Painting is the one thing that keeps me from sinking into an abyss of anxiety caused by the current political/cultural/social/etc chaos. So, I paint as often as I can. That immersion has become more important than ever.

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The smoke from BC has changed the Puget Sound summer air, made it somehow thick. It's not humid here, exactly, but the air clings to the skin and the body reacts as though it were damp. The haze of smoke creates a filter that allows us to look directly at the sun, and photograph it without filling the lens with obscuring light

I painted this a few days ago, another view of Sinclair Inlet at sunset, perhaps a little more abstract than the other sunset picture. It's more about the sun than it is about the water or the land. 
I used an orange-red ground again, but this time I masked out the sun so that I could make it more intensely white. For a little while each evening, before it drops below the horizon, it blazes like this but you can still look at it. The BLP says it burns his retinas (the painting, not the actual sun). 

I posted it on FB as soon as it was done, and within hours I had an offer to purchase it. Since it will be wet for quite a while, and then will need to be varnished, I get to enjoy it for a bit before I send it off. I'm really pleased that someone wants it. I don't really have a hard time letting paintings go after the initial birthing process, but I don't have a pressing need to part with them, either. I’m thrilled that Looking At the Sun will go to someone who understands this piece. 

                           Looking At the Sun  © Rose Guastella 2017  Oils on canvas  16” x 20”

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Comment by Foolish Monkey on August 11, 2017 at 12:26pm

Oh. Yes! late turner!! He was superb!

for me early turner is a snooze. even the oils.... not all but most. 

Thats how it is with artists. They get old and they just go to hell with the rules. Look at Michelangelo. His late sculpts were like late Rodin long before Rodin became old enough to throw it all to the wind himself. Its great to grow old and Find another voice. 

Comment by Foolish Monkey on August 11, 2017 at 12:32pm

Or is it the purest voice filtered through skill and experience.. One brushstroke.. One line can speak more....

Musicians too. Great ones get better with age. they can get raw and badass. callas dropped down in range and became gutteral she was so glorious! they know what to do w what they have and how to apply it

Comment by Foolish Monkey on August 11, 2017 at 12:34pm

The bee has been set aside for monday. definitely going to hit it with my pastels. I'll take pictures. I'm a whore. 

Comment by Rosigami on August 11, 2017 at 12:52pm

I read somewhere recently that creative folks over 60 are at their MOST creative in this time of life. That is certainly the case with me. 

Comment by Ron Powell on August 11, 2017 at 1:36pm

Looking again at your portrait of the sun, I truly believe that you've given us a glimpse at the nature of your inner being so:

Comment by Rosigami on August 11, 2017 at 1:44pm

Ahhh Ron! An old favorite scene from an old favorite film.

Every painting is a self portrait, however momentary!

Comment by greenheron on August 11, 2017 at 1:49pm

That feels true for me too, that the sixties are the best years.

And true about musicians. One of my favorite guitar players is Leo Kottke. I’ve seen him in concert many times at our various ages. When he was young, he was a monster on the frets, in terms of hand strength, of speed. He plays now at about half the speed he did when he was young, but with such mastery and soul and wow I don’t know how to describe the difference. Its like Monkey said, that one line, apparently simple, yet not. It’s muscle memory, maturity, not needing to impress. On the last note of one song, he lets it ring with sustain, then lowers it by simply turning the tuning peg. He turns the peg at the perfect moment because he knows exactly where that moment is and stops turning it at the perfect new note which has just enough sustain left to be heard before dying out. I would have paid the whole concert ticket price for that moment, to see it and hear it. It was the kind of detail a master would do. 

There was a Rodin exhibit here last summer, I ate up his late work. I also took photos. Here’s his old mistress Camille. I took this picture because she looks like me naked. He’s celebrating her and that body, and it felt like he was celebrating me too :)


Comment by Rosigami on August 11, 2017 at 2:00pm

What a lovely description of Kotke's musicianship and your response to it. I listened to him all the time as a kid, then stopped. I'm going to have to go listen again. 
My BLP is a musician, plays 67 playing better than anytime in his life. He plays almost every single day, often for several hours. It energizes him like painting energizes me. We're in a band together, so a couple of times a week I give a few hours to practicing with him. (that is actually a bit stressful at times as we have different processes for learning music, but the end result is totally worth it)

Comment by greenheron on August 11, 2017 at 2:12pm

Rosi, he is so good now. He doesn't seem to play his beast of a twelve string as much, but a small bodied guitar. His strings are tuned really low, less tension maybe, easier on the hands. But man, he kicks it. It's like an watching the oldest lion in the pack. And when you see him in concert, it's all guys in the front left side, because they want a clear view of the fretboard and these days they are young whippersnappers mixed with other old lions! It's a good audience. I wonder if anyone goes to see him who is not a guitar player :) It's been a couple years since I last saw him, he might not be playing out as much now. Since we've had this chat, I'm going to check.

Comment by Rosigami on August 11, 2017 at 2:56pm

What a fun conversation, gh! Much appreciated. 


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