blast from the past

flowers in plastic jar

I painted these flowers ages ago.  I got them from my parent’s backyard and assembled them quickly in a plastic storage container and painted them against a blue cloth.  I was emulating a style of some artists I knew who all went to the same school.  It intrigues me to see it now.  I like the painting, but the sensation is like seeing a picture of yourself wearing glasses from some other era.  Looking at the painting now I see lots of common feeling with the way I paint flowers today and tons of difference too.


Another visit down Memory Lane

I was going through one of my big boxes of stuff and found a little booklet called “Landscape Painting in Oils,” by Leonard Richmond published by Pittman Publishing in 1962.  I was only seven years old in 1962 and not yet painting, so I’m guessing that I acquired the book (however I acquired it) somewhat later.  Certainly by the time I was in high school I was attempting landscapes that had a bit of the feel of Richmond’s work — so, possibly he was among my “early influences”??

Be that as it may, everyone has had that experience of the sudden rush back through time.  Whatever opens the door to the past brings with it a set of ineffably wonderful related memories.  For a second, it was like being young again — like breathing the air of my childhood:  Mom in the kitchen fixing supper, Dad with his head under the hood of a car in the back yard, and my cat somewhere nearby available for petting.

I had stored the book with the page open to the image above, thus I infer that it was something of a favorite at the time, much later on, when I packed the big box of stuff.

Richmond died in 1965.  An internet site selling one of his posters describes him as “a British graphic artist and poster designer. He studied at the Taunton School of Art and the Chelsea School of Art.”  He was born in 1889.

journey of the pencil

So you paint the pictures as you might walk through the places, and you notice features and ask yourself questions about this and that as you go.  Your painting is like walking, and you don’t know what the scenery will look like until you come upon it.  The drawing as it unfolds depicts the real landscape, and you are moving through its spaces vicariously by the act of drawing.  And the thoughts along each passage are like footsteps.