Sometimes artists like to pretend by placing themselves as an actor in their visual play. In this painting, I imagined myself with a faithful dog, deftly maneuvering my way through the narrow waterways of the beautiful Italian city of venice. I like to think that it puts me in a long line of my art ancestors. The striped shirt, the sunglasses, the well-behaved dog, and the ship-shape organization of items stowed away is how I would conduct myself. As long as I’m dreaming, I’d have a great, strong, mellow, voice that would please all the visitors as I slid along the water’s surface, singing (in impeccable Italian) romantic songs with great emotion!
Drawing is important to me when starting a
painting because I’m able to organize my composition
in line much like the skeleton organizes our bodies by giving
them the underlying structure. By the way, being able to draw
is a skill anyone can learn. I’ve taught hundreds of people
over the years and I know it can be done…it’s a matter
of following directions and learning to really “see”.
If you know how to write, you already know
how to draw. What’s the difference?
The Blue Rabbit
While painting on location in France, I noticed a lot of commotion from some people standing thirty yards away in this scene. The tall, muscular man with his hands on his hips seemed to be the instigator. His large dog looked to me like he was imitating the critical stance and disapproving looks of the small group. The French sounds the group emitted were sharp and staccato. Curious to see what the group, including the dog, was looking at, I stopped painting and positioned myself to the left and behind the agitated threesome to getagoodlookatwhathadcaughttheirattention. Downthestreet,aboutahundredyards, two men wearing moving-company jump-suits with logos on their backs were carefully lifting what appeared to be gilded furniture, much as you would see at Versailles.
The group’s disdainful reactions reminded me of an expression my mother often used: “Jealousy rears its ugly head once again”. We’ve all been guilty of jealousy at one time or another. It’s not a very nice feeling—one likes to think of oneself as generous of spirit. Satisfied that I had discovered what was going on, I went back to my painting.
As I began painting the blue Volkswagen Rabbit parked to my right, it reminded me of a time when I was in desperate need of a car. “Put it out to the universe!”, my California friends said. Coming from the east coast, Thought they were nuts but I was game. So I told everyone I knew that I needed a free car. To my surprise,my lawyer friend Bob still had his car from college, and he was willing to give it to me because he thought I would appreciate it and take good care of it. After all, it was his baby, full of old memories and still in good shape. Plus,it was a red Volkswagen convertible! I had that car for several years and was delighted to pass it on to a good buddy of mine.