Whiling the summer away
or, the one where wildfire smoke ruins everything and painting could be an escape hatch from it all.
I don’t have much to report but I’m here for you, reporting all the same.
Life is.. the crying game. you expect one thing and get another (who remembers??). Thick blankets of wildfire smoke shroud everything. it begins to weigh on your very person after many days. You start to wonder after things you best leave alone.
The fields are tall now, swaying so.
so many luscious shades of green, green yellow. It’s become one of my favorite times of year when everything is plump and green and thriving. even the weeds.
Storm chasing in this level of smoke is bordering on the ridiculous. You must put yourself in harms way to find the storm.
A tornado could drop on your head and you’d maybe miss it.
but yes, i still try to chase.
also laughable so far is my attempt to learn soft pastels. I’m so much worse than my ego can handle. so very very much floundering with powdery fingers.
I’m okay with being horrible at things for a time. It’s through that you learn to be less horrible and I will, but you won’t likely see anything for some time.
The frustrating and unexpected turn of mind that galls me is since i began thinking about paintings all i see is paintings everywhere.
I’m not sure why the visual language of a painting is so much looser than a photo. less precision, more focus on specific things. of course, you can control a painting in ways you can’t a photo—lest you use AI to make a bastard step-child.
I’m feeling a lot of things about this. The freedom to snap a shot on my phone because it will never get shared as a photo. A reference for some distant painting if i can ever, you know, learn to do this.
Also the pull of paintings inside the photos I make. feeling that very hard right now. making things a bit less clear. a bit less “truthy”.
I’ve mentioned before but as our culture tears itself apart, and the rural pits itself against the urban, I’ve found it harder and harder to romanticize the prairie and in some ways I think this has been my stumbling block for over a year. But introducing the idea of paintings, which are inherently romantic and made up idealizations of what we wish might be, more so than what truly is.. well it’s been good for me.
Is there a theme? Nothing is quite what I hoped. Nothing is quite so rich, or profound, or deep as I would want, and with that thinness comes time to question things which is decidedly an anti-summer way to live your life.
I still hold out that something slightly better awaits down the next road.