True Needs

“Searching”, 90 x 120 cm, oil on linen

Though I have been busy painting new things, I am at the moment unable to share them, hence my lack of recent posts. My horrible camera stopped working on the same day that my cellphone stopped working. Though I cringe at all of the contacts I lost and the inability to photograph anything, I am actually very calm about it all. Over the past two years I have become ever more reclusive. I found it increasingly more difficult to paint with other people around me, whether they are talking on a phone or painting also. I had thought that by closing down my school in Florence and painting alone at home, I might find the peaceful atmosphere I was seeking to devote myself entirely to my painting. Still, however, people eventually learned where I lived, and though it might be nice to have visitors, I gradually grew more upset by the “pop-by visits,” urgent text messages, telephone calls. Changing countries certainly solved that situation! I am loving the ability to spend entire days observing and thinking without interruption or needing to work in short spurts between teaching duties. Lunch consists of the quickest sandwich possible. Social activities, phone calls, computer work, running, grocery shopping, and cooking – these are reserved for the appropriate time, after sundown when the natural light has faded and I can no longer see my subject or colors. Until I post new works, thought I would share some recent painting sales before Christmas, and some true words from Albert Pinkham Ryder.

“La Contessa,” 50 x 60 cm, oil on linen


The artist needs but a roof, a crust of bread, and his easel, and all the rest God gives him in abundance. He must live to paint and not paint to live. He cannot be a good fellow; he is rarely a wealthy man, and upon the pot boiler is inscribed the epitaph of his art.
The artist should not sacrifice his ideals to a landlord and a costly studio. A rain-tight roof, frugal living, a box of colors, and God’s sunlight through the windows keep the soul attuned and the body vigorous for one’s daily work. The artist should once and forever emancipate himself from the bondage of appearance and the unpardonable sin of expending on ignoble aims the precious ointment that should serve only to nourish the lamp burning before the tabernacle of his muse.

–Albert Pinkham Ryder