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Art is work

Mark Howard Webster

Trumpet painting

The rains have come and I’m staying home at least every other weekend to paint still lifes. Sitting out in my drafty studio slaving away over a painting sounds lovely, but the reality is less romantic. I still don’t really understand my new oil paint medium. I’m getting a lot better, and have done some nice (maybe even sellable) work, but the paintings go through long awkward phases where I really dislike them. There have been many times where, if I had been working in pastel, I would have simply crumpled up the paper and tossed it in the garbage can. But because I’m working on wood board, the paintings can’t be destroyed easily. I keep plugging away, hoping to bring them to life.

So that’s been my weekends lately. The last month, with one exception have been painting basically 7 days a week. I like to think of it as career training. Whenever I’m home I’m out in the studio. I did climb last weekend with Lolo, Mindy and friends at Vantage. I’m still warmed up from Smith and was able to get up my favorites cleanly: Split Beaver, Tangled up in Blue, George and Martha, Whip Saw, Air Guitar. But climbing leaves me empty now. I didn’t even take pictures. Instead, as I walked around, I wondered if I could paint the views in oils.

Sue borrowed a trumpet at work and I’m 12 hours into a trumpet still life. It has been awkward since the start. It looks good, but it doesn’t sing. This is my second full day on it and I’m almost scared to open the studio to look at it.

So, despite all this, it’s time to go to work. Perhaps I can find a good talking book, or some music to keep me company as I work. I’m not a quitter, if this one doesn’t fly, I will start another one. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

UPDATE: Looks like it turned out. Not sure it’s a silk purse, but it shines nicely and I like it. Great exercise in painting metal. I was third chair cornet in Junior High. There wasn’t a fourth chair.

Trumpet, oil on board 11 x 16