For this Independence Day, I selected a page from one of my sketchbooks.
Driving down a dusty road in the middle of nowhere, this battered mailbox adorned with an American Flag and a small bunch of wildflowers caught my eye.
I stopped and the homeowner came out with a pack of dogs. I made this quick sketch while he told me about another road he grew up on. “At night,” he said, “it was so dark the only way you knew you run off the road is when bushes started whacking you.”
It was a hardscrabble life for this old Florida native. While the dogs jumped all over me, he went on talking, “you had to hold your own back then.”
Happy Independence Day.
This small painting from my sketchbook represents a tentative turn towards posting more personal insights into my creative process.
I’ve been carrying a sketchbook with me for over 30 years for no reason other than to hold on to something that caught my eye.
A way for me to keep things close to my heart.
Lately, I’m appreciating the value of them as I find myself reaching for one when trying to reconcile a painting problem, searching for an image, a note, jotted down decades ago. Often surprised by how a simple gesture in pencil or paint, ground me in the moment I recorded it.
The sketch above is from about 8 years ago. I’m there with the birds in the clear, cool air, gliding in the morning light. Its a light that I love to capture in egg tempera.
Its a painting I’ve yet to do in tempera, but its there waiting, safely tucked in the pages of my sketchbook. (more…)