Purple Sky

When I was in college I was in love with charcoal. I would go to life drawing class clean as  whistle and emerge at the end of class looking like I was the coal miner’s daughter! For years I could not get my hands completely clean because not only was I grinding charcoal dust into my hands by smearing and scratching it in to the paper to create my giant life drawings but I was also in the printmaking studio putting  ink on the copper plates to make intaglio prints. You couldn’t do it with gloves on. You ruined your hands.

But I looked at my destroyed hands and pronounced it good. After all, what are hands for except to destroy in the process of creation?

So for years I was in love with black. Back then one of my favorite artist was the German expressionist Max Beckmann. He used black a lot. I aspired to be Max Beckmann.


I also aspired to be Sylvia Schuster. She was a year or two ahead of me. Another gritty, intense coal miner’ daughter covered with charcoal dust head to toe. The TA said “she sees a head. She doesn’t see a face.”  It was pivotal moment for me and I started thinking “volume!”. Get the distinction?


Today I’m not in favor of black. As matter of fact, I say NO black.

Now I want to try something different. If I want to use a dark color I’ll use Payne’s Gray or Burnt Umber.

Here’s the beginning of my new adventure with landscape painting.

What do you think?


“Smoky Sky”

Acrylic 8″x10″

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