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Back to the Canvas

Today I remember why it’s difficult to pick up painting. Many of the images I’m working on  are from a while ago, they’ve been slowly forming and the original inspiration is a bit foreign at the moment.

I tend to start painting by pushing paint instead of painting from inspiration, it is obvious to my subconscious when I am not painting from the right place.

An image becomes clearer when my strokes become autonomous, I don’t have to think about what goes where. Compositions tend to create themselves.

Today, was hit or miss for a while and I fell in and out of the zone. I worked on several paintings and finally got my stride but I realize I have to have my space in order before I start, getting into that subconscious state is interrupted by chaos and disorder, something my writing often benefits from.

I am continually exploring and learning about the creative experience and how the brain processes. As long as I’ve been doing this, it always intrigues me with periods of block and then intense inspiration.

A Blast from the Past: First Published on 12/12/12: Sunflowers: Inspiration

Inspiration : Evening Sunflowers
Sunflowers on Fence
This is a large pastel inspired by the image of a single light illuminating an upstairs room at a nearby townhouse in Rowlett-actually the scene was pretty much unchanged only simplified.
I felt a feeling of haunting when I first saw it. I wanted the viewer to question the scene-who’s in the room?-there is a mystery about a window in the darkness. The sunflowers brings your attention in and lead your eye along the fence.
Sometimes images create themselves and all the artist does is capture what they see-parts of the scene are simplified or exaggerated for the effect and to control the eye of the viewer and how they perceive the scene.
What is obvious to the artist is not always what the viewer will see-they make their own impression from the image and hopefully a hint of what the artist inspiration remains in the final rendering.
Below is the second in the series, again a very large pastel. Each of these include plants that are my favorites in the garden, the sunflower and the passionvine-each are symbolic in their own right and although I don’t often paint flowers, the ones I choose tend to be significant to me-either I have them in my wildlife garden or they have a symbolic meaning to them.
The passionvine represents Christ, although there is nothing specifically religious about the bottom painting, I like the passionvine for its uniqueness and symbolism.
I still feel like both of these will probably be revamped as paintings. My initial image of the bottom pastel was originally darker and the passionvines stood out larger and more vibrant. I kind of got lost in the clouds, I will paint probably a smaller version of it with larger flowers, a less awkward smaller house and a late evening time frame.
The following images are more sunflower paintings that have been created since this initial group of paintings.

Blogger article on Sunflower Painting

Here are some photographs of the sunflowers, both in my garden and on the road.

Portraits: The Flyfisherman

The Flyline
Pensive II
Study 2

I strive to capture not the whole image of portraiture but instead a glimpse of a moment, the snapshot to a spectator

What interested me was the light, how the shadows are the most important aspect of the image. I like backlit photography, it gives the subject a feeling of mystery.

I try to edit as little as I can as to not alter the moment. This series of photography shows the intensity and joy of the fisherman, an enthusiast absorbed in his art form.

2018_a Very Productive Year

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Original photography by artbygordon and text by artbygordon-image from Lake Ray Hubbard

It’s been a productive year but it’s also been very stressful. Chasing after your passion can be very intimidating, it is not the norm and it doesn’t fit into the stereotypical life.

Many times you are out on the limb but actually you are doing what you always said you would: daring to embrace the extraordinary life. The freedoms I have experienced this year have allowed me to find great bits of nature all around the DFW area.

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Puddle outside in April: Original photography by Artbygordon

2018 I feel like I have truly found my niche. Nature has always been my inspiration but I am find more options for not only the light interaction but abstract patterns. April brought the rain and I was out finding images to capture.

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Original photograph from Parkhill Prairie in Blue Ridge by Artbygordon

I have truly become a solo hiker and have spent much time finding excuses to go back to the places where I used to run insurance appointments. It is a liberating feeling to be able to photograph and explore alone and having much time to reflect on what exactly a photo by Artbygordon looks like.

