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To Capture How I Felt, I Had to Steal

Updated: Jan 27, 2021

I just don't know enough about what I'm doing to paint Estle and Earl's Place without stealing. Other artists know better.


I simplified the early version of Estle and Earl's down to a house surrounded by dirt. I didn't feel confident to paint anything else.


Then, pulling the cobweb-covered painting from the basement after nearly a decade, Tom challenged me to "fix this." He had an office to decorate.


I'd already determined that I'd been procrastinating my painting for long enough. Reading about my favorite artists, I had many references to lean on for help figuring out how to make the painting feel like Grandma and Grandpa's did to me when I spent summers there, picking green beans and sticking them to my shirt like velcro, running through the corn to the deep backwoods, or talking to the cows on the way to bravely explore the dark, smelly barn.


First, I had to get the house right. There is no house I like more than a white house. And, Edward Hopper paints them better than anyone. Perfect not-white paint shows all the light and shadows. See how Captain Kelly's House informed my painting? You can find more about Hopper's painting at the Whitney Museum of Modern Art.


And then, all that dirt needed to become all the wonderous adventure of my memory. To capture the depth and intrigue I felt in my grandparents' the fields, I stole from both Wayne Thiebaud's and David Hockney's landscapes. Hockney's trees in Garrowby Hill haunt me, just as the backwoods along the edge of my grandparents' property. And the fields in Wayne Thiebaud's Flood Waters helped me realize the vast expanse of my grandparents' cornfields.


So now, I'd like to thank my artistic mentors for helping me "get" what Estle and Earl's Place felt like.




#showyourwork

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