Sunday, December 28, 2014

Scattering The Grains

“You should go see your mother!”

I took my wife's advice and have driven 931 miles, (1,498 Km) from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Santa Barbara, California. When I left, the temperatures were very cold and snow was on the ground. Arriving in southern California, I could drive with the windows down.

It is always familiar coming to Santa Barbara, but this time, something felt missing. As I came to my parents neighborhood, I realized my father is not to be seen again. He died last February 26. I also have strong memories of my daughter Naomi while she lived the last months of her life here. It is strange that these two intimate ingredients of my Santa Barbara associations are missing. Nonetheless, my mother welcomed me heartily and with gratitude. I spent Christmas with her.

My younger brother Brent lives nearby my mother. He lives alone with his dog, Purdy. I made a painting of Purdy, who in animal years, is 105. She still can hop into Brent's car and sit on his lap when he drives.

I don't know why, but I have been feeling like I want to hold onto something in life, but nothing satisfies my longing . . . it all is like shifting sand and wind is blowing over everything, scattering the grains into oblivion.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Greatest Pleasure

Santa Fe Winter, oil on canvas, 26 x 23 inches
Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
 - Camille Pissarro (French: 10 July 1830 – 13 November 1903)

Perhaps the greatest pleasure for an artist is to have an idea, and then start from nothing and using his body and senses, create from inert materials something meaningful and inspiring. The more talented and skilled the artist, the more likely is a great outcome. Even the best artists suffer failures along the way. Passion keeps them trying.

Last week, I wrote about a vision I had of making a painting based on an old wall and gate that I have painted in the spring. This time, it is winter, and the scene is changed. The two paintings are the exact same size and it is interesting to see how nature can drastically change the mood. 

The beginning is the most important part of the work.
Plato (Greek: 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BCE)

Santa Fe Splendor, oil on canvas, 26 x 23 inches

Sunday, December 14, 2014

An Old Wall

During the night, a winter storm rolled over Santa Fe, and left a blanket of snow covering everything. 

My Sunday morning ritual is to go to a local shop that is known for magazines, newspapers, art on the walls, coffee, tea and pastries. It is usually bustling with people, sometimes in groups, sitting at tables and having animated conversations. I buy a New York Times newspaper, a pastry, and cup of dark roast coffee, then find a place to sit. Amidst the cackling conversations and background music, I begin pouring over the substantial newsprint. The NY times is so rich in content, especially Sunday, that it takes me all week to go through it. The following Sunday, I buy another.

This morning, I went to find an old wall that I made an oil painting of in the spring. My thought is to paint it again, this time in winter. It will be the same size and shape. 

A French artist by the name of Claude Monet famously made impressionist paintings in a series, depicting changing times of day—and seasons as well.
Click to see Steven Boone artwork

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Light That Pours

The natural light that pours in my kitchen window each day is like vitamin to my soul. I can't imagine being without it in the morning. Just outside is an old wood slat fence, with a few tangled vines intertwined throughout. It obscures my neighbors house that sits twenty feet away. Tree limbs are scattered above with ample sky visible. 

A ledge over my sink always has plants. The coleus in a pot comes from a plant that was on my patio and knocked over by the wind. I discovered it late, when it was dying. I took a sprig and stuck it into some earth and now it is about to make little purple blooms. The orchid is not mine. I am watching over it while a friend is out of the country. 

Lately, I have been growing sunflower sprouts. They are delicious and nutritious to snack on, and available almost all the time because I start them in containers every four or five days. I use bird seed to start the seedlings.

All this life—thanks to the window, and light that pours in to bless existence.