August 27, 2007

Perceiving the Deep
oil on canvas
30" x 30"

Out the Door

Here's the fourth in the series of Cornwall paintings. I'm posting this image even though it doesn't quite capture the true color of the original. I've fiddled with it sufficiently to say, in the words of Sally Evans's "modern day muse" Good 'n Plenty, "it's good enough and plenty good."

This will be one of three submissions to a juried show sponsored by the National League of American Pen Women, Atlanta Branch. The title of the show is "Reflections." All four of the Cornwall series -- my most ambitious painting project to day -- were created with this theme in mind, more or less.

All summer long I've focused on communicating the phenomenon of "reflection." What have I learned? A large project requires more attention, time, commitment, energy, intelligence, perseverance and hard work than a smaller one.

I am temperamentally more inclined to spontaneity and impulse, and prone to disappointment if my first efforts don't produce dazzling results. I am learning, however, that painting is as much a practice as it is a project.
Beautiful work is really wonderful, but duds also brings gifts when one's real goal is to go deeper than one has gone before. What doesn't work at first can be re-painted until it does (within the limits of my skill).

Now the work goes out the door be judged: the 30"x 30" canvases reduced in size to about 3" x 3." Will the jury see what I see in these condensed version of my labors of love? Can their opinion matter and not-matter at the same time? What if i don't get in the show? What if I do?

*Check out Sally Evans's muse-inspired fine art jewelry at
. And for more about the extraordinarily helpful Modern Day Muses, you can visit

August 22, 2007

Stone Fence Cornwall
oil on canvas
30" x 30"

Dream Painting

At last I can show you #3 in the Cornwall series. (#4 is drying on the back porch and will be featured soon!)

"Stone Fence Cornwall" went through many changes on its way to what you see here, a rock wall that separates the distant headland, sea and sky (painted in cooler colors) from the foreground path, grasses and those unusual bushes (much warmer pigments).

I wondered about the significance of this particular clover-covered stone fence which I'd captured in a photograph a couple of years ago. Did it reflect some internal defense of which I was unaware? Should I take it down, or put a gate through it? This might have allowed the viewer's eye to move more easily from the near spaces to the more remote ones. But the wall intrigued me and so I left it intact.

To me, the painting makes a statement to me about the nature of here and there, now and then. By staying on this side of the fence, in the "here and now" space, rather than traveling to a place more distant (past or future -- your choice), I get to enjoy the warmth and brilliance of what's on my path. I can also look out over the fence to see more distant realms. And, if I'm compelled to go to those others places -- it's not a prison wall after all -- it's not that hard to climb. (Oh my! have I just defended my wall?)

Some paintings are like dreams and this is one of those sort. I'd love to know what you see in "your" version of this painting. Drop a line or comment in the blogspace below.

August 6, 2007

Sunny Vista, La Hueca
16" x 20"
oil on canvas

Palomilla's Cuban Restaurant

Maybe you read Cliff Bostock's review in last week's Creative Loafing, but in case you missed it read what he had to say about the wonderful Cuban food there:

"....Palomilla's Cuban Grill House *6470 Spalding Drive, Norcross, 770-242-0078) may well ruin my taste for food at other Cuban restaurants. This inconspicuous suburban cafe opened less than a year ago in a strip shopping center. It serves the best Cuban food I have ever tasted. And believe me, that's saying a lot. Years ago, I was married to a Cuban woman whose mother was a spectacular cook, and I've spent a good bit of time in Miami."

Those who know Cliff's work as food critic for Creative Loafing know he is no pushover when it comes to the appreciation of the good things in life. That's why I was so pleased by the next paragraph in his review:

"Palomilla's is as plain inside as it is outside. Brown seems to be the predominant color. An exception to the monochromatic scheme is the art. I was pleased to see colorful landscape paintings by an old friend, Ellie Harold, who was pastor of Unity Midtown about 15 years ago."

If you're withing driving distance of Norcross, I hope you'll treat yourself to a great meal. And while you're there, check out some of my Caribbean paintings.

(When I first visited Palomilla's I too was struck by the brown-ness of it all. I contacted Elizardo -- the other Ellie -- to see if he'd like to show and sell my work on consignment. He was delighted. This arrangement makes certain I'll get some of their tasty food -- I like the hefty portions of black beans, rice and plantains that accompany the entrees -- and enjoy my own art while I eat.)

The other night I got a call from my first customer, a gentleman wishing to purchase "First Light Playa Esperanza" for his wife for their anniversary. I'd thought the only outlet for my Caribbean art was in Vieques. Who knew being wrong could feel so right!