Sunday, July 29, 2018

Landscape with Rainbow
20 x 24   Oil on Linen

I went to a concert a few nights ago and they were playing a piece I had never heard before, Theodore Dubois' Quintet in F Major for Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano. Vassily Primakov was at the piano and it was a thrilling performance. I often close my eyes when I am at a live event so I can feel the vibration of the instruments and let the music wash over me. This time, however, I watched as they played. As they began the first movement, allegro, the musicians all glanced at each other as they played, looking for a connection to each other and to the piece. In the second movement, canzonetta: tranquillo, the connection was there. The third movement, adagio non troppo, was intensely beautiful. The final movement, allegro con fuoco, was played with an appropriate fiery energy. The eyes of the oboist were large and alive, the violist was often lifted from his seat by the fury of the music and Primakov was indistinguishable from his piano. Their hands flew and their hair bounced on their heads. I was fascinated by how the body language helped express the music and wondered how the body language of the artist could help express what they were painting. Often when I watch artists paint there is no excitement in the process. Each color is carefully mixed and placed on the canvas. But I remember watching my teacher when he gave critiques in the classroom and he was quite lively. Some colors were mixed gently and lovingly on the palette and applied tranquillo to the canvas. The shadows were applied adagio, but not too slowly. The middle tones came faster, allegro, and the biggest lights were mixed in big impostos on the palette and applied to the canvas with fire and power. He lunged at the easel, his hands flying, he was indistinguishable from the canvas.....
By the Brook
8 x 12   Oil on Panel

There is a brook that runs through the center of town called the Flower Brook. It is the pathway for rainfall and snow melt to find its way from the mountaintop, down through the Mettowee valley, to the Battenkill River. In some places it takes a narrow path, trickling over some rocks. Other spots are wide and deep enough to do a little fishing. In the middle of town there is a dam creating a waterfall which sends the brook to run under a bridge on the main road and behind the general store as it continues its journey. There is a spot that I am particularly fond of, not far from the road but secluded and quiet. I like to go the there on hot summer afternoons to cool my heels and watch the dog fetch sticks as she swims in its gentle current. Today was one of those days. I left the dog at home, however, and instead took my easel to spend the afternoon painting by the brook.....