On Working Challenges

“Sharks Tooth Rock”
Oil on canvas, 16” x 20”

One is honored when another person of like mind and soul will drive nearly 100 miles to be with you, or to be part of what you are doing.

Yesterday, again, Elio Camacho did precisely that to see my studio, my work and to paint together en plein aire.

This guy is all about mastery, as am I. Mastery is what we both seek . . .I may never reach it, but it is the reason I exist. To be with someone who eats and sleeps and works hard to reach that same goal is a rare privilege. I don’t want Elio to get a big head or to think I am ‘in awe’ or acting like a groupie. No! We both know that it is a rare thing to be with another person of like mind and motives.

We went to “Sharks Tooth” beach up the coast from my studio and home. And stood apart and furiously attacked our respective canvases or boards. A wise crack here, a glance there, or an expletive or a laugh is all we need to connect. We watch each others’ methods and processes without comment and proceed down each of our respective processes. Two paintings as different as night and day came out of this session, yet, again, I gained knowledge, encouragement for myself and a larger degree of respect for him and his work.

Is he a master? I don’t know. I think mastery is familiarity. It has to do with brush mileage, or how many acres of canvas one has painted. At any point in the process, one holds mastery over their previous work, but what lies ahead? How much work is one person willing to expend to reach a new level? And that is why he and I connect, I think. We both are willing to stretch and reach and work every day.

Yesterday was exactly that. Each held a little challenge, or a plan in our respective minds, before putting brush to paint, to tackle something new. For me, it was using a different set of colors on my palette and to see what I could derive from that. . . ..and to push the color in places where nature was offering bland, neutral tones.

What did he have in mind? Maybe you should go see what he did and if he’ll tell you.

5 thoughts on “On Working Challenges”

  1. These two bluff dudes look like they are having a conservation, negotiating something. They look kinda cranky, which makes a wonderful contrast to the calm ocean behind them.

  2. My name and master should never be used in the same sentence.

    I am just trying to find my way through this and covering as much canvas as I can in the process.

    Mike it was great to paint with again. Thank you for the wonderful comments.

  3. Aw, you’re killing me here. Again you guys get together to live out my dream. I wish there was a service for artists who want to find other local artist to paint with. I’d be the first member!

  4. Okay, Silvi. You have just been elected President of our tiny society of three. (New members automatically become president!)

    Jump in your car and come awnn downnnn! 🙂

  5. I loved this post! You verbalized what I’ve been trying to put into words about my own work. Mastery seems so far away right now…I’d be happy with skillful at this point. I was on my way to semi-mastery with watercolors after 20 years of painting with them but now that I’m studying oil painting and plein air painting it seems very distant. It’s a joy seeing your paintings and Elio’s and reading about your process!

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