Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought, where they write about ideas and creativity. Diane posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome as it turns an article into a discussion.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

definitions change with the times.

by Rain Trueax
 

There is a quote that floats around claiming a Chinese curse says—may you live in interesting times. It turns out it’s not Chinese, and there are different opinions on from where it originated. [Quote Investigator]

Certainly, we do live in interesting times. Despite the many advantages, for those of us who live in what are considered developed countries, sometimes the fast movement of events does feel like a curse. Things change, or what we thought was true, suddenly is proven false. Conspiracy theories abound (if you are not up on these, head to YouTube, it's rife with them)

This is not just happening in the United States; but as a country with global influence, some believe it’s our fault wherever bad stuff happens.  I think we do have a lot of influence, but with a changing world, that might not last. Nothing ever does.

The post below is about cultural shifts. It's not partisan but might appear political to some. Of course, it is-- all human interaction eventually gets down to political maneuvering.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Painting after cataract surgery

The removal of cataracts is rejuvenating my vision and I enjoy more beautiful, bright vibrant colors. 
The future holds some welcomed challenges. One challenge is painting color expressive in new ways to me.
At the Oregon Fall Creek Fish Hatchery and Research Center's Art Festival, Saturday, November 3rd several days after the surgery I demonstrated painting process. During the lunch break I went outside to watch a pair of spawning Chinook. I did a quick sketch on my watercolor paper. 
 
 
 

Then inside I began the watercolor. Even in the early stages, I started painting dark that soon covered too much of the painting. One reason may be that color now looks lighter with my cataract free eye.

 
Working from memory at home the painting lost the flow for me. So I washed most of the paint off  by dunking it in our bath tub then sprayed away the color with warm water. Working over the washed painting, I started wishing the Chinook covered more of the painting surface.  The finished piece needed cropping.



I find many happy surprises looking at my paintings done before the surgery. But some tempt me to change them. It would be a good idea to wait on changing work until I get used to the way the world looks now. But on an acrylic painting, "The Painter at  the Beach", the color just does not match the emotions I want to portray, so I decide to touch up a few places.



The purple on the sky popped and looked too saccharine.  As usual I deceived myself thinking only a few brush strokes would make this painting better express how it felt outdoors that Autumn day on the Oregon Coast.
 
I never learn that going back into small areas usually means the surface becomes a mess of strokes showing awkward indecision   Somehow the grays of some clouds had nice line but were dark and foreboding. So I needed to wipe it all off.  I summonsed my courage to be more direct. I made most of the sky a thin wet tint and brushed strokes of grays close to how dark they appear.

I started a new painting as a test because I feel uncertain of using a new surface until I learn how my eyes work. So a $7.00 Habitat for Humanity 54" x 42" lightly used canvas is a bargain giving me freedom to paint freely.  On top of this discarded painting I am responding to what is on the canvas. The all over random criss-cross heavy broad stroke texture and pastel palette allowed my addition of  an imaginary powder blue sky.  Then I had the freedom to further assign vertical whites to reach high. The title in marking pen was on the back - "Another Spring". It is still "Another Spring".



Struggling is good in the painting process for several reasons. One, the positive outcome of a struggle means I appreciate all the more the success at learning. Two, I always anticipate that there is more to learn.
 



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Beauty, Truth and Love

by Rain Trueax


Denton Lund giclee, Echoes of the Old Ones, now hanging in the bedroom

While I don't generally discuss politics here, the US has just been through one of the most brutal election seasons I can remember-- and that goes back a long way. For many, the attacks weren't based on issues so much as evil vs. good; Nazi vs. Communist; stupid vs. smart; and on it went. The attacks were not just against a candidate but against anyone who voted for him.

Those of us in the middle tried to keep our heads down to avoid being hit by the shrapnel as it flew from both directions...

