~ Experiences, Projects & Jottings of Painter Jan Clizer, Specialist Painter of Scottish & Celtic Music Subject Matter ~

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inspired Sorting

Just finished listening to 'The News Quiz,' a hilarious news satire show from the BBC. I'm so grateful for the benefit of sharp minds and quick wits of others for inspiration and a dash of insightful humour to brighten the day! The point of overwhelm is easy to reach in this busy, production-oriented life. I've been escaping lately by spending time reviewing and organizing photos – ditto with my fiddle music – wonder what's up with the sudden inspiration to reach beyond the normal level of 'it's here somewhere' handle on things?? Usually when I start getting things really organized, it's a signal that a trip is in the offing. Hmmm…….

At least the painting procedure hasn't followed suit…..I've currently three in progress, a large formal garden in Ross-shire, the ancient Plough Inn on the Black Isle, and a wee colour sketch of Plockton on the West Coast…..it's no fun unless there's several different scenes and sets of challenges to solve simultaneously……!!! The red sailboat just outside of North Kessock on the Black Isle was a joy to paint, recalling pleasant hours I've spent, both with my friends and on my own, on the twisty, scene-at-every-step road that hugs the Firth between North Kessock and Milton, two tiny 'bedroom communities' of Inverness, across the impressive span of the Kessock Bridge.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

To the Sea, To the Sea

It's a dreich February day in North Idaho, and the fog was thick before noon. Lovely to observe, actually, with frost-covered tree branches looming out of the mist like the bowsprits of sailboats. My current residence is very pleasant, with wild turkeys and deer constantly parading the grounds and foraging beneath tall pines (and in my mother's flower beds). Still, there's an intangible something about being near salt water. Being away from it just feels as if there's something lacking! This could be attributed to one's background….who's to say….. All I know is, I'd be packed in an hour if the chance appeared to be seaside for a few days – even in winter!

Walking beaches during wild winter storms on the Pacific Coast was a highlight of my childhood Februarys: the drama of thundering seas pounding against land; storm-tossed 'flotsam and jetsam' being pushed up the beach with torpedo-like speed and force; and the fascinating piles of ocean detritus left on the beach to dig through in search of 'treasures.' I am deeply grateful to my parents for providing me with such opportunities. It is little wonder that Scottish marine subjects make up a large part of my work.

"Stonehaven Solitude" is one of several paintings based on the NE coast's lovely Stonehaven town harbour. I could spend several months harbourside and still find more subjects to paint! The water's beautiful colours under clear conditions, the myriad of 'artistic' boats, the entertaining comings-and-goings of both locals and tourists…..it's the 'bee's knees' for a painter!! This lovely wooden sailboat is a great subject – I wanted to emphasize the snug peace of the harbor in quiet times, thus the rather restful colours, water calm enough to hold cast reflections, and solid, stable, vertical lines of the pier's construction. I wonder where the boat has been, and what interesting trips it will log in the coming year? The imagination kicks in……..