Of Scribbles and Paintings

I spent part of this afternoon sketching in Huntsville's Big Spring Park. My sketchbook is filled with scribbles completed in only a few seconds, drawings that nobody would think to frame-- they are simply references for painting. The above image is a typical scribble. I was interested in direction, angles, and general layout. The scene of a small, koi-filled pond surrounded by rocks, a building hovering above, is a very nice starting point for a view of man and nature, the peace of the trees and water winding through a downtown area. The older parts of Huntsville are rather lush and green in summer, and this greenery captivates me, seems to me to be a particularly good environment for reading, learning, creating art, and writing. I will never quite understand why many art studios (including those in UAHuntsville's newly restored Wilson Hall) and classrooms across North America have no windows-- I suppose it is so that the students will pay more attention to their teachers, but I would think it would only promote an emotional connection between learning and imprisonment. Call me Whitmanesque, but I would much prefer to be outside under the trees.
The Fountain [above] is to me somewhat mystical-- the view, of course, is that which I see from my balcony every day. As birds bathe in the basins and the dappled shade of old crepe myrtles shifts across the courtyard, I feel particularly aware of life, of the refreshing properties of water, of its spiritual symbolism throughout the ages. A mysterious peek through the branches seemed particularly suitable for this depiction-- it calls to mind Expressionistic images of parks, the search for the Fountain of Youth, fine fountains in classical gardens. . . and yet it was not painted in a "classical garden". It was painted in the courtyard of an apartment complex in Huntsville, AL where the rent is easily accessible even to a career artist/music teacher. It is not necessarily money which makes (or keeps) life beautiful-- it is creativity and diligence.
Realization [above] may be a different type of work due to its purely non-figurative content, yet it was also completed this month. It is a depiction of struggle and triumph in the material world and in the human spirit, the sort of chaos-into-order image I like to paint to loosen my brushstrokes and explore my subconscious mind.

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