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Finding The Time

Working as an artist - especially one with a "real full-time job" is frustrating. My "real" job is somewhat strenuous and I start early in the morning (4;30 AM most days), so my time to paint / create is much more limited than I like. Along with that, not every day can be spent painting. The following photos show a few things I did just this week (some enjoyable, some just necessary) that go along with the painting life:

Shipping paintings

 Getting out and taking photos for inspiration / ideas / reference

Picking up newly framed paintings from the framer

Doing some practice painting to learn new techniques and try new mediums and tools.

I'm thankful for my wife Laurie's help and for the support of my children as I strive to move forward in my passion to create. Thanks too to my Lord for His God-given abilities - it is a true blessing.

Chris

04.18.2018 | Add new comment

May 2017 - How The Buzzard Gang Inspired A New Painting

May 2017

I was reminded recently by one of my Sisters-In-Law that I am woefully inconsistent (my words) in keeping up with my artist’s blog. I think she was “…speaking the truth in love”, but she has red hair, so I’m not completely sure. Plus she and a couple others made sport of me when I pointed out how busy I think I am. Anyway, after checking on the facts, I did realize that over the past two years I have only uploaded 2 or 3 updates, so I guess she might be close to being basically correct. Since we can’t have that, I have added today’s blog .

2016 - Creative Thoughts For A New Year

    The past two years have been a somewhat frustrating time for me as far as my art career goes. Not in terms of sales (although sales are great), but in terms of time to paint and the ability to enter a into a focused, creative place. The competing demands of relationships, other work, and the tyranny of the urgent, all seem to conspire to rob me (and most artists) of that space and time to fully enter into a natural, focused creative. 

     What do I mean by a natural "focused creative"? It is the place where time stands still. The place when your creative has so engulfed you, that  hours pass by as if they were minutes. Where your brush and paint just flow in a natural, unforced way and your painting takes on a life of its own. It somewhat reminds me of playing college soccer, when, in the midst of the game, your focus is so sharp, you no longer hear the crowd or notice anything but the ball. You move and pass and shoot with total focus. Things just happen almost on their own, as if you are on auto pilot. Your focus is so intense, that everything else fades to background. It is not something you can make happen... it either does or does not. It is an organic "thing" and it is a wonderful place to be. In my experience, I don't realize I've been there until I come back to "reality".

     I'm hoping 2016 will yield more times of the focused creative for me and that my work might show its presence. God bless each of you as we enter into this new year, and may God grant us peace - both individually and across this ever-maddening world.    Chris

 

Archive Of Previous Blog Posts

February 1, 2015

Other than my first oil painting I've ever done, I have found it difficult to find time to paint over the past several months. As many of you know, I am a Realtor and that part of my work life has gotten quite busy over the past 6 months (a blessing). I also work at Shady Maple, so my painting time (and time for 'inspiration') have been severely limited. I hope to have some space in the next month or so to find an image that really gets hold of me and to do another oil painting. I need some time for reflection and to really see the beauty around me (sometimes that is hard to do in this violent, angry world). Seeing and capturing God's beauty helps to keep the Black Dog of Despair away. God is good... I hope I can paint in a way that shows His goodness and beauty. Feb 1 2015

 

