Leonardo da Vinci

Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art.

--Leonardo da Vinci

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Battling Inner Fears

In working for my upcoming solo show 'Impassioned', one place I wanted to paint was at the Astoria, Oregon waterfront. On Black Friday my wife and I had a book signing at Finn Ware and decided to spend a couple extra nights in order for me to do just that. One minor detail though, weather.... and it came in big. It rained pretty hard all day on Saturday and I struggled to find inspiration enough to go fight the elements for a plein air painting. We debated on having me paint inside our hotel room which wasn't cutting it for me. We went to the hotel rooftop and it still wasn't doing anything for me.
I knew I wanted to go to the waterfront, but was pretty unsure if I would find anything interesting to paint. So after vacillating for a stretch of wasted time, my wife said, "Just go out there, cause if you don't you'll be angry that you didn't paint something." (Victoria knows that I have a deep-rooted Scandinavian side to me.....:)
So I went to the car, grabbed my gear and reluctantly headed down to the waterfront getting soaked. Almost instantly I knew what I wanted to paint. There was an old red building on pilings that was just begging to be painted.

So I quickly set up my traveling peanut roaster and got to work. And while I truly loved the subject matter, I didn't know what it was other than an old red building on pilings. Turns out it was the Pilot House. So, the cargo ships don't just navigate up the Columbia by anybody, they have a River Pilot or a Bar Pilot navigate the waters. This is the house for them and the boat that delivers them to the ships. I've known for a while that this is what occurs, I just didn't know this was the launching point for that amazing transition of pilot to ship.

I also didn't realize that I would be painting one of the most important paintings for my show. A painting that made the back of my show card.

It's quite funny to me how razor thin the line from nothing to something can be. I struggled so much with trying to figure out what and where to paint. Almost didn't paint. And to quiet the negative chatter in my head that I'll never find something to paint, its not worth the effort, just go watch a movie and relax..... And if it wasn't for my wife's efforts to motivate me, this painting probably wouldn't be here. It's funny how life works at times when you rise up and battle through your inner fears.....

Pilot House
oil on panel
'Impassioned' opens First Friday February 3, 2017 at Art on the Boulevard Gallery 5-9 opening reception. Hope to see you there!