I love to make paintings. It is exhilarating and dangerous to do. That makes me feel super alive. People might love it, reject it, or worse, ignore it when they see my work. When I am painting it is because I see something, usually the landscape, that inspires me to put color on canvas to ultimately speak to other human beings about something rather miraculous that I keep seeing - the very fact of our existence, and the existence of the world and beyond. When painting goes well, I feel a clean flow of energy from my body through the paint to the canvas. Hours go by and then I am suddenly done, I have said all I can say. I put my tools away, carry the painting home and leave it to dry a while, then one day I bring it to you, as you see it now.
The mobile buzzed, the tide was going out, and I still wanted to make it home to dinner. I had some pink not pink going in for the trees on the far shore of the tidal river close to the reversing falls that I needed to get right. The sun and clouds were moving (don’t they always?) which means I had to work fast to get that moment that would make this painting sing. Spruces and aspen trees stayed put, as they should, so they went in quickly. Below me the water tingled and sparkled daring me to paint it this way, so I did. It was ex-hilarating, exhausting, and totally what I love do-ing.
We arrive mid-afternoon. The unpacking and setting up begins at the Roaring Brook lean-to. My friends are beginning to unwind, I am getting wound. This is the good stuff. I grab my gear and leave the scene at a fast pace for Blueberry Knoll, one of my favorite places to paint in Maine. Time will be tight to pull this off. Probably about one and a half hours later I put up my easel and point toward the Great Basin, an old glacial cirque, and begin to put color to the canvas. At first, just before the blue line drawing is started, a swirl of ideas and possibilities crowds my vision. Then clarity comes. The idea of this shape, that ravine, an edge of the skyline undeniably presents itself and I begin. This is how it goes. It is intense, focused (sometimes I have to leave in a hurry if I don’t see the moose until the last minute), and such an excellent moment to be alive. Then just as suddenly three hours have passed. The painting is done. I am done. I need to race down the trail to make it to dinner (before it is all gone). The light is fading now too. As I arrive the lanterns are lit and I am good, again.