Friday, December 19, 2008
I've been reading other people's blogs and finally I'm beginning to feel that we're all getting a handle on what we want to focus on. My interest is in the working landscape, and I'm beginning to develop painting ideas, using the mix of bird and plant details that I have typically in my paintings. I've been searching out the lists of endangered and native species from the available sources at VINS and VLT (as mentioned earlier). I am working on a series of landscapes, all idealized but with hints of trouble if you look carefully. Its exciting to feel as though this way of approaching a painting project-deliberately constructing the rationale for all the elements- can dovetail with what I do anyway.
The other thing that I've become aware of as I think about this project is the quality of my life in Strafford. I don't live there year-round, but I come up at all times of year. Our house if off the grid and on a small dead end dirt road, so after the drive up from Boston on the interstate the silence and peace is striking. I planted 20 apple trees then we built our house and now they all bear fruit; gradually I've enlarged the vegetable garden. My neighbors are all farmers on a small scale. But my husband and I are both painters and our primary purpose there is to paint when we aren't teaching (summers, in other words). I see this project as a wonderful way to connect to my community there- this project gives my work as a painter a visibility and purpose that lots of people understand.
I'm also continuing my search through art history for inspiration- here is one of my favorites-"Good Government" by Lorenzetti (Sienese 15th cent.).