Sunday, January 04, 2009

January 4, 2009
Woke up to more rain. In spite of the recent constant precipitation, we only cashed out of 2008 with about a dozen inches, which is about what we normally get every year. Speaking of last year, I saw a quote from a financial guy who said, "It turns out that 2008 will be remembered as the year nobody wants to remember." Or, words to that effect.

As I mentioned I had lunch with my favorite ex-wife last week. Here's a photo of us at El Encanto:

Left to right, that's Margaret (my favorite ex-mother-in-law), BBB, Olive Mondello (when we were married she was Terry T.), and her brother Mark.

Today, Olive sent me a photo of the two of us, circa 1975:

We're either on our way to a disco, or just back from Chess King (a popular clothing store in the seventies where I worked for a short period, and probably got that deco shirt). And, for the record, I hated disco and everything it stood for, although it seems rather tame, or less sucky, in retrospect.

Speaking of retrospect, I found an old photo of Lippo and Annie Asmus and I'll run that photo tomorrow.

I have been reading an inspiring book called "The Art Spirit" by Robert Henri. It was written in the early 1900s and has Henri's musings on what makes great art and great artists (in addition to being a great artist he was an influential teacher in his day). When I was in Georgia in early December, the director of the Booth Western Art Museum, Seth Hopkins recommended the book and when I got home I mentioned it to Kathy, and she thoughtfully got it for me for Christmas.

I have underlined and reread many passages, and I am really enjoying grabbing a few inspiring lines before working in the studio each day. One passage has really got me mulling my entire approach to painting and illustration:

"All work that is worthwhile has got to be memory work. Even when a model before you in the quiet light of a studio there must come a time when you have what you want to know from the model, when the model had better be sitting behind you than before, and unless such a time as this does come, it is not likely the work will get below the surface."
—Robert Henri

When I read this and then compare it to my painting methods, I realize I'm still riding a bike with the training wheels on the back. Ha.

Here's one more for good measure:

"The easiest thing is the hardest. It is harder to be simple than it is to be complex."
—Robert Henri

Tomorrow I'll post a sample of my "memory work" and model work for you to compare.

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