Fresh Paint
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Holiday Midpoint Report
Yes, am paying attention and here, more or less. Have been spending much time driving around wasting gas, checking out the improvements and new acquisitions the Lake County Forest Preserve has been making.

One problem with living in the city is that (duh) to see the country you have to go far, so minimizing the distances you must travel to refresh your eyes is important.

A teacher I had at Ox-Bow years ago said that when people who ordinarily live in the city paint a landscape, they tend to pull themselves into it, or alternately, wrap it around themselves. I had difficulty seeing very long vistas without editing out all the lawn and water between me and the line of trees in the distance I wanted to paint.

The Dutch were really good at this -- they could lower the horizon and compress distance into the lower third of a painting like no one else, even with an indifferent sky providing no interest at all (tho they sure liked their skys).

Took some pix of several desolate areas near the train lines (hear that lonesome whistle blow) where if you turn and look in a different direction you can see a line of brand new mini-mansions in a housing development (with turrets!). I started feeling a little like a seigneur as I looked across the valley.

Needless to say, they're still in the camera in the car.

Later: back from searching for the quintessential Dutch landscape, but got distracted by the wonderful Rijksmuseum site. Don't attempt without a fast connection, however, because it goes all out in special effects. In particular, you can browse around in many of the paintings and find out about various techniques the artist used.

Is gray and Dutch out right now, and rain has been predicted. Have been lying around like a boa constrictor, digesting breakfast donuts. Time to move.

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