Monthly Archives: October 2020

A look Inside?

A while back I painted a scene of pasture land down the road from me. We have scenes like this all around this part of the country. So I was a little surprised when a friend, looking at the painting asked, “Will people know what the dark area dividing the foreground and the background is?”

I asked, “Do you know what it is?” She said, Of course, I do, but I grew up here, and I lived in West Texas. I’m used to seeing them.”

I’m used to seeing them too. I loved walking in the bottoms of the really deep ones when I was a kid. It never crossed my mind that anyone wouldn’t know what it was. ( My depiction of a crevice may be at fault here )

We had an interesting discussion about the subject, and still thinking about our conversation the next day, I sent the image to my daughter asking her what she thought it was. She said it looked like a dirt trail to her…

I explained that it was a large crack in the ground. And how sometimes those large cracks would widened  into canyons. I thought I heard a sigh as she said, yes, she knew what crevices and canyons were. She reminded me that she’d played in them when visiting the grandparents in the country—it still looked like a dirt trail to her.

Curious, I pointed out ( doggedly ) that a dirt trail wouldn’t have the same characteristics as those of a crevice…she finally conceded that, well, maybe she hadn’t look closely enough…the image I sent wasn’t very large…and on second thought…maybe…( she wanted me to be happy 🙂 )

This made me think about how easy it is to see a thing only as it’s embedded in one’s own mind. My left brain knew it was a crevice and left no room for anything else. Again, I may have just painted a poor depiction of a crevice…whatever. I considered re-working it, defining it better. But as I studied my crevice, I decided, nah, it is what it is. The crevice, as is, would serve another purpose of art as well—something for viewers to ponder over and make up their own minds as to ‘what is that?’

Anyway, isn’t that what art and artists’ work is all about—interpreting nature and the objects of our world?

But, it also made me think that old adage of always trying to see the other persons side of things, might be a good thing to practice—in more things than art.

Until next time, thank the Lord for your life, for love and your liberty.

MaryJ 🙂 🙂 🙂 Don’t forget to vote!


Contrasts . . . everywhere!

I had to get up early to shoot this photo of the sun rising over the Red River. I love this time of day, so a few moments of less sleep was no sacrifice. I’m primarily an oil painter, but recently the call of watercolor sent me into the stockpile of images I’ve collected for years—a watercolor in waiting?

I’ll post the painting if it happens. 🙂

But painting is not what’s on my mind. The other day I’d had a long, busy day, and around 4:30 my automatic cutoff, cut me off. I fell into my favorite chair, muttered, “Whew, this feels good.” That got me to thinking about how things contrast and complement. If I’d been sitting in my chair all day, I wouldn’t have experienced the joy of sitting awhile. When the weather keeps us inside for days, we enjoy a walk outside even more . . . the low notes and the high notes are what makes music more beautiful, all low or all high would be boring. A painting needs the muted grays to make true colors exciting and lifelike.

Contrasts are everywhere in nature. We take for granted the differences, the push and pull that make life interesting. The sun is brighter after the dark clouds, rain is sweeter after a long dry spell, and eating is more pleasurable after the fast . . . one might think there had been a master planner . . . oh, wait, there was.

Until next time, keep God in your thoughts and enjoy the world He created for us.

MaryJ 🙂 🙂 🙂