Thursday, September 9, 2010

Rufus Morgan Falls and Life in the Shadow

Today’s pastel painting began with a photo from a lovely hike in the forests of the Rufus Morgan Falls area of North Carolina. I wanted to do something different with the picture, something that is focused on color, something that keeps the mystery of the dark wood alive while celebrating the sparkling fall sunlight. So I dove in, and when I was done I had landed here.

And if you didn't see it yesterday, too bad. I decided to crop it today and that crop is now posted. I'll probably catch some flack from the Mathemagical Cowboy who made me promise not to ever throw any painting away no matter how bad I thought it was. Guess I'll save the scraps for him. Now I have to change the title, as the focus is a little different.

4 o'Clock Shadow
10.5 x 10.5" Soft Pastels on Wallis Museum Grade Sanded Paper

This week I also ‘discovered’ Wolf Kahn. I had viewed his work a few years ago, and didn’t really get it. This time I watched a couple video interviews and I heard him articulate precisely what has been bedeviling me. I Love color. I Love working from the inside out. I have little interest in ‘representing’ a scene realistically, yet it seems that’s the only approach I know. Kind of maddening.

Here are my Wolf Kahn Take-aways:
• He always wanted to get away from ‘description.’
• ‘Get away from the brushstroke, just let things happen.’
• ‘Get away from deliberateness.’
• ‘To Paint is to live in the moment, trust our intuition and freedom of expression.’

At least my natural impulses are in good company. There is some comfort in that.

Hoping to go see his exhibit at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta GA this month.


  1. My favorite part about this piece is that you can tell where the sun hits the trees and where it doesn't.

  2. Well, I can't tell if that was thumbs up or down RamsGirl, but thanks for trying! ;-)

  3. Wolf Kahn is a favorite of mine too.
    I love this summary of what you've taken away from his work.
    Your work is lovely and expressive.

  4. Thank you, Ingrid. Glad to have discovered your blog today.

  5. Thank you for sharing
    This fabulous work with us
    Good creations

  6. I love your quotes by Wolf Kahn. I bought his book this summer and really enjoyed reading it. Thank you for putting a link to my blog on your site. I appreciate it.

  7. Thanks for stopping by Skizo.
    Deb, I just received two Wolf Kahn books today. They are marvelous. I enjoy stopping in on your blog to see your daily exploration of color combinations.

  8. I love color too Carol - especially using the technique that you've done to set up the visual vibrations by juxtaposing opposites - isn't that fun? Really nice example here.

    I'm off to learn more about Wolf Kahn thanks to your tantalizing summary. The process of losing oneself in the moment while creating is where it's at as far as I'm concerned! I think the reason why pastels are so enjoyable to work with - besides their vibrancy (for color lovers that's addicting), but there's nothing between you and the color - no brush, no tool - just your fingers - it's messy but very satisfying.

  9. Lovely..looks like my backyard...!..PS I love color too..Im obsessed..!

  10. Yes you are smArtee, I can only aspire to your joy of color!