Hello My Old Heart

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A return of old friends











Twenty Years

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So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years-
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l’entre deux guerres-
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholy new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate,
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate – but there is no competition –
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.

The Four Quartets  T.S. Eliot


Looking Back, 2015

acrylic on canvas,  20″x16″

If you know the (ex)duo The Civil Wars you might recognize the subject. The painting was inspired by their album cover for Barton Hollow and the song Twenty Years.

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

The Four Quartets  T.S. Eliot


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com·ple·men·ta·ry col·ours


 Colours that lie opposite each other on the colour wheel. Placed next to each other, complementary colours enhance the brilliance of both; mixed they cancel intensity.

Am I placing complementary goals in my life next to each other, or mixing them and getting mud ? Something to think about this year.



GOat in PEACE, 2015

A study in orange-red and blue-green

acrylic on canvas, 9” x 12”

Palette: Cadmium red, cadmium orange, cobalt turquoise, ultramarine, titanium white and ivory black

Neutral Grey Value 5

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My oldest son and I were doing dishes yesterday in the late afternoon and got into a discussion about colour. I’d recently finished up a painting and he had graciously photographed it for me. He’d spent some time doing the colour correction and the results were quite good. I mentioned how hard it is for our brain to see colour sometimes. For example, I pointed out, the snow on the roof across the street that is in deep evening shade is really a very brilliant blue. He agreed that is was blue-ish, but not that blue. I have a little tool artists use for help in judging colour and value. It’s simply a piece of cardboard with a small square hole in the middle. The cardboard around the hole is painted what is known as “neutral grey value 5”. This colour is mid way between white and black and it eliminates the effects of other colours (and your brain) on the colour you’re trying to view. My son was very surprised just how blue the snow was ! We took turns looking through the view finder and then moving it away and laughing at how our brains kept turning the snow back to white (with just a bit of blue). I can actually look with one eye through the viewfinder and with the other at the whole scene and each eye sees a different colour ! Our brains say snow is white, the sky is blue and shadows are grey, but often they’re not. If I paint a picture the way my brain habitually thinks the colours are, in the end it won’t look right !

I think many things in life are like that. We think we know what we are looking at so we see what we know. If we act on that though, in the end it doesn’t always work right. Then we need to find some “neutral grey value 5” to help us see what is really there. Even with the viewfinder it can still be hard to get a colour just right, but I’ve got a better chance that way.



Some link love with a touch of grey …

The Archdruid Report

Andrea Hejlskov