Dec 16 2012

Yesterday, we learned of the school shooting in Connecticut. When I hear of such terrible tragedies, I wonder what good I am doing sitting at home painting pretty pictures while the world seems to be rapidly descending into darkness. Perhaps all of us ask the same question as we go through our typical, daily lives… As an artist, I wonder if the simple, joyful pictures I paint speak to the realities we face in life? Do they serve a purpose, or are they simply empty nostalgia with no purpose or meaning – just wishful thinking in a world gone mad? In some ways, the answer is no – art like mine seems to have no relevance – no connection to the world in which we live; an increasingly violent, evil-filled world. But that is not the complete answer. On this side of eternity, there are times and experiences of peace, beauty, joy, and wonder. So the images I paint are real. They are important to remind us of the other side of reality. But I think they reflect more than just the reality of our existence in time and space in the here and now. In the 1930’s, C.S. Lewis, the noted British writer and professor, was an atheist, but he couldn’t get past the idea that there might be a ‘god’ – someway, somewhere, somehow. As he saw beauty, as he contemplated his desire for “joy”, he realized that there was something inside of him – a desire for something that this world could not fulfill. There were glimpses of it here and there, but there was also so much pain, evil, and suffering (he had been in the trenches of WWI, and WWII was looming), it was hard to see. If he desired something (real joy; real peace; real beauty), and there was nothing in this life that could satisfy that desire, then there must be another reality where these desires could be met (how can humans desire anything that has no real fulfillment?). He eventually came to the conclusion that this ‘other reality’ was heaven. It was the truth and reality of the God of the Bible and of His heaven. I agree with Mr. Lewis. The glimpses we see of beauty, joy, peace speak to another reality. In the midst of the unspeakable horror of the school shooting and other pain we experience in this life, there is another reality. I paint what some would call purely idealistic images that do not speak to the human condition. I disagree. I paint images of that which all of our hearts hunger for. And if we desire them, there must be a fulfillment for them. I choose to focus on images that speak to an ultimate reality. I choose to follow this admonition from the Bible: “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” I hope my art helps you to do the same. Finally, my prayers and sympathy are with all the families in Newtown, Ct. May God pour out his mercy and grace on all the families and friends who have been touched by this tragedy. 

 

December 8, 2011

I just finished the painting, "The Gault House". Actually, I thought of titling it "The Gault House II" because it was my second effort to capture this beautiful property. I came at the image from two distinct viewpoints and enjoy both of them. They are both winter scenes, but to me, tell totally different stories. Below are both images.... feel free to give me your thoughts. Merry Christmas! Chris

 

May 9, 2011

My art blends many things that I love - photography, history, talking to locals about the way things were, and of course, drawing and painting. I've been working on a new piece for the past couple of months. White Chimneys is a wonderful historic home on the Lincoln Highway (Rt. 30) just west of Gap, PA. It's history includes being one of the first buildings erected by settlers after William Penn signed a treaty with the local Indians. It hosted a visit by the Marquis de Lafayette in the early 1800's. And it was owned and added onto by one family for over 200 years.

This fascinating house has many stories to tell. My painting will knit together a few strands of it's history using the back drop of a Harvest Moon Celebration at the mansion, c. 1925. A full moon is on the rise... the home is lit up from within and without... friends are gathered in the ball room... and one family member makes a surprise visit from above. I hope to have the piece done by the end of May - I'll post it as soon as it is complete. In the meantime, if you have more interest in this beautiful home, go to: www.whitechimneys.com. The home and gardens are available for weddings and other social gatherings.

 

April 20, 2011

Inspiration

I read about an artist who stated that, when asked about what inspires him to create, he responded, "Inspiration? My inspiration was that I painted 10 - 12 hours a day 6 days a week for the past 12 years!" What I took this to mean was, at least at times for him, his art was the old 10% inspiration and 90% perspiration. Just keep working - hard; good things will come if you do. While I agree in part with that sentiment, I don't think it produces my best work. That doesn't mean I don't put in my time (some of my works take a month or two to create)... but if I paint just to make something to sell, it shows. My best creative times come when I am inspired and captivated by the subject and the process. The history, the setting, the community and the good people of the place. 8 hours of painting races by in what seems to be the blink of an eye. I love those days when I am completely captivated by the world I'm working in and all the cares of this world fade away - if only for a lttle while.

I mention this, because I've been in a creative rut for the past month as I've been working on a piece that just hasn't come together. I've started it 3 times already and will be starting it again. I'll know when I've gotten it right - and I'll keep working hard... but I'm also waiting for that inspiration that carries me along with IT rather than me forcing it's hand. Blessings, Chris

06.07.2015 | 1 Comment
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