excited by what was happening, totally thrilling.

Sometimes I really feel I’m beginning to understand paint and pigment and brushes and me and what I want to do. I’ve begun to think this long dry spell of no customers is destiny, and a chance to change my work and delve into painting again. I’ve always felt so serious about it. I produced a lot of work that I’m proud of during the Big Sur gallery spell, but much of it was fast, too fast, and I guess it’s okay because it allowed me to sell cheap. But I do enjoy the times I can really stay with a painting and work it. Not every painting lends itself to that. Sometimes you get at a finishing point fast, and there’s just nowhere left to go. I love painting water and its effect on things, and this is getting really wonderful.

oil on canvas
20 X 30 inches

What IS the magic in rain hitting the surface of a lake, the ocean, a stream, a pond? A plane of glass gets wind-rippled then punctuated by drops, distorted and pushed and heaved right and left by torrents from the sky.

I wanted to see the turbulent top along with a dunk below. The motion most intense at sky level, then gradually shifting the stems and roots underneath. When I see plants in motion (which is most of the time) I get a fine internal boost, I’m that sure they’re happy. As a friend once said, “Of course the wind loves growing things. Otherwise there wouldn’t be poetry.”

These are dark Prussian blues, rich greens. Waterlilies on the surface go from pale pink to yellow-whites. Some russet in the stems and great twisting escapades.



Returning Customers

I write about few of my gallery customers, though the experience warrants pages of description as the transferring of my art work from my hand to the far-off stranger is always full of meaning. The buyer’s privacy must be considered, too. But this is a noteworthy exception; the fine patrons of art who entered my gallery deserve celebration by all artists. This is hope personified.

On the first of July this summer, a wonderful couple from the Bay area (San Francisco environs) bought a large painting I’d done called Wild Blue Iris by Riverbank. I wrote about it then on this blog.  Their reaction to my work was memorable and divine to hear.

Wild Blue Iris by Riverbank

Well, they came back on the 26th of August, and bought 4 more paintings!

Stunning! Collectors of Sparhawks!

The first canvas in July, Wild Blue Iris, was destined (immediate decision) to go over their piano.  What a stunning thrill for this painter to see this couple return for more of my work! After the second visit, their house must be filling up with Sparhawk oil paintings. Their enthusiasm sure stayed with me; boy oh boy, it cancels out every despair.

That was quite a day. The sale itself is part of it, but even better is a confirmation that I’m on the right track, I’m painting in a way that moves people!

Wahoo! THAT’S success.

These are the new paintings they took back north with them:

Calla Lilies Against Blue Wall

Calla Lilies & Leaf Interior

Calla Lilies Against Red Wall

Flowers Against a Frozen Windowpane

To you lovely people: I hope these 4 new pictures make a splendid addition to the first one! and to your lives, and that I’ve given you interesting work to look at for decades.

Thank you, once more, for doing so very much for my heart.