Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dad's New Series of Highway Paintings!
My father is painting every day now. He has been painting plein air, landscapes and cattle, old buildings and barns, anything that catches his eye in the perfect light around where he lives. He recently had an idea to take photographs while driving on a road trip to Tennessee for a smokejumper awards ceremony, where he accepted an award on behalf of his smokejumper friend, John McBride, who died last May. (Dad was a smokejumper in the 60's in Alaska and put himself through design school working seasons at a time.) For the past 11 years, he, John, and other retired smokejumpers have been doing volunteer wilderness trail maintenance work together with The National Smokejumper Association. John was cofounder of the trails program. When Dad is at home, he is completely consumed with painting. I am always excited to see his efforts of the week. Below are the resulting paintings from the quick photographs he snapped on that drive. He paints these on primed canvas panel in oils.
This one here is my favorite...


The best things about his paintings are the loose and bold way he applies each stroke, you can see the paint so well in person, and I love the resulting abstraction! If you squint your eyes while looking at any of his paintings, they appear even more solid and real!

An interesting thing about my father and his eyesight, he is color blind. When discussing his paintings with him, and I say, "oh, that green, right there," he will say "that's green!?" It's so funny how subjective sight and color is, anyway. Who can really know what another person sees? He almost lost his sight several years ago due to a cataract corrective surgery gone bad. He was one of the unfortunate 1% of people who get an infection. He almost lost his sight due to the resulting infection and it took a year or more of surgeries to get his sight back to what it was pre-surgery. He also is a sharp shooter, gun collector, and bullet maker, and so loosing his sight would have been particularly tragic.
This one is another favorite of mine, I love the looseness and thick impasto brushwork! It's just so lush! Wintry, too!

Here is another beauty, I love the watery mist and spray underneath the truck,...

And the light here is so warm and inviting! Reminds me of that cheery moment of driving solitude we have all experienced, perhaps when you just start a long drive, in the morning, and are just enjoying the sights as they pass you by,...

This one has a more hustle and bustle feeling to me,...

A mundane sight transformed,...the highway sign we are all familiar with,..I particularly like how the view through the truck's windshield is a darker patch of blue,...

And this one is so full of action, you can hear the rush of the big rig as it passes, almost feel the vibration!
This one, again, because it is my favorite. So serene,... and almost comforting. The universal driving experience of private thoughts, and the resulting emotion and induced meditation of being hurled through the world at high speed through a changing landscape are captured so well in these paintings.

Thanks, Dad for showing us a glimpse into how you see the world!

8 comments:

Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor said...

Great paintings, love his style!

Wendy Luane Barber said...

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing your dad's story and paintings. It's on my list of things to do for 2011, plein air painting. I'd like to go to some of the National Parks and do it.

Dustin Pearson Harlan said...

Jealous! Wonderful critique of Dad's work! I especially love that none are of sunny days. Driving in the dark & wet weather is so cozy. Reminds me of many a trip down to Mississippi!

The Captain said...

These are amazing!

Pattee said...

Wow Brandi your dad is a fabulous painter!!!I love the top one as well.. but they are all fantastic!

Lucky you and Dusty!
Hugs~Pattee

Cathy ~ Tadpoles and Teacups said...

These are stunning! And they convey such movement too.
Wow! What an amazing man he sounds like, as well as a very talented artist.

Lisa said...

Wow! I love the loose strokes of his brush, I can feel his mood in each painting. Such talent,

Lisa

Designs By CK said...

Great and now I see the apple did not fall far from the tree!

Chris '-)