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Castle Rock Painting, Davenport Thanksgiving

I hiked up to the ridge above Castle Rock this week, carrying my paints and a canvas on my back. It was the first time I’ve been out in the woods in nearly two months. It felt so good. The wintry air cool and fresh. My muscles happy to be alive.

Looking for something to paint, I was struck by the low afternoon sun gilding the mossy edges of this tree.

Really I’d meant to paint one of the weird tafoni rocks there, but these glowing trees felt right, also the light was good, also there was a nice place to sit.

The receding lines of hills are pretty, and fairly easy to represent, you always see Sunday painters doing pictures of these. Back layers blue, middle layers green, front layers brownish.

An alien in the form of a manzanita or madrone trunk. Would be great to see a sped-up version of one of these trees running along the ridge.

It gets dark so freaking early this time of year. It’s night by 5. So why did they move the time back an hour? In my humble opinion, the two-times-per-year discontinuity in time-keeping called “Daylight Savings” is a deliberate move by our plastic industrialist rulers to dirempt our natural connection to the rhythms of nature. “They” want us to see Gaia as a mere machine which “they” control.

Why doesn’t anyone ever run for president on an important issue like the abolition of daylight savings time? When I was a boy in Kentucky, there was vigorous debate about the pols monkeying with “God’s time,” and daylight savings time was administered on a county by county basis, with counties swinging back and forth from year to year…

Ah, soft Edenic valleys. Looking past the ridge, I could see Monterey bay. I got a first compositional layer done on my picture, “Mossy Trees,” and need to work on it some more at home.

I got a lot of paint on myself. The only other people in the park were younger people with mounds of equipment for climbing on the rocks. They looked suspicious of me in my paint-stained Army-style overcoat. Such a thin line between a painter and a bum.

This cute little mandarin orange flew off our tree and landed on our porch railing. Sunny Californee!

On Thanksgiving, we went down to Four Mile Beach in Cruz, and then we went to the Davenport Cliffs.

These days I’m torn on whether or not to put SF things into landscapes. On the one hand I want to be able to do a landscape that stands on its own, on the other, it’s kind of fun to put in a tiny monster or UFO, like I did with “Davenport Cliffs.” “Lexington Reservoir” is a different kind of compromise; the birds LOOK kind of alien without actually being science-fictional. “The Talking Pitchfork” is yet another way of merging SF and landscape, here the alien being (a pitchfork) is the main element rather than a decoration. I’m not sure what I’ll do with “Mossy Trees.”

Glen says it would be a mistake to always put in an SF icon into every picture, he says that would be “Blue Dog art,” like that guy in Santa Fe (?) who sticks a “Where’s Waldo” type Blue Dog into every canvas he paints.

Love the view down off the lip of the Davenport Cliff.

Thinking about that painting while standing here, I’m running into the downside of trying to sell pictures: worrying about what’s commercial. I figure I can make “Mossy Trees” so hallucinatory that it doesn’t need a saucer. Speaking of selling pictures, I’ll have posters of my newer pictures online soon, and I put up a price list for a limited selection of them.

Yadda, yadda, yadda. Never mind that stuff, Ru, look at the gulls and green light through the breaking wave!

I found a terrific kelp “whip” at the beach and it followed me home. It has a float at the fat end, a long tapering stalk, and at the thin tip a “holdfast” that would have held it to the bottom. When alive, there’s ribbon-like leaves branching off the top of the float. I love these things. Tentacles!

Maybe a tentacle coming in the side of the frame in “Mossy Trees”?

6 Responses to “Castle Rock Painting, Davenport Thanksgiving”

  1. Vanderleun Says:

    The painting just needs to be worked up from the last image of the kelp whip.

    Canvas should be about 4 feet wide.

    Make it as close to the image above in color as you can. Two overlaid paralell line grids (one sharp and one shadowy) and a random meander of the kelp whip. Lose the small intrusion of the chair legs. Compositon is pretty much correct the way you have it.

    Work it to a very detailed finished and when you think you are done, rest a day and then go back and make it even sharper.

  2. Stuart Says:

    Rudy, do you think its possible to create something from nothing? Stuart

  3. Rudy Says:

    Vanderleun, that’s a nice idea for a painting. I might even do it.

    On the other hand, it’s always harder than expected to PAINT a picture even after I can SEE it.

    And I don’t know about 4 feet wide. A picture that big is hard to store, hang, or sell.

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance you’d want to commission it…

  4. Vanderleun Says:

    Nah. If I wanted that painting I’d just make it myself. Four feet ain’t much. Check out Motherwell’s Elegies to the Spanish Republic.

    As to selling, there’s lots of big blank walls in the world that cry out! Get a rep that sells art to high tech corporations.

  5. Ralf Says:

    »Mossy trees«: I recently found out (by reading an old book which became available online) that the reason why you got epiphytes on trees and we not is that Europe—and Japan—had cultured (artificial) forests since the middle ages. Actually, epiphytes are quite common where there is enough humidity but, obviously, they aren’t regarded as useful. Now, we would be glad if the U.S., Indonesia, and other countries would do forestry at all, mind you …

    BTW thanks for Postsingular!

  6. Davenport rock painting Says:

    Here is a link to a rock painting by Ian Davenport.
    It has absolutely nothing to do with what you write about here..but it sounds very much the same to Google.


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