I am increasing my interest in finding light in the bleakest days. There is no time or place where the richness of light speaks to me than when it is unexpected.

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I finally made it to the Frank Buck Zoo. I’ve also had many trips to Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, Parkhill Prairie, Sulphur River and the Caddo Grasslands in northeast Texas.

Every place I visit I find new nature subjects and learn more about their habits. I watched cliff swallows dig for mud on the sulphur river and watched them build their nests while I searched for fossil Belemites.

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Sulphur River from the river bottoms, original photography by artbygordon

This whole year has been a learning and growing experience for me, staying up to date with video, graphics and even 3D imaging, I continue to grow my craft while exploring avenues in Photography.

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I Illustrated my first children’s book with R.L. Clayton. I have also worked with a local leader to get her marketing materials for her new church she is gathering: It has truly been a blessing as I continue to grow my small but loyal group of clients.

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Ennis Bluebonnet Festival original photography by artbygordon

I got back to the Bluebonnet trails in Ennis and the bluebonnets were quite amazing. It’s amazing how many people go down to see the spectacle, the hardest task was not to let the people steal the show. It was a wonderful afternoon.

April and May were busy as I continued to work freelance while traveling to places to gather photography. The brand is growing and I am developing the look and feel of the site.

The one thing that has never changed and will never change is my interest and passion for nature. It is my solace and keeps me grounded. I am planning on traveling much more in 2019.

Featured image


A Great new Direction for Artbygordon: Rebirthing a Brand

A group of paintings and how they came to be.

Sporting art: kayaking and water art

I am a kayaker and much of my study of water has come from my time kayaking. The experience of emerging in nature, the silence and calm of the water, the many moods of the sky and the beauty and depth of reflections in the surface of a still lake.

I will start adding a new post and new information about old and new paintings. I’ll include the medium, size of the painting, availability of prints and commission work.

As new posts are added, the homepage will reflect the new images and new or old reintroduced paintings. I am grouping paintings into subject matter which is sporting art, original oils of water, original pastels of water and artwork of the night sky, both of which are my specialties.

I will have added options for new paintings and services and new posts will introduce a new or updated service or group of paintings.

kayakers, an introduction to a new direction for Artbygordon.
aPaintings of kayakers

Iris: The First Highlight in the SPring Garden 2020

The Iris is one of the easiest plants, it grows, doesn’t necessarily flower, but when it does-it can be quite dramatic. It rises from the garden before all the other plants have even sprouted.

The purple flowers are from plants that have been sitting in an old pot forever-I’ve only seen them flower once in several years but this year-there are 9 separate flowers.

This will definitely be a series of paintings I am planning. I love the way the light catches the fragile blooms. It is light we seek in painting and photography and this flower delivers it so perfectly for the camera.

I also like the almost abstract parts of the flower, when like touches the pedals, it creates a whole new dimension to the image. Even the buds create their own interesting design almost like a pupae that turns into the butterfly.

The WInter Garden

Artbygordon 2020

Hope Amidst the Weeds

If you saw my garden you wouldn’t think much of it, it’s not contained, manicured, you might even call it a jungle of weeds.

Every plant I grow has a purpose for some species of wildlife. Every year I get closer to a more perfected garden but through the summer heat, I lose time or interest and it becomes an overgrown mess again.

Artbygordon 2020

This year, I am going back to the basics, raised beds, the usual plants but less of them.

I see so many connections between life and a garden, there are seasons for everything. So many wisdoms come out of the dirt-last years dead leaves are food for tomorrow’s plants.

Artbygordon 2020

Every plant has a purpose and a time for everything and they compete for their own space in a garden, their own voice-whether it be the nectar they supply pollinators or the purpose they serve in changing the soil.

We could learn a lot from a garden-we all have purpose, with patience and the tenacity of a petulant weed-we must wait painstakingly forging our place in this garden until the garden becomes us.

