I Dreamt of Trees and Sky… and Painted This

Did you know that I dream my paintings before I actually paint them? Well, I do — whether a daydream among a stand of rustling trees, or a dream while I slumber under blackberry skies, I see my next paintings vividly in my head before they ever hit my paper canvas. Huh… just like Vincent van Gogh who said simply, “I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream”.

And, if we’re talking about how my process is like the Masters, Picasso explained it in more detail this way:

“How can you expect a beholder to experience my picture as I experienced it? A picture comes to me a long time beforehand; who knows how long a time beforehand, I sensed, saw, and painted it and yet the next day even I do not understand what I have done. How can anyone penetrate my dreams, my instincts, my desires, my thought, which have taken a long time to fashion themselves and come to the surface, above all to grasp what I put there, perhaps involuntary.”

Here’s a large format painting I made after dreaming of trees and sky:

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“Dreamt of Trees and Sky”, oil and metallic watercolor on panel, 52 x 52″, $5,400.
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Summer Studio Sale

I’m having a summer studio sale! I’ve selected 16 (or so) original paintings on canvas and  have marked them down by 50%. Check out the selection from my studio wall below and let me know which favorites you’d like to add to your collection! Sale goes through Saturday, July 15th.

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Painting Details
  • Top two rows: 12 x 12 inches;  50% off price = $200 each
  • Bottom row, left to right: Painting #1 is a collage of 100 mini metallic silver squares, 24 x 24 inches, 50% off price = $600; Paintings #2-4 are a collage of mini metallic squares,18 x 18 inches, 50% off price = $325 each
I’ve posted more snapshots of these paintings, plus a few bonus ones on my Instagram.
To see more of these paintings on Instagram click here —> David Castle Art Instagram.

Thanks for looking, and happy summer!

Studio Snapshot

It has been awhile since I posted a snapshot of my studio… I’d sure be lost without my large, main studio table that I got at The Ohio State University’s surplus warehouse before we moved out to Portland! In fact, I’ve found several pieces of great “studio furniture” at university surplus stores, so if you’re looking for furniture you might check with your local universities to see if they sell surplus furniture and equipment.

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David Castle Studio – February, 2017

I Painted the Orlando 49 – Into the Light

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.

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“The Orlando 49 – Into the Light”, oil and metallic watercolor, 12 x 12 inches.

How Do I Solve A Problem Like Michael W Smith?

I’ve been a fan of Michael W Smith’s music for a long time – surely over 25 years.  His music and message always inspire me… all year around and at the holidays.  His music is especially a favorite of mine for listening in my studio.

I recently commented here that I was listening to some of my favorite holiday music in my studio, including Michael W Smith, and received an interesting message from one of my blog fans.  In a nutshell, the point was, how do I reconcile being a big fan of a musician who most likely would condemn and oppress me for being gay?  I’ll admit that it is a question that I’ve avoided researching over the years, not really wanting to confirm anything.  But, this message from a fan made me google around to see what I could find.  I didn’t really stop to think how I would solve this problem, depending upon what I found out…

Well, there doesn’t seem to be much out there about what Michael W Smith thinks of gay folks.  But, he does have a recent, dramatic video on his website that encourages conservatives to vote and highlights the fear of “redefining marraige” as a motivator.  He also seems to be a fan of Rick Santorum, and we all know what he thinks of gay Americans.

So, how do I solve a problem like Michael W Smith?  Is there a problem? Can I just not care what he thinks and still be inspired by his music? I’m certainly not a book-or-CD-burning kind of guy, but will I stop listening to his music?  Blech – I don’t know.

Maybe I’ll try focusing on a simple message that is on his live Worship album.  I wrote it down to send to members of my family years ago and dug it out to hang back up in my studio today:

Michael W Smith, live from his Worship album to the crowd in Louisville, KY...
Michael W Smith, live from his Worship album to the crowd in Louisville, KY…