While painting last week, I watched (or listened to, mostly) a Ken Burns documentary about Thomas Hart Benton. The painting I am standing in front of in my banner above is one of his. A self proclaimed enemy of modernism, Benton was a forerunner of the regionalist movement along with Grant Wood, and of course, by the critics, was poorly received and accused of being "folksy." By the time abstract expressionism rolled around, he really was a gem, in my opinion.
The artists I really respect and appreciate are the ones who paint not only in their own style, but also do not change their work according to the popular trend of galleries and critics. They have a conviction about their life's work and follow through with their passion. Andrew Wyeth suffered the same disdain as Benton. Both were artists of the people, not artist of the art world hierarchy.
I was knocked out by a cold toward the end of last week and over the weekend. I have ordered all the frames for the Alexandria and Fredericksburg shows. Between neck, shoulder and other issues, there have many setbacks in painting over the summer, but my image lists have been confirmed by the respective directors. The body of work I have is strong and sufficient to cover both galleries. I am really proud of the work before me and look forward seeing it together in these exhibits. I keep thinking I can get one more done for the openings, and I may, but I realize I have to slow down or the work may suffer. Creativity being the multi-faceted jewel it is, I would be foolish to think I can get away with just painting away at it to squeeze out one more.
Both of the these paintings are now up on the website.
I decided to leave the fish alone, but I did change the horn. I decided it should be more organic and sort of translucent.