Sunday, April 7, 2013

"The Stone House" And The Art Of Giving

“Before I can say I am, I was. Heraclitus and I, prophets of flux,
 know that the flux is composed of parts that imitate and repeat each other.
 Am or was, I am cumulative, too. I am everything I ever was.."~Wallace Stegner

Every artist has a place where their mind can rest and their art can roam free. "The Stone House", oil on canvas, 10"x30" is my place. It lies north of my hometown and is home to one of my closest friends and frequent painting subject, Gayle. The house is over 150 years old, and is nestled into the side of a hill, much as Gayle's history is nestled into this area. She grew up not far from The Stone House. It has been in her life always, and now she lives there. In this day and age that is rare, to have such a longstanding, immediate connection with your historical, geographical topography. It is stitched into her bones. She has a beautiful garden that is her pride and joy. Her family collects sap from nearby maple trees that they carefully craft into maple syrup. It is such a special place. I am fortunate that Gayle has let me into her world when I needed to start a new painting project. When I look back one day on the paintings I have created, I will be happy to group years' of work into one chapter devoted to Gayle and the Stone House.

Andrew Wyeth is a big hero of mine, and this painting echos of his works a bit I think. It is important to be inspired by people, by artists, but our own technique and creative fingerprints will always keep it uniquely ours. It is a nod to those who move us, and then we turn and do our own thing.

I have never painted the back of Gayle's house before. It is a bit of an illusion from this viewpoint, as there is so much more of the structure visible from the front, from the road. I have had this composition in mind for over a year. Snow is more fun to paint than foliage, so it was the right time to do this piece.

What you think, you become. Where you are becomes who you are. Gayle embodies these statements perfectly.

I love giving. And I love giving art to good causes! I recently returned from Gig Harbor, Washington, a beautiful little town near Seattle. I was out there to visit Bainbridge Island where an animal refuge is located. My friend Aaron Dunlap is bicycling from Las Vegas to Kansas, and then competing in a race in Euphoria. Aaron had the idea to do a fundraiser to raise money to help West Sound Wildlife. Click on their name and you can also donate to help injured wildlife. West Sound rehabilitates injured animals and returns them to their natural homes. All proceeds go directly to West Sound Wildlife. I had a great time there as they showed us around the facility. 

Aaron asked if I would donate a painting to the refuge. This is the piece I created. A little Saw Whet Owl portrait, 12"x12", oil on panel. All donations will be entered into a raffle to win this little portrait. It could be you! 

West Sound currently has this little Saw Whet Owl. She will stay there permanently to become an educational owl for children and visitors. Her wing was broken when she was hit by a car. I was struck by hear beauty, innocence and utter helplessness when I saw her at the refuge. Reducing animal suffering in any form, large or small, is extremely important to me. They cannot stand up for themselves in many cases. We can stand up for them.

Have a wonderful day today, wherever you are. "The Stone House" is available through Abbozzo Gallery

"The crow wished everything was black, the owl, that everything was white."~William Blake