Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thoughts, a few days before Christmas, 2010

Tis a few days before the Christmas holiday and I have just a few thoughts and observations to share with you, my friends and followers of this blog. Life it seems is always changing and sometimes things that seemed bad turn out to be good in the long run. I guess that's the mystery of life and has reminded me to always keep my eyes open and expect that there will always be a surprise just around the corner. Many of us travel our paths, meet frustration and come to a point of giving up. It's a common theme in my age group. What always seems to happen though is that people when pushed to that point always find a state of grace. They transform themselves and adapt beautifully and come out stronger and better for the experience.

"Well past our prime"
Oil on canvas, 12" X 12"
C. Scogins © 2010

I could go into several stories about that, but I'm sure you can come up with your own. The one I'd like to share though is very close to home. Like many of us, I've struggled with the fact that I'm running out of time. I'm 55 and look at all that I've done in my life which in many ways has been significant. In others though they seem small and not very important to me these days. I suppose I've let them go and don't define myself by them anymore. I've cast off most of the worries I carried for years and seem to be in one of the best places in my life right now. These have been a hard 10 years of my life and there have been tragic disappointments as well as some surprisingly sweet and tender triumphs. Most disappointing is that I've let myself get fat. Considering that I was an ultra-athlete, driven, competitive and very conscious of my body that has been a big blow to my ego. I suppose I found food to be an enjoyable distraction from my worries and let myself enjoy it a little too much.

What I've found though as I've watched my muscles shift ever southward toward my equator is that I've found a different view of my life. I've mellowed a lot and become somewhat more relaxed about who I am. I hate to say it but I have kind of an attitude about it. If you don't like me because of my shape, then so be it, move on! I've been in the dating world for the past two years and I have to admit it does seem to hold me back with the type of women I tend to be attracted to. I'm beginning to see though that it's more their problem than mine and in a way if they are basing my value on that basis, than it wouldn't have lasted anyway. Sure we all want to be found attractive but what have you got after all that beautiful flesh fades and wrinkles. In the end, you only have who you are, happy, sad, miserable, discontented or what ever. People tend to latch on to certain themes in their lives and they play them out to the end. So in my typical fashion I've come up with a visual response to these thoughts. I titled it "Well past our prime". It's a 12" X 12" alla-prima painting of two pieces of fruit. Each mottled and on the verge of spoiling.

I see the Pear as myself or men in general. You don't think of pears as being particularly sweet and in fact when they seem to look their best, have very little flavor. As they age and get a lot of spots and bruises on them though they sweeten and are the most flavorful just before they totally spoil.

Apples on the other hand seem to represent the women I've known in my life. Colorful and beautiful when fresh and younger but they don't get their sweetness till they come of child bearing years. Once past them they tend to loose the sweetness but in many ways become more interesting and complex. Maybe even a bit easier to have in a guys life as well.
Only time will tell!

So, here is to wishing everyone a very happy holiday and the best for this coming year! I'll be trying to keep the eggnog to a minimum this year, don't let that stop you though!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beginning of December, Goodby 2010

Ok, the year has flown by and with no regard to anyone's feelings it just keeps on jetting by.
There are so many of you I've missed seeing this year and I'm sad for not being able to spend a little precious time with you catching up and sharing tales of painting, life and the making of art in what ever form you choose to pursue. I do know that most of us have had worries, doubts and even a little economic struggle this year, so I don't in anyway want to make light of those facts we all endure. The fact is though that for many of us we have had doors open and opportunities present themselves that were not there in previous years. In many ways I've seen people near and dear to me make some pretty amazing changes in their lives, travel to far off places and take jobs in distant lands. The world, my dears seems to keep moving in-spite of our wishes to keep thing much the same. This seems to be much the same with me and there is a feeling of restlessness stirring within me. I don't claim any psychic abilities but native people seem to have this sense when big changes are on the horizon and I've had that in my bones for the last few weeks. Not sure yet what is coming our way but I'll be happy to share as time moves forward.

Currently though, I've been up to my usual tricks and spending as much time as possible focused on painting and playing in the mud. Yesterday was the opening of the Atlanta Artists Centers 6th Annual Plein-air Exhibition at the Buckhead Library. This is the 4th year I've participated and as always enjoy the event. It will be up till January 4th, so go by and check out some of the work.
I was one of the guest speakers at the event and penned some of my thoughts on this thing we call "plein-air". If you'll be so kind to indulge me I'll share it with you in this blog. I'd like to say thank you to all my friends and students who showed up and enjoyed the food, art and socializing. I do very much appreciate your support. PS. I'm sorry for the false advertising, I thought they were serving wine, my mistake, and I was so looking forward to a glass myself! So without further delay, I'm going to post some of the images of the art in the show and yes even my attempt at verse!

Poster promoting the show and featuring work from the participating artists.

Written for a presentation at the Atlanta Artists Centers 6th annual plein-air exhibit
held at the Buckhead Library, December 4th 2010

Why I Paint Outdoors!

Why I paint outdoors
is really not so hard to see
all one has to do is
look back in history
for many a great artist
stood out in mother natures amenities
and each of them has left
their mark upon our memories.

When I feel that old and ancient stir
to seek out a source of inspiration
whether in the mountains
or by the sea
the sunlight that glimmers
under a canopy
in dappled patterns like the light
I'll lay down painted shapes
to copy natures lessons with envy
for she is the master of harmony.

So if you wish to seek me out
look in less traveled places
I'll be there in hopes of sharing
the beauty, color and rhythms
of dancing trees and waving fields
what my eyes have had the privilege
to experience with fascination
lending my skills not so much in words
but in ways more painterly.

By: C. S. Scogins

"Sculpture in the Waterfall"
Painted at the 2010 Artful Garden Tour,
a benefit for the High Museum of Art, sponsored by ArtPartners
my painting shows a bronze sculpture by Basil Watson in the waterfall in Marty Gillan's garden at the event. I was quite pleased with this effort at 12 X 18 inches which is large for plein-air works.

"All Aglow" painted 2010
I painted this over several months on location in College Park. I had driven by this house the past few years and was always fascinated by it though I couldn't get a good look at it from the road. It's a large craftsman built in 1886 by Margret Mitchel's sister as the story goes.
It's constructed of stone walls with huge porches and a carriage drive that wraps around the house. I always feel good being there and enjoyed meeting Thom the owner and resident. To date, I feel it's one of my best works ever. It's good when you get a few of those in life!

"Falling from Heaven"
This little still life painted Plein-air came to be after finding this little bird whom had flown into the window. I found her laying in the leaves and it struck me that everything in the heavens fall to earth eventually. A somewhat bitter sweet theme that makes one appreciate the fleeting time we have in life!

"Guardian of Allene"
Painted 2010, just down the street from my loft stands this enormous Oak tree which I've looked at so many times passing it by day to day. It sits on the line between the warehouse district I live in and Adair Park, along the Beltline path.

"Painting in the Garden"
Painted at the 2007 Artful Garden Tour,
a benefit for the High Museum of Art, sponsored by ArtPartners
my painting shows Susan Knight Smith painting at the event.

"Cranes in the Koi Pond"
Painted at the 2007 Artful Garden Tour,
a benefit for the High Museum of Art,
sponsored by ArtPartners