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Never Too Late To Learn

Blogs: #4 of 12

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Never Too Late To Learn

A recent theme of mine (if you can call my last post recent!) has been that I continue to learn something almost every time I pick up a brush. There are two flip sides to that. On the one hand, it helps me to realize that I haven't fallen into a complete rut; painting by rote the same thing over and over again. On the other hand, it makes me wonder why it took me so long to learn some of these things?

The attached image, as yet untitled and unfinished, is a case in point. For those who have looked at the history of my work this continues to be a move away from the majority of my work. While it is my fourth "seascape" or marine based painting, and while yes, boats are man made, it is very different from the earlier works, primarily representing more urban, man made structures. The techniques and methods used to capture the life of water and the life of the open light are different. A lot of it for me is experimental, meaning a lot of trial and error; a lot of error. But an old friend and mentor has come to my rescue again. Back in the early 2000's I took a series of classes at the New Hampshire Art Institute in Manchester, NH. One particular course was a figure painting class taught by Christopher Pothier. I learned more from that brief class than I probably had learned in all other classes combined. Chris stood by my side while we painted side by side, on the same canvas, explaining to me his technique and thought process. That six weeks changed my painting life. And as I have struggled to learn how to apply new techniques to new paintings, I stumbled on some of Christopher's videos on YouTube. He has his own website, a Facebook page and a presence on YouTube where he has generously posted videos of his work and his approach. I watched a 45 minute video where he explained some of his finishing technique and it was as if someone had turned on the proverbial light bulb. Viewing Chris as he worked and talked was as productive for me now as it was working side by side with him fifteen years ago. I will always be grateful to him for his generosity and willingness to share.

I had hoped to have this attached painting completed by now. However, as some may know, we are planning a relocation back to New England in the near future. Having one's house on the market and all that goes with it totally disrupts a regular routine, so sadly, painting has taken a bit of a backseat. We'll see how quickly that is resolved. Thanks for reading. CM