I am excited to be working with Atrocious Poets on a collaboration. My art installation and their poetry responding to it will be installed in the small vault at the Old CourtHouse Arts Center in Woodstock, IL in November.

I have created a blog dedicated to this project:
JOURNAL – As It Happens – Atrocious Poets project
You can follow along my art process at:
There are currently two posts. The second one contains a video of me painting and another video of a color check of the lighting on the paintings.

1 the beginning
2 the middle
I will do a completion post also.

a family story – Looking BACK

I wanted to tell you about my one experience plein air painting.

32 years ago on 9-18-1988 my Dad died. So, I was thinking about him. And, I pulled out this paint by number he did in 1961. Dad and I always admired paintings of rustic barns and rustic frames.

He was so supportive of me and my art career. I could write tons about that, but this is about barns and paintings of barns. One thing he did wonder was why (after all, he had paid for most of my college education) so, why couldn’t he get me to paint a barn for him.

In college I discovered contemporary abstract art and never intended to paint barns. But, I kinda wanted to give him something for everything he did for me. So, I put my easel, brushes, turpentine, a canvas and oil paints into the back of my car and found a barn I could see from this beautiful forest preserve. The weather was great; I wasn’t plagued by insects or animals; only saw one person and the ranger. So, after a few sessions I painted this barn and later finished it in my studio. It was a pleasant experience, but I was not sold on plein air painting. But that is not the point.

I found the grasses and flowers and abstract shapes much more interesting than the structure of the barn. I gave this to my Dad in 1975. Given the lack of importance I put on the barn, it is not surprising, that in 1988 not long before he died, when I asked him to tell me the truth, “Dad, you don’t really like the barn do you?” He truthfully said “No”. I smile every time I think about that. You may try to please someone, but, you can’t always. I guess the important thing is that you try, and that they appreciate that you tried.

Interestingly, I pulled out another painting I did in the same year 1975. It is structured – like the barn – maybe I was influenced by that barn. I noted that the color palette is the same in all three paintings. Maybe in a way my Dad and I connected/collaborated – maybe that is the point.

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