Wednesday, September 15, 2010

End of Summer: Memories in Oil

      A good man is hard to find but I did. Joe just finished repainting the bathroom and I took another look at the two very, very old paintings of mine I have hanging there. One was painted on the Vineyard in the backyard of Dianthe's friend. I don't know how I had the nerve to paint with strangers but I did.  The other was painted from a photograph at the Maxfield's place in Port Clyde, Maine. Every time I look at these two simple paintings of the end of summer I am reminded of those two especially good times.
(click to enlarge)
      I never planned to be a painter but at a teacher's conference after getting my Master's degree, I bought a $10 set of oil paints in a box that came with a canvas, brushes, paints, turpentine for cleaning and a medium. My first oil painting was sold at my big show Recombinant Imagery back in the mid-90s, bought by the daughter of a famous Australian painter, Sydney Nolan. I think the colors of Australia must be similar to those of Amarillo. I thought more abstractly than the two above, calling it The Panhandle with its squared landscapes and atmosphere, dust colored (with kitchen spices and sand added for varied textures), cattle, ranch, windmill and wide horizon. I wish I had a better photo.
The Texas Panhandle
      All you need are a few oil paints, brushes, Winsor Newton Medium to thin the paints, Turpenoid (odorless paint remover or brush cleaner), and something to paint on. You buy prepared canvas or make your own: gesso on birch plywood, shellac on cardboard, gesso on canvas. It is so much fun and probably my favorite medium after trying everything. You can paint over mistakes.


  1. How exciting to see your very first oil painting! And I well remember those two that hang in the bathroom. I love them! AND I can tell how spiffy that bathroom looks now, all freshly painted. I am eager to see more oil paintings from you, and I know Joe is equally eager.

  2. I ditto EVERYTHING Alice said. You are going to feel like you are in a NEW house after all your wonderfully fresh results from cleaning and painting. Inspirational!

  3. Your painting of the Texas Panhandle is right on! I can close my eyes and smell the dust. One time my dad & brothers went fishing and came home in a huge sandstorm. The chrome on the front of the car & the front windshield had to be replaced because they were so sandblasted. THAT'S a sandstorm!

  4. You gave Marjory one of your Panhandle windmill pictures and I've been jalouse ever since. I think it was a sketch. I love all three pictures on this blog. My favorite is the top one. Rosemary's story is especially interesting since my dad grew up in the Panhandle, and I grew up in Western Kansas.