Sunday, February 11, 2007

I've been busy

This first one is based on a Man Ray photo of Meret Oppenheim from 1933. The background is based on an old beat up Oriental rug I have. I'm not sure whether to leave Meret in just Conte pencils and charcoal or color her. What do you think?

Meret on a Rug. Charcoal, Conte pencils, acrylic on watercolor paper. Approximately 14" by 11"

This next one is pretty much a throwaway. I was looking for paper and found an old charcoal drawing I had done. I started to play with it and this is what happened. I find it interesting if flawed -- which it is.

Study in Blue and Green

Watercolor paper. Charcoal with acrylics. 9" x 12"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A couple of new paintings

Neither of these is finished (I think). On the right is a new one in a series influenced by Jean Dubuffet. The colors don't show up very well in the photo. I don't like it as much as the "Sunbather" but anyway...

"Black Sand Nude". Acrylics on matboard with NC sand. Approximately 17" x 11"

The bright one below is done with a new type of acrylic paint that makes blending much easier and more controlled. I'm still getting used to it. This one is definitely not finished.

"Red Hot Chili Peppers". Atelier Interactive acrylics on canvas. Approximately 16" x 12"

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Why Saxapahaw?

A month ago I moved to Saxapahaw, an unicorporated community 15 miles west of Chapel Hill/Carrboro in neighboring Alamance County. The town is named after the Sissipihaw Indians who used to live in this area. It was something of an impetuous decision adding 15-20 miles to an already long commute to Raleigh for the real job. My work day now starts with me leaving my loft at 6:40, driving 17 miles to the park and ride, catching the bus to Raleigh, another 30 something miles, arriving at 8. If I catch the 5:40 bus back I make it to Sax at 7, for a 12 hour day.

Why, you the average, sane person might ask, would I do that? Well my third floor loft is in an old converted cottom mill with beautiful redone maple floors, a 15 foot ceiling and 2 big windows looking out over the Haw River (photo above). I watch the sun rise and set over the river, I walk along it listening to the river running over the rocks and see Venus rising bright in the west.

A big heron lives here and today, home because of the weather, I saw wood ducks and mallards (I think) and several other species of birds. At dusk I saw what I assume is a beaver swimming upstream. Maybe a river otter.

30 years ago the Haw ran red, yellow, blue or green depending on what dyes the textiles mills were using that day. Now, 10s of thousands of North Carolinians have lost their jobs at those mills but 100s of thousands of plants and animals have benefited. The river is now a haven for canoeists and kayakers and flows (reasonably) clean.

Soon I'll have a kayak and I'll be able to put in right by the mill. There is great camping downstream on islands and bank areas. So I accept the commute and the lack of civilization. And I paint.