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Nov 19, 2007 15 Comments

untitled landscape 6, 6" x 6"

It's the place I go when I want to slip off to sleep or need a hard stare. It's the place I found out west, after growing up on a diet of rolling green hills dotted with old farms and mellow cows staged for Wyeth paintings. But despite the number I'd painted in recent years, they weren't my focus. I certainly wasn't going to paint a barn. That was the territory of a younger Scott, those pesky perpetually talented Wyeths and their swarming armies of drab imitators. But here I am, thinking of that barn, that hill, that mountain and river.

That hill, the dry swell of a behemoth's back, draws the perfect line between hard land and the arcing wall of bottomless sky. It's haunches crisscrossed by game or jeep trails are worn into gentle folds by time, wind and storm. That field, freshly tumbled, giving way to ridges trimmed by shadowed forest and orchard. Behind, a range of mountains is a firm blue smear below milky cobalt. That river with quiet belligerence winding through a valley from some unknown source mirrors to an unknown end. It's mirrored surface of clouds, birds and reeds masking its movement and intentions. And amongst them, our presence - an old barn, the scribble of a road, the pattern of crops and tilled soil, a row of fence posts, giant white windmills scattered like a titan's jacks, all scratching straight against the round of nature.

With pick axe in hand, I dove back into painting, something I haven't been able to do the last months with any real energy. Not unlike going too long without sex, the painting went fast and furious. Some of the pent up ideas well stewed in the anxiety of the past year found their release.

Best yet, as I'd hoped, those more studied still lives had done as I'd hoped. Though they became more, they were started as exercises. The time constraint and specificity of subject demanded and inspired a certainty that's sometimes lost in the hedging excuses, "I'm just building it up, getting the surface ready for real paint." You can't do that when you're painting it in a day. You can't consider washes of color nuancing any spark to death. You have to just paint the damn things.

We'll have to see how these translate to larger works, but these new things crackle. There might even be a barn.

A few of them:

untitled landscape 1, 6" x 6"

untitled landscape 2, 6" x 6"

untitled landscape 4, 6" x 6"


Wil    Nov 19, 2007  at  3:22 pm

These are most excellent!

Ann Marie    Nov 19, 2007  at  3:32 pm

This is what I’m talking about.

dave    Nov 19, 2007  at  3:36 pm

Very nice, sir.  I love the directness of them and the confidence they’re show.

Brad    Nov 19, 2007  at  4:14 pm

Nice. I like the feeling that every little thing is there for a reason.

Mugs    Nov 19, 2007  at  8:32 pm

love the second one…sigh.

Sadie    Nov 19, 2007  at  8:53 pm

gorgeous all!! the salmon foreground in that last one takes my breath away. Forge on!! do 20!!

scott    Nov 20, 2007  at  11:01 pm

Thank you everyone. This feedback means more than it perhaps should. I have some more and will be making more.

I know what you’re talking about. You’ll be pleased.

wachs    Nov 23, 2007  at  8:24 pm

dood - looking good. How big do mean when you say ‘larger’? keep crackin’!

scott    Nov 23, 2007  at  8:36 pm

How big? good question. Not so big that they can’t fit in the car. You only have to do that once to wish you hadn’t. Pragmatism sometimes wins.

wachs    Nov 23, 2007  at  8:47 pm

yes, and when it doesn’t fit . . . it’s always windy and raining.

J.McIntyre    Nov 24, 2007  at  7:08 pm

nice to see you back to painting…your good, you need to feed your artistic soul

johnnie    Nov 28, 2007  at  12:43 am

You’re one heck of a writer, too.

scott    Dec 17, 2007  at  6:27 pm

thank you all

Suzanne    Jan 03, 2008  at  2:34 pm

Hey Scott! 

Don Gray just turned me on to your site.  Love your paintings.  I’m thrilled to see your construction work.  Am currently reliving mine at Diary of a Studio  You might get a chuckle out of it.  Hang in there…you’ll look back from your soon to be beautiful space and think, well, I don’t have to do THAT again!

Danilo    Jan 05, 2014  at  6:28 pm

Dear Tom,Next Filmfest Mfcnchen is coming soon, and by notinicg it I remember your retrospective last year. It was fantastic and I only wished, there would be such a retrospective again, or much better, a new film by Tom DiCillo.Did you see the little film we made about you for the University of Film and Television in Munich? Thanks again for your time, patience and your generous way.It would be great to have you some day here again, maybe for a Master Class?Best regards from Germany,Nuria






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