It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here.
This is the view from my gallery/studio. We really needed the moisture and it made everything absolutely beautiful.
When it cleared off it got pretty cold. A brisk 1 degree this morning. Off to the studio I go.

We’re in the final countdown to Christmas. It’s been very busy since I returned from Zion in November.Pick up a real nice commission that I’ll start after the first of the year. The client and I have been talking about this since early last summer. Looking forward to it. It’ll be the largest easel painting I’ve done, a huge 72 inches x 84 inches. I’ve done murals larger but not an easel painting on canvas. Have to get custom made stretcher bars for this one. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

A few years ago I was in the Tucson & Tubac areas of southern Arizona for about 10 days doing some painting and for a show. I’ll be the first to admit that I had some trouble with painting the desert. I could see some of the beauty in the early morning and late afternoon hours when the shadows are long but I really struggled in coming up with what I considered worthwhile material.
As is typical, the mid-day light doesn’t offer much interest on the subject matter so I usually look for something else to do like maybe go take a nap. Sometimes I’ll see if there is an old used bookstore to hang out in. They are getting hard to come by these days.Tucson has such a store. It was huge. What a joy.
You may recall awhile back that I mentioned a book called Art & Fear by Ted Orland and David Bayles. I’ve quoted from it a time or two. This is a must have book if you are interested in the pitfalls and trepidations we artists go through. I highly recommend it.
While in North Carolina one time I came across a newer book by Ted Orland, The View from the Studio Door which picks up where Art and Fear leaves off. It is as good as the first one and a worthy read. A sequel if you will.
Many of the books that are of special interest are no longer available however. Out of print for one reason or another. Many have lived their life and are old. This is where the used book stores come in. This particular store I found had hundreds of books. Probably thousands, on every subject matter under the sun. Many first editions of old classics. I spent several hours there on two occasions and never got out of the art section.
One book in particular I had been looking for is Art Spirit by Robert Henri. I had heard of it and have a friend who quotes from it regularly. He had loaned me his copy but I wanted one of my own. Henri gives some phenomenal advice not only on how to treat various subjects in painting but wonderful insight in how to live your life as an artist.
This is all circa the early 1900’s but as appropriate today as ever. Good stuff to be sure. I am currently rereading Art Spirit and find it just as engaging as the first time.
Moab has a pretty good used and new book store I found while I was over there for the Moab Plain Air Festival a couple of months ago. He’s got a descent selection for no bigger than he is. I imagine the internet has made it hard for some of these old bookstores but the world wide web can’t take the place of the musty old smell and the warmth of a physical bookstore.
There’s three really good choices for you if you are looking for something for the artist in your life or perhaps if you are interested in the artist’s life yourself. I know I’m a little late getting this out to you but Amazon can do wonders in time for Christmas.

Alrighty then. If I don’t see you beforehand, here’s hoping that Santa finds your house.
Thanks for tuning in.