Every dead shoot holds the possibility for something tomorrow, I see possibilities in every season. So much about myself I’ve learned from gardening.

Artbygordon 2020

Exploring the inner child

Sunflowers and morning glories over Hubbard

Just one visit to a Monet exhibit and I’ve found a different way to see or to render what I want to explore. I’m not arriving at one new place, it’s more like being unafraid to explore color and form freed of the restraints of realism.

Today was one of the most enjoyable times for painting, I’ve allowed strokes to be violent and free, allowed paint to glob onto the canvas and all I can say I’m allowing some play in my technique.

Alone Artbygordon 2019

There is a great freedom of moving paint around without a distinct image, in fact, the reason I don’t paint for long periods is the image hasn’t gelled enough. The figure staring across a landscape is a first in a series of blue hue paintings focusing on loneliness and isolation.

Just like an ice age, I am slowly coming out of quite a dark one and the light in the painting is a hint of light and hope. I am excited about my paintings combining with my words. Let’s see where this goes.

Return to Parkhill Prairie

The clouds rise over a golden field. The prairie, almost as it was 100 years ago when the settlers watched over their future homesteads.

A road to melancholia, another summer collapsing on itself, the compass flowers, brash yellow shows its contempt. Bails of twisted weathered bails of hay, all the chores are done and everything is the same under a Texas Sun.

I walked the prairie, enjoying the silence, just the sound of the wind and the rustling of the golden grasses. The flowers were all on fire, yellows and golds-compass flower and goldenrod against a perfect blue sky.

There is no greater place I’ve found nearby to truly escape myself and the noise and anxiety of daily life. I have a new list of images that are all biding for attention and yet I haven’t been able to get myself to paint anything. I have so many things to do all at once, much of the time I end up doing nothing.

One thing that was wonderful while walking on the prairie, words came to me without any effort. One thought after another became the skeleton of something I’m planning-Summer’s End maybe-not sure it is growing and becoming as we speak.

I don’t have any pretense that it will get better or worse, only myself and the prairie-the lark sparrow -knows my presence and doesn’t seem to care, golden wheat stands tall like soldiers and sways sulking in the summer heat-we are all breathless, exhausted

I got to drive through the areas of the country that I was servicing with the insurance job. Many of the apartments and small houses I passed were familiar. I don’t miss the job but I do miss that feeling of being out on the road-so many hours of introspection.

I have three or four paintings coming up in the next day or so and I’m excited about what forms. I am in the slow fermentation point, it is very frustrating at times but quite necessary.

Parkhill Prairie in Blueridge Texas

Check out my 61st article on LinkedIn-more on the prairie and finding peace Good Morning God

Good morning God: start of a series

It’s funny how a simple walk with a dog can change how we see things around us. Since I’ve been walking the dog, I’ve met more neighbors than ever before, got to know their dogs and have learned to turn a routine into a purpose.

Routine, is a very strange thing for me anyway as it’s hard for me to develop much of anything into a routine. I wouldn’t consider myself flaky just distracted and maybe a bit undisciplined.

My son decided it was time for a dog to replace our previous dog of 16 years-the same amount of time I spent at my previous job. My first reaction was no, I knew the responsibility of having a puppy, the cost and the time investment and yet this beautiful puppy stole my heart.

My son leaves for the army and I’m left with the duty of raising a needy puppy. My biggest problem with life is not taking the time to stop and enjoy nature, the dog makes it easy to stop, even if in the past I fought the chore.

A simple task of walking the dog has turned into a series of writings about the simple act of stopping long enough to be present. My walks have become an impetus for me to connect with God and nature.

How could anyone say no???

I’m not sure where it’s all headed but just as the dog pulls the lead, I allow my path to find its way, I’m just more present and more available to a greater purpose and a deeper faith.

I hope people like the stories, pictures and insights of walking the dog and how the act has brought routine in writing a weekly post, exercise and a work at strengthening my faith and connection with nature.

Check out the previous posts and one written today.