Sunday, August 29, 2010

Book Report Due

@2010 P Scarborough  Tree Line 6x6 oil

It's the end of a long, lovely week.  Rather than blather on about nothing in particular, I'll

@2010 Private Property Cottonwood  7x5 oil

leave you with a few images from the last painting sessions.

@2010 P Scarborough At Dusk 6x6 oil

Tonight I'm starting a book by John Berger titled "Ways of Seeing". Quite frankly, I'm a bit nervous about it.  Writing about art is difficult, and reading about art is maybe even harder.  Surely by next Sunday evening I'll have something to share that I've learned.  In fact, grab yourself a copy and we'll discuss it.
Until then dear friends...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Healing with Art

Gosh, it's tough to remain humble when your name is in gigantic letters.

Last Thursday the fabulous staff at the Walkway Gallery, inside Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Ne. put on a lovely reception for my latest exhibit. 

@2010 P Scarborough  "Firefly Evening" 30 x 40 oil

Good Samaritan is dedicated to easing the strain of illness and patient anxiety by creating an atmosphere in which art can play an important part of the healing process. It's an honor to have been selected to exhibit my work in their gallery.

@2010 P Scarborough "Dowager Queen" 9 x 12 oil

Lots of wonderful conversation followed  lovely opening remarks by hospital staff. It was wonderful to be so well taken care of. 

The cookies were even designed to coordinate with the artwork.  Really, that is just too cool.


And huge thanks to my peeps for making the trip over.  What a cool crowd.

"Excerpts" will be hanging in the Walkway Gallery at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, Ne. through November 30th. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adieu Old Friend

Me wearing my awesome new Columbia Sun Goddess Booney Hat

I lost an old friend today.
I'm still in shock, actually.
Weird how you're just sailing along, assuming your world is just as it should be when - POW -
you're left reeling., having to re-think everything.
My day started beautifully, actually.  The heat wave we've been under finally broke, and I was thrilled to be able to go out to  my favorite painting spot and get back into a plein air groove.
I was just getting started, mixing lovely little puddles of paint to work with when *snap*
 . . . and everything I thought I knew changed.

My very favorite palette knife simply snapped in two. 
We'd been together for just  a short while, actually, but it fit my hand as if it were born there. The size was perfect for mixing and scraping on my smaller plein air palette.  The angle of the blade worked perfectly with each stroke, cutting, clearing and mixing as if it were an extension of my own arm.
It's not like I don't already have a bouquet of palette knives already in several sizes and shapes. They're just not the same though. The sizes and shapes are all wrong, sharp where they should be soft, straight where they should be angled. Using one of those other knives is  like eating icecream with a salad fork.  It can be done, but it takes concentration.

Oh, I'll recover.  Eventually.  Until then, goodbye old friend. Thanks for the memories.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

In Search of Hat

As a plein air painter, finding the right equipment is essential.  Getting out on site and finding out your easel is rickety or your palette isn't big enough is a shortcut to disaster.
You'll understand, then, why finding just the right hat is paramount.
Keeping the sun off the brain pan is as important as remembering to bring your paints along. There's keeping the head cool as well. Sweat trickling down into the eyes does not facilitate clear vision.

The garden variety straw hat will suffice if need be. Inexpensive and light, they're usually wide enough to keep the sun off the neck and shoulders, and loosely woven enough to let air flow through.  The down side is that they also have a tendency to catch gusts of wind, and it's a bit distracting to be choked by your own hat while it attempts to set sail still attached to your head.  Straw hats are also fairly brittle and do not hold up well to being sat upon, which you will do sooner or later.

The old ball cap, while comfortable, allows sun direct contact with ears and other tender skin. However,  with the addition of an old bandanna,

 the neck is protected fairly well. While very inexpensive, this arrangement is a bit geeky, no matter how cool you are. Lawrence of Arabia could get away with it, maybe, but with all the cheap hats out there that come with their own brims, really, why?

Knit caps are inappropriate for plein air painting.  No brim to protect the ears or neck. The fabric of the cap sits too close to the skull, thus keeping the head entirely too warm.  Plus, you end up looking like a monkey.

The coolie hat has many of the same disadvantages as the straw hat.  In addition, sitting on a pointy straw hat may harm more than just the hat.

After extensive research this weekend at the Olathe, Kansas, Bass Pro Shop, I discovered the Columbia Sun Goddess Booney hat.  Joy of joys, it's soft, UV rated, wads up into a little ball and springs happily back into shape.  The back brim is a bit wider than the front for extra protection of the neck, and unless you have huge ears, that's just fine. The neck strap is soft, so as not to leave strangle marks, which it probably won't anyway because the brim is soft and floppy and not likely to act as a sail, even in the strongest wind. And who wouldn't want to wear a Sun Goddess hat?

Another big plus is that while shopping at Bass Pro Shop in Olathe Kansas, you will be helped by fabulous employees like Pam & Jan. 

And while you're in Olathe, you might as well scoot over to the Nelson Atkins Museum and take a look around.  Their collection of fine art is world renowned, and they let you play badminton in the front yard with, or without, a hat.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Book Report

My Excerpts exhibit is up and looks fabulous if I do say so myself.
Thanks so much to HH, and Ernie of Good Samaritan Hospital  for making it so easy. 

There's still a month left of summer and enough time to squeeze in one more really good read.
"The Forger's Spell", by Edward Dolnick, is the true story of the greatest art hoax of the 20th century.  Part mystery, part history and part psychology class, this is one of the best books I've read in a long time.  Featuring Johannes Vermeer, a Dutch forger and Hitler's right hand man, Hermann Goering, "The Forger's Spell" is mesmerizing and entertaining.  This is not a book that will end up collecting dust on the bedside table.

Any books you'd like to add to the reading list?