They go back to where it all began....
When I first started painting, I painted in oils. I was terrified of this new medium and never dreamed I would even get close to mastering it. What I discovered was that, yes, I could paint....and yes, I was pretty good at it. I started with very traditional still lifes and landscapes and then one day, I painted a cow. I loved him. Then I painted another and another and another. There was something about their shapes and their faces and those noses. I experimented with impressionism, knife painting, and even a little abstraction- all with cows.
That is what eventually led me into abstraction and consequently into switching to acrylics ( for the ability to paint more spontaneously.) I never looked back....until now. I have had sever painters block for months. Lack of sales in the galleries has perpetuated a feeling of "what the heck am I doing - and why?" I have been painting, but not anything that I love. I refer to it as: making mud. Needless to say, I've been very discouraged for quite some time.
...fast forward to the present....
My daughter, Hanna, who is a very talented emerging artist, began taking some photographs a couple of months ago around the farms of our area. She's been photographing cotton bolls, soy beans, tractor parts, silos, landscapes, and of course cows. The photos are fantastic- lots of macro photography along with the landscapes. I've been enjoying watching her work progress. She then started making some impressionistic paintings from the landscape photos, so I basically turned over my studio space to her.
Cotton Boll by Hanna Casey
Then she asked me, "why didn't you ever keep any of your cow paintings?" "I don't know", I said, "I gave them all away to my farmer friends." (This was before I turned "pro".) "Well, I want one", she said - "and I want a big one." So, what the heck - I wasn't getting anywhere with my non-objective work - so I painted one big-ass cow. HUGE, as a matter of fact. And, of course, I love him. Then, Hanna said, "why don't we have an open studio again, you haven't done it in a couple of years. We could do a collaborative show- my photography and landscape paintings - and you could paint some of your cows (much smaller of course) and abstract landscape paintings based on my photos. It would be fun."
Hmmm. Fun. What a novel idea.
So - "Southern Exposure- Art inspired by the landscape of farm country" was born. A friend of mine (who lives on a farm)- is an avid art collector and an interior designer who has placed a lot of my abstract work is hosting our little show. This is a blessing, since I won't have to clean up my very messy studio to have an open-studio format. It should be a fun party and hopefully generate a few sales. The main thing is, I am having a great time painting my little cows and collaborating with my daughter. I'm sure I'll soon get back to abstraction - but for now those type of paintings will just have to moooooove over while I have a little fun.
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