This week I have concentrated my thoughts on the painting for our
National Collectors' Convention that will take place at the Marriott
Hotel in downtown Richmond, Virginia, July 25-27. A convention painting
is always a challenge. It gets to be seen by many, not only at the
convention but also as shown by the media when reporting on the convention.
It is the big test of the year. When the convention is held in the
capital of my own state, of which I am a cultural laureate of the
arts, the pressure is particularly intense.
The beginings of this year's convention print.
I am sometimes asked how long it takes me to paint a major painting.
I cannot give a precise answer. Like a baby, a painting's life begins
long before its first form is seen by the world. Long before I put
the first washes on the paper, I live with the image in my mind, forming
and reforming its shape and composition.
What you see today is the infant stage and in the weeks that come,
you will be able to follow the painting's growth towards maturity.
How long this growth process will take, I do not know. It is no good
for me to push it to go faster. I have to let the painting move forward
at its own pace.
"What are you going to put in the foreground?" I can hear
you ask. Just as an author should not divulge his plot before writing
his story, so an artist should keep secret the plot for the painting.
I am sorry you will have to wait and see.
At Monica's brithday party. Either side of me are Tony and Silvia.
Last week was Monica's birthday. Monica and her parents, Tony and
Silvia Chin, are our neighbors and very good friends. When we are
away they keep a close eye on our house. We share a common alley way
which is lined with all manner of exotic plants cultivated by Silvia's
green thumb. We are very fortunate to have such super neighbors. Tony
and Silvia have a general store that reminds me of the old country
stores of my youth. One side of the store has shelves of brightly
colored materials that Indians buy for dressmaking.
Planning the food for the dinner party. (The sailboat in the background
does not belong to us).
It has been a week of glorious weather. Cool breezes and good sleeping
nights. I hardly dare to send the photo of me on the deck of our balcony
with the sun and blue sea, knowing the temperature got down to 10
degrees in Mathews last week.