The horrific events in Orlando have taken over my creative process in my studio since it happened nearly two weeks ago. As an artist, I paint what I’m thinking and feeling – first I paint in my mind (often while I’m supposed to be sleeping!) and then, ready or not, I put paint to paper in my studio.
As a gay American, tragedies like Orlando impact me deeply. My own family has rejected me on this “issue” and I’m saddened that hate and anything but complete acceptance, still fills many people on this planet.
So, I paint. And then I paint more as I process what happened in Orlando and the 49 young people who died. The painting below, one of my Pacific Northwest Rains series, is one that I finished this week. I’m conveying the lives of 49 colorful people (as the stripes on the bottom) who are being transported through a black line into whatever silvery “light” is above and next for them.
I’ll never forget what happened in Orlando and will be painting many more as I try to make sense of people like the shooter… and my own family.
I feel like a caterpillar.
After 12 years of my artist career, I’ve kicked off 2016 by examining everything I do:
Why do I paint?
What do I hope to share with you, through my art?
How do my inspirations guide what I put on paper?
Why do I love painting trees?
As I “metamorphosis” on these questions and more, I will share my discoveries with you this year. Right now, I can share a bit about those trees I love to paint so much.
As I travel my life’s path, I create idyllic places for me to “hide” — to keep me safe, and to belong — and all of these places always have trees. Trees that shelter, that protect, and that cool. Evergreens and aspens from the mountains of my native Colorado, and towering hardwoods in the forests of southern Belgium. Trees that have trunks with those crisp lines that I love.
How could I not paint these trees, in those idyllic places?
Well, I have my very first cruise under my belt – a week in the Caribbean, visiting ports from Bridgetown, Barbados to Isla Margarita, Venezuela. And, this is one of the first times that I’ve packed up my supplies and painted on the trip. My “flapjack” paintings were the perfect travel size, so I painted a bunch – all inspired by the Caribbean and island colors that nearly overwhelmed me.
How about I share some? I’ll give two of them away to the first two folks to leave a comment on this post. And, if you’ve won one of my free flapjacks in the past, please let some first-timers get these! I’ll also be adding several Caribbean Flapjacks to my Etsy shop in the next few days, so watch for those, too.
I’m excited to announce my upcoming 2012 Winter Painting Sojourn on the Oregon Coast, January 10 – February 7, 2012!
I can’t wait to stay in my usual spot in the tiny town of Oceanside, Oregon and get my fill of inspiration from the mighty Pacific, the lush and rugged coastline, wicked winter storms and the ever-present horizonline. In fact, let’s make that “HorizonLine”, and use it for the name of my latest series of paintings that I’ll be painting while on the coast.
As in past years, this is where you come in… I’ll be pre-selling a limited number of my new HorizonLine paintings to everyone before I head to the coast. With a color of your choosing, I’ll then paint your original 12 x 12″ painting during my sojourn, whilst I soak up all that inspires me there. Comment here or email me to order yours – I can only paint a limited number! Here are the details:
HorizonLine Paintings (Winter Sojourn, 2012)
Special Sojourn Price: $150 (regularly, $275)
Description: Each painting will be inspired by a color of your choice in my new HorizonLine style. Original paintings are watercolor on paper, mounted on gallery-wrapped, stretched canvas. Canvas edges will be finished with acrylic paint and ready to hang with a clean, frameless look. Each painting will be a finished size of 12 x 12 inches and protected with a final varnish with a UV filter. Finished paintings will be available for pick-up at a special studio exhibit on First Friday, March 2, 2012 (paintings can also be shipped for $15/each). I guarantee that you’ll love it, or I’ll return your payment!