Turkey Days: Day 26 & 27, Nov. 26 & 27, 2009

After 25 days of intense daily painting, I took two days off — for the feting and the feasting provided by Suzanne and Charles Hackett-Morgan, Goldwell Board Directors, and Suzy and Riley McCoy, Goldwell volunteers. Sammie, the eight year old, came along with Suzanne and Charles, and provided us all with joyful, well-mannered kidling times. It was glorious.

I have to show a few photos before I admit to what Suzanne and Charles’ eyes saw in the paintings I’ve been laboring over.

The day started when Jer and I took a walk along the Amargosa, which had running water in it, as well as guppies. This is the ford where the street behind Valley goes across the river, all two inches of it. It was a beautiful fall day, with the cottonwoods glowing golden. Then our hosts arrived, bringing the dinner and Sammie with them.

Here’s Sammie in the great climbing tree outside the Goldwell House. He brought DVDs of Ratatouille and Night at the Museum to watch, and because I hadn’t seen Night at the Museum, after Thanksgiving dinner he insisted we watch it, even though he had already seen it once during the day (and many times at home, I’m sure). What a charmer. He also beat Jer at a variety of board games, including chess, and had some card tricks that I’m not sure I understood. Which might have been the point.

Suzanne had pre-prepared an herbed brined turkey for the grill (and pies and cranberries and sparkling drinks etc); Charles spent a lot of time blowing on the coals to get them to the proper glowing status:

That’s Riley behind Charles’ head, telling Suzanne some talk or some joke

And here’s Suzanne, holding the grill up so Charles can add more charcoal.

The turkey was superb. The dressing divine. The pies exquisite. The chocolate dipped strawberries astonishing. There was more food than twenty of us could have eaten and more stories and good conversation than a host of poet laureates could have provided. We talked about Goldwell and where it might go, now that it’s so well established. Lots of ideas got tossed around, and Jer and I got to express our appreciation of what we’ve had available here.

Jer, Suzanne, Suzy, Riley and Charles (Sammie was at the kid’s table — ie the coffee table — as this table wouldn’t hold another person.

This may be my best photo. This shows last night’s remains of one of two large platters, provided by Suzie, of these fresh California strawberries¬† dipped in chocolate. Jer and I ate the last two for today’s mid-afternoon snacks.

This morning, we chatted more, divvied up the left-overs (we didn’t squabble over the turkey, as Suzanne was really generous, and I not only had pie for breakfast, but she left some behind so I could have it for dinner too). Then Suzanne, Charles, and I went out to the Barn, where we looked at my paintings, they showed me how to work the lights and then set them up so they shone on the art properly, we got to a cup of coffee from Suzie and Riley at the Museum building and admired the desert from their vista, and then the Hackett-Morgans loaded the Jeep and went back home, to do some art for an exhibit they are in next weekend. Jer and I delivered some goodies to Suzie and Riley, with a stop-off at the town dump. We came back home, I took a nap, and then we went back to the Barn to see if the expected rain might come through the roof onto the paintings. We decided it would not, but I got to take a couple of glorious sunset photos.

I’m thinking of this as my Turkey After-glow.

Oh, and about the painting critique — well, I’ll describe it tomorrow. It was right on the mark, with both Suzanne and Charles describing areas that I had been working on at the end and thinking might need a bit more work. Only one small surprise. So Turkey-glow, indeed.

Reporting from the Goldwell House, at the Goldwell Open Air Museum’s Residency Program, full of contentment and wonder at the graciousness of the people here.

Turkey Days: Day 26 & 27, Nov. 26 & 27, 2009

After 25 days of intense daily painting, I took two days off — for the feting and the feasting provided by Suzanne and Charles Hackett-Morgan, Goldwell Board Directors, and Suzy and Riley McCoy, Goldwell volunteers. Sammie, the eight year old, came along with Suzanne and Charles, and provided us all with joyful, well-mannered kidling times. It was glorious.

I have to show a few photos before I admit to what Suzanne and Charles’ eyes saw in the paintings I’ve been laboring over.

The day started when Jer and I took a walk along the Amargosa, which had running water in it, as well as guppies. This is the ford where the street behind Valley goes across the river, all two inches of it. It was a beautiful fall day, with the cottonwoods glowing golden. Then our hosts arrived, bringing the dinner and Sammie with them.

