Sunday, March 14, 2010

Piazza Senorina--Major Grunt

I did this a few years ago and sold it out of the back of my truck after it was rejected by the gallery representing me at the time--it didn't look like a Hatfield.  There is a lesson here somewhere--artist take heed!

I tried to carry my interest in the "inter-relationship of people" into a crowd scene.  I attempted to portray the moment when the business man was trying to sell something to a two year old--in this case a ride in a carriage at Piazza Senorina, Florence, Italy.  I worked off photographs I took at the site.  I was directing (yelling at) the carriage drivers to position themselves for my photos--it didn't work--I wonder why!  I used 16 different references for this painting.  I see in my FASO stats that this painting is number one in interest on my website.  I think the pigeons are the reason.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

All Smiles--Don and Janey Hatfield

Ain't love grand?--we  just sold a half dozen paintings, and felt good for a few minutes--I was still adding up the numbers and figuring my cut when my wife and the camera man conspired to portray joy as it really is--I know you understand.

Paint Like Anne Lamott Writes!

Great writers have the ability to be absorbed in the details of the world they write about.  They present colorful detailed descriptions, portray moods and nuances of human personality, entertain us by bending phrases and words in ways we have never read, inject oddities and crudities into their text to keep us interested, shock us with unexpected twists and turns of narrative, and in general high jack our lives--at least for a few hours--with a delivery system (a book) that we can't escape.  In short, great writers cause us to read.

Anne Lamott is working on my brain at the moment.  I am absorbed in the life-particulars of some chic from the Bay Area whose autodidactic solypsistic crap is now splattered all over my soul.  I am jealous of her success, and I am slightly angered that I can't put her scribblings down--she has captured me--she is taking hours of my life now, and she doesn't even know me.  I have read 80 pages of "Traveling Mercies" and have even squirted a few tears when she introduced her Jesus at the end of chapter one.  What's next?--who knows?--but with 200 more pages to read,  I may have to skip American Idol tonight--do ya think!

OK--so what? The "so what" is--we gotta paint like this babe writes!  Paint landscapes that may have your thrown in jail--Levitan did.  Paint figures whose humanity in palpable--Velasquez did.  Paint the ocean so that one can smell the salt air--Guy Rose did.  Paint something-- anything!--except that god forsaken, money making, pot boiling thing you are now working on--you know-- the one you have done a hundred times--the one all of your collectors expect you to paint--the one that brought you money and notoriety!

I facticize about an art show where the artist gives his work away to the onlooker whose heart is right--who wants artwork for the right reasons--the one whose soul will consume the food our paintings serve up.  If you or I, dear fellow artist, were to stage a show like that--would anybody come?  Would anybody go home with our free gift?  Let's find out.  You go first, and tell me what happens--I'm going back to my book--Don

Monday, March 8, 2010

Conversation of Color--Warm and Cool

I wish I had painted this, but no--this is Vadim Zanginian--another Russian who has hit the American scene with a bang.  This nude demonstrates wonderfully the conversation between warm and cool colors that I try to teach and that I try to make happen in my own work.  Look how the cool notes on the lower right provide a perfect foil for the beautiful reds on the cheek and below the chin.  The warm tones in the arms and belly are held down--it would have been easy to over heat the reds there with cadmium, but the artist used nice tans and greyed out warm tones to do the job. He did not smooth out all of the passages with his sable brush--he left the transitions rough so that our eyes could have fun making the connections.  Nothing is over rendered--there is plenty of room for the imagination to wander.  This is the key--don't make me feel stupid by rendering the life out of every inch of the canvas--I have a brain, and I can take a hint--so don't scream at me with all of your damn details--save the details for the main story--don't throw them in everywhere.  This is a consistent weakness in those who have had heavy illustration backgrounds--no subordination of detail or color--too much detail and color everywhere.  It is also a weakness for those of us who render detail when our painting hits default mode--we give up the big initial vision hoping that if we render detail--then we can bail out the painting--guess what--no can do! The old timers like Dean Cornwell, Pyle, Frank Brangwyn and their buddies understood subordinate detail and color--that is, they would cause your eye to  "run up" to colorful passages by not putting too much color or detail everywhere.  This "run up" notion is true with line, shape, detail, color and other things I can't think of.  Warm me up to your painting, give me a little "now you see it, now you don't", give my eye a little "lead in" to your main theme--starve my eye a little, then feed my eye--play with my eye and brain--let me have a little fun with your canvas--how about some nice fore play?  I promise you that if your canvas does these things to me--I will have to buy the damn thing even if I am broke. 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Extacy Has A Face

Eva's expression during bath at two months says it all!

"Brothers" 1980

When I look at this today--I think, Hatfield you used to be good--what happened?

" suck"

"Hatfield"--"I can't follow your line of teaching because your are an instinctual painter, whilst I need structure in order to paint--goodby, I don't need this crap anymore!"--or something like that.  I get this from artists who have had heavy illustration backgrounds and who come to me to "loosen up" or because they love my use of color.  They come, they see, they adore, they leave.  When they see how muddy I work in the early stages of the painting--they are confused.  When they see how sloppy my drawing is--they are befuddled.  When I preach the big mass approach--they are lost.  When I suggest that they hold off on the details--the final notes, accents, and color--until the very end of the process--they ignore me.   I am hearing echos from the past--from my years of parenting--"Dad, you suck."

