Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

This week I am working on a 24 x 30 in. canvas of sunflowers. I've always enjoyed still life painting, and near the very start of my art career I sold more still life paintings than landscapes! But I later came to the conclusion that my mentor Jean-Claude Quilici had perfected the still life to such a point to where I did not know where to go with it. I had a great fear that any still life I did would look too much like his! That is because his are the most perfect I know and I feel that they could scarcely be improved on. But over the past few weeks I realized that I had a great desire to paint sunflowers and irises again - so I figured that I would do it without trying to reinvent the genre. Just give in to the joy of doing it, and not over think the matter.

I found myself thinking about Jean-Claude Quilici again when I was fortunate to receive a magazine "Pratique des Arts" and an accompanying DVD in the mail. In the DVD a woman from the magazine follows Jean-Claude Quilici on an outing to paint at Les Baux in southern France, and discusses art and his career. During the DVD we get a wonderful change to see Jean-Claude at work, and to see his process of formulating a painting - something that not even I had ever seen directly. Quilici is a very intelligent, perceptive man - coupled with a humble nature and a joie de vivre that is quite compelling - I am pleased to call him my master and friend. I believe it was Ralph Waldo Emerson that said "Hitch your wagon to a star." At whatever points in my own art career that doubt had begun to creep in, I had the example of Quilici held up in front of me so as to say that it could be done because he did it. Keep the faith.

In other wonderful news, my wife and I are heading to Taos, New Mexico to deliver a group of my paintings to the Taos Fine Art Gallery. After May 17th my work will be directly available through that gallery for the New Mexico summer, and I am very excited about the chance to show work in historic Taos. One of the 7 paintings slated to go to Taos has already sold, even before delivery - so I am delighted!

Just this past week I posted a new group of springtime in Arizona painting on my new paintings page of my website http://www.neilmyers.homestead.com/ , so do drop by for a look. I'll soon be reposting works on "The Painter's Closet" web page as well.

And I do want to tell you all about the music of a dear friend of mine, Deanna Johnston. Deanna was one of the last women left standing on the CBS show Rockstar INXS, and she has an amazing, powerful voice that has been compared to the classic vocals of Janis Joplin. Deanna has recently completed an EP that is now for sale. I have a copy and have been listening to it like crazy - you can get a copy at her official site www.deannajohnston.net/ .

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