Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Orlando, Unfinished

I don't think this country is civilized any longer. We began uncivilized, the Wild West, perhaps it won't change. I hope the world is changing for the best--- I always thought so, but some of the upheavals that happen now are scary. But one can't walk around afraid, life has to go on in a positive way. 

It's hard to understand the reluctance to implement greater gun control. When the Sandy Hook shooting spree happened, I was painting a still life that day of plates. That's the painting here.  I never finished that painting----every time I looked at it I thought of the news that day, beyond imagining it was so awful, yet the people who live there had to cope with it somehow. (They still are.) I just stuck the painting in a pile of other paintings that were unfinished. Didn't want to even look at it again. The news today about Orlando Florida made me think of this painting so I looked through my stuff and saw it in the stack. 

 After all this time has passed---it's been four or five years---nothing has changed. The same people are able to buy the same weapons and work out their aggressions by murdering their neighbors. There is something deeply, profoundly diseased in a country that condones its own citizens massacring each other on a grand scale. There seems no other purpose for assault weapons than that. I don't think hunters use them. 

Civilization and the work that went into it was meant to create a decent world from a savage one--- where an innocent person could walk out their front door without having their throat cut, could live and work in some kind of safety. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Another San Jacinto Hills painting

This one is 24"30"---I keep painting this particular angle of these hills, again and again. If I move a little one way or the other it shows different things---so it does feel like I'm painting a different picture. And the color is a fascination to me. The hills become coral red for about ten minutes almost every morning, around 6:45 a.m. The sun illuminates the mountain in the most intense, brief, almost shocking pink.  It doesn't last long, so you paint fast or you do it in sections, day by day, till you are done. 

It is 106 degrees right now, though it has felt hotter than that all day. Humidity I think. 

 I saw something wonderful today---a bit of movement caught my eye---it was a pair of rabbits who were chasing each other and playing on the green grass. They chased each other in circles, out in the open. I have never seen rabbits play that way. On a similar note, I saw something yesterday on my walk that I have likewise never seen: a mother and father quail with about 7 tiny baby quail moving in a group. They were walking out of the scrubby bushes into my path, appearing to be a small dark cloud moving along the ground. The birds moved along as one, and the pattern was fluid, changing directions instantly like a flock of birds in the air. They seemed so surprised by my sudden appearance that one parent with the babies went one way, and the other parent dashed off alone in the opposite direction. He (I felt like it was male for some reason) turned and looked at the others but by then they were under a nice bit of scrub and made no sound or attempt to join him. Maybe that's part of the plan to confuse a predator, to simultaneously dash off east and west, but somehow I felt that the lone quail had humiliated itself by losing its head in a crisis. They were beautiful, and the babies such perfect miniatures of the parents.