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Archives for July, 2008

Dapples in ripples and rhymes


Dapples are difficult wherever they are. Lately, I’ve been trying to catch shadows on a stream, without great success. But according to Hopkins, we should be grateful nonetheless:

“Pied Beauty” (1877)
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Glory be to God for dappled things–
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced–fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise Him.

The Dapple of my Eye

Steve’s recent post: “Light, Dark, Figure, Ground” presents a fine example of dappling as the tree in question seems to dissolve in patterns of light and shade.

The name “Forest City”, applies well to large areas of Greater Cleveland. Our property in Cleveland Heights is rather woodsy and can produce an array of shadow effects. This dappling is a constant source of fascination and subject matter. This morning it was the side of the house.


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Painting Expedition and Road Trip

I’m on the road with Jer, working on painting scenes from many tiny hamlets in the high desert of eastern Oregon. We started on Monday, it is now Thursday, and I have eight 12 x 16″ plein air oil paintings in my boxes in the back of the Honda. I also have a peeling nose (in spite of all precautions against the sun) and a whole set of images, some photos, some memories, of Oregon’s outback.The paintings are too raw to be shown right now, but here are some photos of things I painted:


The Heppner, Oregon, courthouse and uplands


The Condon Library and Lennox Heating and Cooling Store (circa 1903, erstwhile bank and saloon)

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Light, dark, figure, ground

I recently noticed that I was making some images that had a reversed figure/ground relationship, in terms of lightness. That is, the main subject was light with a darker surrounding, rather than the more common dark with a lighter surrounding. For example, compare the first picture with the one below it, which I showed last week.


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