Here’s Sammie in the great climbing tree outside the Goldwell House. He brought DVDs of Ratatouille and Night at the Museum to watch, and because I hadn’t seen Night at the Museum, after Thanksgiving dinner he insisted we watch it, even though he had already seen it once during the day (and many times at home, I’m sure). What a charmer. He also beat Jer at a variety of board games, including chess, and had some card tricks that I’m not sure I understood. Which might have been the point.

Suzanne had pre-prepared an herbed brined turkey for the grill (and pies and cranberries and sparkling drinks etc); Charles spent a lot of time blowing on the coals to get them to the proper glowing status:

That’s Riley behind Charles’ head, telling Suzanne some talk or some joke

And here’s Suzanne, holding the grill up so Charles can add more charcoal.

The turkey was superb. The dressing divine. The pies exquisite. The chocolate dipped strawberries astonishing. There was more food than twenty of us could have eaten and more stories and good conversation than a host of poet laureates could have provided. We talked about Goldwell and where it might go, now that it’s so well established. Lots of ideas got tossed around, and Jer and I got to express our appreciation of what we’ve had available here.

Jer, Suzanne, Suzy, Riley and Charles (Sammie was at the kid’s table — ie the coffee table — as this table wouldn’t hold another person.

This may be my best photo. This shows last night’s remains of one of two large platters, provided by Suzie, of these fresh California strawberries¬† dipped in chocolate. Jer and I ate the last two for today’s mid-afternoon snacks.

This morning, we chatted more, divvied up the left-overs (we didn’t squabble over the turkey, as Suzanne was really generous, and I not only had pie for breakfast, but she left some behind so I could have it for dinner too). Then Suzanne, Charles, and I went out to the Barn, where we looked at my paintings, they showed me how to work the lights and then set them up so they shone on the art properly, we got to a cup of coffee from Suzie and Riley at the Museum building and admired the desert from their vista, and then the Hackett-Morgans loaded the Jeep and went back home, to do some art for an exhibit they are in next weekend. Jer and I delivered some goodies to Suzie and Riley, with a stop-off at the town dump. We came back home, I took a nap, and then we went back to the Barn to see if the expected rain might come through the roof onto the paintings. We decided it would not, but I got to take a couple of glorious sunset photos.

I’m thinking of this as my Turkey After-glow.

Oh, and about the painting critique — well, I’ll describe it tomorrow. It was right on the mark, with both Suzanne and Charles describing areas that I had been working on at the end and thinking might need a bit more work. Only one small surprise. So Turkey-glow, indeed.

Reporting from the Goldwell House, at the Goldwell Open Air Museum’s Residency Program, full of contentment and wonder at the graciousness of the people here.

Half Way There: Day 20, Nov 20, 2009

And it feels just fine. I had a short day, thinking I might catch a bit of plein air work, but by the time Jer showed up, it was blowing too hard. So, wind wimp that I am, I came back to Beatty and played with a painting in the foyer of the house (the foyer has windows on 3 sides, is about 9 feet square, and has not yet been fixed up any, which makes it perfect for painting in.) A good, quiet,  but satisfying day.

This morning, I worked a bit more on the central panels, pushing the color direction a bit.¬† They needed toned down after that, but I didn’t want to muddy them too much, so I moved to the outer panels to let the central ones dry. These went well. You’ve seen a version of Panel 1, but this one is updated today:

And this is Panel 7, also worked today:

The latter is hugely different from what it has been, and it is now a companion to #1, as it should be. The others also have been changed, but not so much.

And lest you think I spend all my time inside, here’s some Red Barn Art, photos I took while I waited for Jer this afternoon.

This last photo is looking toward the Goldwell Open Air Museum (the pink bit in the upper right is Lady Venus); the stainless steel pile is the fallen over sculpture which one of these days will be raised again. I think it will make a great addition to the Barn’s yard.

The Writer’s Almanac today quoted author Nadine Gordimer, who said, ”

People make the mistake of regarding commitment as something solely political. A writer is committed to trying to make sense of life. It’s a search. So there is that commitment first of all: the commitment to the honesty and determination to go as deeply into things as possible, and to dredge up what little bit of truth you with your talent can then express.

I¬† think that what I am trying to do is to dredge up what little bit of truth I can, and express it. That’s my commitment.