Painting Traditions

There is a section of the library dedicated to the creation of two dimensional art. The manipulation of a view to be recorded on a flat surface and represent something else is the standard. College will teach you that to define genres in art, painting will always be dominant over sculpture, because folks have a place to put it in their homes, and not enough space to walk around a work of art. The recipes for oil, brushes, surfaces to paint on have been documented well. The application of a soft well trimmed bristle being applied to a canvas in a nurturing caring manner can be evident by the stroke itself. After many applications of that meditation on the canvas a viewer will become lost in the art by the rhythm it creates. Even develop a sense for the mind set of the artist and understand their space of being and tools being used.

The idea of painting with a fly rod is the same sense of meditation, strokes being applied by different ends that can hold paint. The first ones started out on canvas but it became evident after a short time that to manipulate water, another medium for a painting surface can be used that is clear. One evening a fellow said to turn my painting around and the other side was just as beautiful. The two sided idea of painting rivers began.

One time a fishing guide was watching me create a painting and said “why don’t you go up to the surface of the poly carbon and touch it with the paint”. The one time it have tried that to cover a spot, the stark realization that that is a different stroke than what has been applied with the fly rod was clear as a bell. That painting was destroyed and being true to the art and the use of a fly rod is paramount. There is nothing like the feeling of hitting the corner when the rest of the painting has been covered. If the day doesn’t allow for time and pin point accuracy the clear spots are celebrated and used to fit into homes by matching the walls and it is an honest representation of the going ons that day.

The next steps for the concept of the aesthetics for fly cast painting is to get more into the criss cross movement and depiction of space when looking into water. The painting will be flipped around and painted on both sides or the upper surface will have some paint put on as well to get the viewer to peer deeper into the piece. Never would it have thought or conceived of such an understanding before this adventure began. I can’t wait to show you.

The Art will sell the art

Walking into the gallery there was a fellow with white hair and glasses hunkered behind his keyboard. I looked over the art on display as I walked around the gallery that was predominantly Native American artifacts. The wisdom that was passed on from that day forth by Bruce Vanlandingham that set the site on what art actually is, and its purpose, has been the standard to strive for in this journey of being an artist. He has forgot more about art than I will ever know.

Bruce Wisdom #1 “Just because a person paints pictures doesn’t necessarily make them an artist”

#2 “You want your art to be represented well?”


“Just because a building hangs pictures, it doesn’t necessarily make them a gallery. It doesn’t represent the art.” Then he looks right at me, “Do you know the difference?”

#3 “This gallery is always in a state of evolving”

#4“I want to know everything there is to know about a style of art and what the medium has to offer, when I have exhausted all there is to know, I move onto another idea”

#5 “I don’t do this (own a gallery) because I have to, I do this because I love the art”

#6 “Everything that Native Americans made was beautiful”

#7 “Resin is toxic”

#8 “The library is the most important part of this gallery”

#9 “If someone comes through the door with an artifact I have to know the tribe it was made, the time period it was created in, but most of all, I have to know how much I can flip it for. If I don’t know one of these things I am losing money and that is not my business model”

#10 “Drawing with silver is something they don’t teach you in college. It is what the masters used all the time for their sketches”

Headstone: I wish I would have worked one more day

This idea of creating art is an idea that is terrifying and almost irrational as to the practicality of a stable life. The questions that abound are “Why would anyone want to buy this art, Why would anyone want to buy my art, What am I doing” I then thought of all my life’s work put into one building and that building burns to the ground or if everyone’s building burnt to the ground. It doesn’t matter that the art was accepted, appreciated, there is now a hole in the human experience and someone at that moment in time had something to say. When countries go to war the first thing they do is knock out the culture from that country that is being taken over. It is destroyed and lost to time. The fact that someone had something to say and put it out into the world is the shaping of the type of society in which they choose to live as by the means of the acceptance of ideas and aesthetic appeal. Everything is a fabrication from the buildings we live to the money we spend. The time in between is all there is to leave a mark. Even the health of a society is dictated by the celebration of its cultures and visuals to exemplify a thriving place to live and the art shapes that time as being the idea that this society isn’t so war torn or starving that folks can afford the idea of a few folks running around and pushing ideas in how the necessity of survival is not the top of the hierarchy of needs. Driving the long hours the other day “Death and art are eternal”.

Rocks are Essential to Streams

I always thought that the greatest leaders were not ones that had the idea to dam up rivers but use stones to guide the river’s course. I am truly grateful for the rocks in my life and the thought to give back for the gratitude felt, is a debt that can never be repaid. The only thing left is to make this river flow in a strong direction and make a positive difference by somehow setting up rocks myself. One of the most profound stories in my way of thinking and having a conversation with a gal in college is when it came to the question that I asked “What is your declared major?” She said she would be a doctor. I then replied “That is a very helpful profession that will have a profound influence on society” or something ridiculous like that. She looked at me and said “All professions make a difference and are equally important.” She had obviously never read Dr. Zhivago but the idea that we are all on this adventure together and just pursuing our interests in within the realities that are created per individual. When out on a river making a painting of a stream and thinking of the influences that have lead me to make a single decision of color or swatch size sets everything that has been influenced by actions of the past to translate into something else is the true expression of art. As far as the river is concerned the water that has passed is responsible for its course as well as future destinations. Thank you rocks in my life, this channel is a good one.