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

by Diane Widler Wenzel, My colors seen through different lenses

 
           I anticipated lavender areas would help pop autumn colors to express how I felt about Ritner Creek.  I began the painting on a prepared ground of lavender with a band of blue tint grayed with burnt sienna at the top. Before my surgery I was unaware that the lavender I was painting was so saturated. It looked almost gray to me like the photo shopped one below.
 
 
 
 

 
October 30th I had cataract surgery on my right eye.
The second  is close to what I now see with my new artificial lens.
 
 I like both ways of seeing my painting. But I feel it was more cohesive through my quinacridone gold colored cataract often referred to as being amber colored cataracts. The yellow ting grays violet and darkens navy blue and browns the greens for me.

Just goes to show how we perceive the world depends on the lens with which we view it. We do not sense the actual object through our eyes. We see the color not absorbed by the object. We see energy reflected by the object and how the energy flows through the lens in our eye and is channeled to the brain.

Thus an analogy is drawn between perception of colors and our perception of other aspects of life. I am aware of my lens on politics tending to bend information towards what I want to believe and the structural beliefs of my lens will not focus on information that does not affirm what I want to see.

Our preferences depend on familiarity: Over past decades the desire for saturated colors has increased a demand for more colorful greeting cards due to the public getting used to TV screen colors. Our figurative lens through familiarity not only finds saturated color more acceptable, we buy more saturated color items.

In 2018 more family and friends are looking at my abstracts than they use to.  Thirty years ago I used to watch gallery visitors walk right by my work. Now people look until the colors and textures affect them - calming them, or energizing them, or striking other emotional connections. In the last ten years or so more people are used to seeing abstract work and the vibrantly colors on their electronic devises. Face book plays a part in getting the general public seeing things in intensified color hues, resulting in a preference for brighter colors. In addition to accepting modified colors more people are able to connect with the abstract.

Equally abstract paintings in 1959 went unnoticed or loudly condemned by many, even by artists. Human nature rejects the different and strange.  The viewer were more easily gratified by instantly recognizable objects.

In 1959  the Portland, Oregonians' were angered by Louis Bunces' abstract mural for the Portland Airport. It was hotly debated. The opposition wanted a pastoral scene. His mural still graces a wall on the way to the concourses. He pioneered the public display of the abstract and his work continues to familiarize us with a broader appreciation.

I am tempted to go back and change some of my paintings with lavendar and greens and yellows. The red ones have not changed as much. But maybe in time I will get familiar with the new way I see colors and I will accept the old paintings as they are.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

the end of a season

by Rain Trueax
 

Equinoxes and Solstices aren't the only way the year can be divided. Most people are familiar with religious holidays but maybe less so of those from our more agrarian past when humans lived closer to the seasonal changes.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

by Diane Widler Wenzel : Halloween Collaboration

Trick or treat? What a fun time to decorate for the  trick-or-treaters. Two black cats and a witch will greet them.
 Husband Don is trying to use up the odds and ends of lumber he has collected over the years. He produced them for me to mark cutting lines on three pieces of mahogany skin over plywood.





Then husband Don cut the plywood and sprayed it with flat black. I added the painted lines and color on the witch. I painted a witch trying to be beautiful.



After I painted, Don installed some flirty, flickering LI D lights.



Yesterday I had cataract surgery and today I am thinking of dressing as a one eyed pirate.

Planning, also, for next week's blog, a dead serious one. On some things I have noticed how differently people perceive my paintings. It is easy to demonstrate different perceptions are to be expected and not reason to attack the taste of other people who see differently. We all expect that in art and we do not blame others or insult their intelligence. So people I know are more open than they used to be about art as compared to 1959..


Saturday, October 27, 2018

writing what comes

by Rain Trueax

Some of you, if you have been with this blog long enough, know about my newest exploration of the 'other' side, the Hemstreet Witches based in Arizona. Those books have been exploring what might be for powers, as well as what is unseen by most of us. They are as much metaphysical as they are paranormal. Is it possible that some are born with insights and power to see beyond the physical reality? I write these stories because I think life is not that firm for "What Is".