|"A Murder of Crows Takes Flight"|
Steven B. Rogers - Watercolor (2018)
When I was a kid my father found relaxation painting by numbers and I tried to emulate him. Like most of my life, I have never been happy staying inside the lines. And like most young students I received some basic art instruction in elementary and junior high school. I also enrolled in a couple interesting studio classes when I attended a German university in the early 1970s. I learned basic principles about color, perspective and composition and I experimented with oil and acrylic media. The results are thankfully long lost and forgettable; I never found a comfort zone in either. What I learned, however, made it possible for me to appreciate the work of others far more talented than I and I love to ramble through galleries and art museums. The humorist David Sedaris, when asked why he did not continue with his art school education, admitted that most of his fellow students had something he did not. "They were on fire for the visual arts . . . I was on fire for writing, not for painting." As an artist I have also found it easier to paint with words than with pigments.
I find my dabbling in paints is in a way cathartic, something my writing is normally not. I write about things that have deep meaning for me, or as a way of putting order to a position or debate; I do not necessarily look at writing as an emotional release. With painting I do. Having lived with a visual artist for the past 40+ years it is difficult not to think about painting. SallyAnn works mainly with watercolors and gouache and she has taught me an appreciation for what one can do with these media. Add to this the minimal muss and fuss they entail and I have grown comfortable using them for what I am trying to accomplish when I dabble. Perhaps it is an emotional release as colors appeal to the eye, black on white print may not.
That said, my watercolor/gouache paintings tend more
Steven B. Rogers - Watercolor
I recently finished Alyson Richman’s The Last Van Gogh (2006), a historical novel dealing with Van Gogh’s final two months painting in and around the French village of Auvers-sur-Oise in the summer of 1890 before he allegedly shot himself. He died two days later at the age of 37 having sold only one painting in his lifetime. Since I like many of the dozens of paintings Van Gogh executed during those final two months of life in Auvers, I was curious which is considered to actually be his last. Many experts seem to agree that it was "Wheatfield with Crows," painted circa July 10, 1890 (he died on July 29) although it is difficult to date his final paintings with any accuracy.
|Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam|