Working From Memory

As an artist I’m drawn to a variety of subject matter, from mountain ranges to my wife cooking in the kitchen. There is conventional beauty as in a sunset or arrangement of flowers and beauty found in the arrangement of shapes, values and subtle changes of color no matter what the subject. The best subjects are the ones I stumble upon when I don’t have my paint box, drawing pad or camera ( yes, I do use photography). Being unprepared is the  best time to exercise your memory and imagination. The camera is too static, it’s hard to break away from the framed image and use your imagination to improve on technique or composition. All the things I do when I’m not painting offer the best chances for exerciseing my imagination. Sitting in church and watching the light from the window fall on the side of someones face. The arrangement of vegtables at the market, or traveling through New Mexico on my way to Oklahoma City, which I do several times a year, and seeing all kinds of compositions along the Rio Grande. During these times I play the scene over and over in my head trying to remember large shapes and tempature contrasts. Then when I finaly pull into my cheap motel in Tucumcari I can put the scene down in pencil or on a 6×8 panel in oil or pastel, again just the major shapes that made up the quick glance out of the window.

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