Yes, it has been a while since I last posted, but you will survive. Meanwhile, I have been doing some rooting around in various old boxes and files and discovering all manner of little gems. As most of you know, not only do I write novels, but I am also a trained artist/designer and made my living designing stuff. That was my professional side. I also draw and paint for no gratification other than my own. There was a time I intended to sell it, but my spousal-unit nixed that idea mainly because I wasn’t very prolific and generally ceased painting about 30 years ago. I have to agree with her. My art was my children, and I wish I had back the few pieces I did part with. One thing I said I was going to do when I retired was get back to my personal art. It has taken two years of retirement to get even close to that.
Back to my rooting in files and boxes. In doing so I discovered some artwork I did years ago and just kind of stuck away. As I looked at the pieces, I was thinking I really liked them, wished I had done more, and should frame them to protect them for my kids and grandkids and great grandkids. Two of the pieces I found were done in colored pencils under rather unusual conditions. I was deer hunting in Brookhaven, MS and about 30 feet up a tree comfortably reclining in my Tree Lounge deer stand. The Tree Lounge resembles a lawn lounge chair, the kind with the canvas sling to sit in. They are relatively safe from falling out of, and I have spent many hours snoozing in mine while untold numbers of deer safely grazed under me. I did manage to take a few deer from my Tree Lounge. This trip I took a sketch book and colored pencils up the tree with me and instead of napping, I drew what I saw around me, mostly other trees. Thus I present two sketches done in my Tree lounge.
I also discovered a pen and ink drawing of my wife’s family home from her mother’s side (Haley). It is called the Chilton Home, I suppose because some dude maned Chilton built it, which was back around the Civil War. The home is in Oxford, MS. It is no longer owned by the Haley family. Its current owner is a New Orleans chef who opened a restaurant in Oxford. He completely renovated the home.
All this motivated me to get the pencils out and do another drawing. Since my pencils are long gone somewhere, that required a trip to Hobby Lobby for more. The drawing below is a product of that effort.
With a full head of steam up then, I decided to drag out my brushes and paints and do a painting. But first some history. I am the type who needs near instant gratification when it comes to art. Most of my paintings-of-old took weeks or even months to finish. I once commented to a fellow artist from California that I liked my art only after it was finished. Her comment was she enjoyed every brush stroke of her art, and my problem was I was too detail oriented. She was right, so my quest became to cut down a weeks-to-months-long process to a day or two. That meant really simplifying my compositions and the detail found in them. (This is why the pencil drawings appeal to me. They are faster.) I then selected a photograph of a beach scene I had from a vacation to Blue Mountain, FL and endeavored to paint it. I did it in less than two days, in fact maybe only about six total hours. It doesn’t have my usual detail, but I have my near instant gratification.
More to come on this subject, I hope …