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  1 Starting this spring, and all through the summer, I’ve worked on only one painting. I’ve never invested this many calories into a single painting, this much obedience to the act of looking at a particular set of objects. I suppose this can’t be an entirely good thing for a person, but I’m pleased with the […]

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Catching up

I’m emerging from a tunnel of work on a single painting I began in May and finished last week, so I’m only now catching up with what friends have been up to over the summer. Rick Harrington moved back to the Northwest, where he grew up, and is now living and working in Portland. I was […]

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Pushing paint

There’s a great show in its final days at Oxford Gallery, abstractions from two artists whose work took me by surprise. The invitation card didn’t convey how effective their best paintings are, and, as usual, the work was powerful insofar as I was mystified by what exactly enabled their imagery to succeed. I’d seen Phyllis Bryce Ely’s […]

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Walt’s muse

There was a fantastic two-part bio of Walt Disney on PBS recently. It’s worth the time if you have a chance to see it. Here is a near-quote from the broadcast about a time in his life I considered one of the most interesting moments in the story: Underway was Cinderella. . . he seemed wary of […]

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Day in the life

Two days ago, I hitched a ride south to Bristol to help my friend, Ed, buy some lumber for a pencil post bed he’s making. He bought more than $500 worth of wood simply to finish the frame for the bed—he’s already made the faceted posts. While he was selecting his long boards, I picked […]

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Perceptual painting


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  A week ago, as I was looking for a photograph of the Stella catalog I mentioned in the previous post, I came across this pdf of a typed press release from MoMA about a Stella retrospective in 1970. Everything about this bit of public relations made me intensely nostalgic for that period in American art […]

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Gratitude is the only mood for a painter who realizes the most significant word in this sentence, from an unpublished essay by Joy Williams is “undeserved”: Behold the mystery, the mysterious, undeserved beauty of the world. The second most important word is the one she underlined, of course: behold. Excellent profile of her in today’s New York Times Magazine. The […]

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On the road again . . .

From Jim Mott: There is gift-exchange in my life, to be sure, but even I have never had the nerve to try an experiment as full as the one you undertook. Bravo! – Lewis Hyde, author of The Gift, praising Jim Mott’s itinerant art project  Traveling Artist Seeking Hosts for Cross-Country Painting Project: Fall 2015     [2015 tour webpage] […]

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Coontie hairstreak, stinky leafwing, yucca, snout, et. al.

A New York Times review of a book about butterflies and moths, unfinished and never published in its author’s life, sounds as if it’s worth a look. I see there will be illustrations of leaves in it. I’ve been laboring with the job of rendering peony leaves in oil paint over the past couple weeks–it might do […]

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