I used to fanticize that I could take anybody with an IQ of 36-- who had at least one hand, one eye, and one ear--and make them a great oil painter.  I am told that I suffer from megalomania.  Maybe I am just too reductionistic or naive--or maybe I just have BO.   I seem to suffer from some stinking, incurable malady when it comes to things artistic.  One thing is certain--I have always believed that if I can get it, then anybody can get it--it is never a matter of talent--only a matter of love intersecting opportunity.  I am hearing what Anthony Hopkins said to Alec Baldwin--"...what one man can do--another can do."  Guess what--I believe this statement to be absolutely right!  O yes, this art thing is open to every man. Lets hear it gang!--WHAT ONE MAN CAN DO--ANOTHER CAN DO! This is true in oil painting more than we will ever admit.

I am not saying that anybody can be another John Singer Sargent or another Tiger Woods--what I am saying is that it is possible for every man to reach the height of potential that is granted him--if one does reach for that potential with great love for the process, for the journey--then he is a man (woman) to be admired for sure. As a teacher it is my job to provide the opportunity--it is the student's job to provide the love.  What distinguishes Tiger Woods ?--he loved it (golf) more than the rest.  Why did Sargent rise to such heights amongst his peers?--he loved it more that the rest.  I can prove this to anyone who wants to argue, but I don't have the energy to debate the obvious--so I will just beg the question and go on.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Moment in the Sun

I have to compete in the reproduction market with all of the old Hatfield paper dumped in the 90's that was a result of giclees replacing silk screens.  Even so, I am getting good giclee sales from my site.  Many collectors like dealing directly with artists.  This occasions new friendships, and I believe it will be a common scenario as the economic slide continues.  I have never liked the marketing aspect of the art life, but one on one on the telephone is not so bad--I hate shows where you must schmooze with booze or a sale you will loose.   

Friday, March 5, 2010

Hatfield Slogs On

Since I haven't painted in three weeks, I thought it was time to upload a pic of me painting a pretty picture of past performances preferring positivity over pressure to provide--I know you understand.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Get Them Started Early

I agreed with my daughter Rachel and her husband Todd that their Eva Marie should get a jump on the  kids in the hood by dawning some tats early in her life.  The Bible says ".... train a child in the way he (she) should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  It has been so important to raise Eva perfectly.  If you  enter "Blue Screen Bubby" in "Google" a ten minute short film will pop up that Todd and Rachel created at the Old Swinnie Film Academy in Melbourne, Australia that illustrates this point perfectly--it has become a cult classic among prefectionistic parents--give it a look--you will thank me.  Don

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Your Big Okie Dokie Appreciated

I've been blogging seriously now for a few weeks and am grateful for the sense of community it is creating. I have been teaching at S-12 in Sacremento for almost a year and am glad to be a part of that scene too. Blogging and teaching, then, have broken the spell of isolation that has characterized my art life since 1988 when I signed my soul away to an art publishing company in exchange for a big, fat, certain income. That all shut down in 2004, and I have been chasing my tail ever since--and coming from me, that is saying alot. Family, friends, agents, gurus, well wishers and art pushers have offered well meaning advice on what I should do to keep my work "out there." I have learned one thing for sure--talk is cheap, and money buys whiskey.

There is a substantial crowd "out there" that has seen or purchased Hatfield graphics and oil paintings for a few decades now. The thing is--they are all aged. They are living in retirement villages, pushing walkers, carrying little white dogs in their purses--they have hearing aids, pace makers, and titanium knees and hips. The wonderful thing is--these are my peers, this is my age group, I am one on them! At 63 I have tried and failed at 100 stay young, eat right, and look good programs. I give up! Give me my bacon, my tobacco, my sugar and channel changer and leave me alone! My fantasy body has cut abs, tight protruding buttocks, a small waist, and a "V" shaped torso--it just hasn't shown up in the mirror yet. What has shown up in my life is a group of people who actually read what I write, and who tolerate my oil painting tid bits.

So then, I feel surrounded by a cloud of spectators who are waiting to see what I paint or hear what I say--or at least it seems so for the moment. This may be a fantasy, but it is energizing none the less. I seem to need it. This cyber world was made for me. I have not felt so at home since my third Christmas in 1950 when my family all gathered around the Christmas tree in Lake Elsinore, California. I now know how Jesus is going to return to the earth! It has been revealed to me. He is going to show up in Facebook, create a blog, go viral, then virtual, and then stream into every hand held device. Those who have Blackberrys will ascend to heaven--those who only have lap tops will burn in hell. The Macs will gather on the right hand of the Father--the PC's will gather on the left--I better stop here. The coffee has just kicked in, and my imagination is going off.

Anyway, I sarted this post just wanting to say thanks for the encouragement and thoughtful responses and I got lost along the way--but I am back to center now. I gotta get ready to drive over to Sac for my class--o yes, I gotta empty the cat box first. Always, Don

Monday, March 1, 2010

Recent Painting at S-12

This represents my recent effort--I'm not wild about it, but it was all I had that day--I was worn out before I started from too much blogging. I even tried to improve it on Photoshop after I received the jpeg.