Winslow Homer (1873). "Sailing the Catboat"
Watercolor, 7 1/2 x 13 1/4 inches
This is my copy of Homer's initial watercolor study for his famous much larger oil painting called "Breezing Up." I actually like his study better than his final painting because of its spontaneity and the transparent quality of the light.
I really came to deeply appreciate Homer's powerful sense of composition and drama from making this copy, and I learned how he used opaque gouache to do the clouds and some of the water foam.
Henri Marisse (1925). Nature morte, vas d'amemones
Oil, 31 1/2 x 39 3/8 inches
This is my copy of one of Matisse's great still lifes, which is descriptively known as "Nature morte, nappe rose, vase d'anemones, citrons, et ananas." I came to a new level of appreciation of the subtlety of Matisse's painting from doing this. It is really fun to get into a great artist vision, and see what he was seeing and find out how he did things.
My friend Dr. Steve Teague, M.D. commissioned me to do a painting on the theme of “the macrocosm is contained in the microcosm, and the microcosm is contained in the macrocosm.” Well, as it happened, my artist friend Lawrence Sheaf had recently illustrated this idea with a diagram of point collapsing into infinity and infinity collapsing into a point. It was for a book on Maharishi’s Vedic Psychology that I was participating in writing. Lawrence's diagram became the underlying structure of this painting.
Here I represented the macrocosm by the solar system, and the microcosm by one of my favorite images, Tahoe geese circling. So the solar system (macrocosm) hones down to a point (almost) within the world of the geese, and the geese (microcosm) hone down to a point within the world of the solar system.
The four pictures above illustrate four stages of the painting from sketch to final painting.