Oil Painting #3 – Inner Nature

by Alden Cole on September 2, 2014 · 0 comments

CommencementWPInner Nature aka Commencement aka Outside, Looking In #1 • oil on canvas 24″ x 18″ • provenance unknown. This is what I painted as a follow up to my two first oil paintings done in Dayton, after returning to New York City in mid September 1973. Essential Alden – Night Air, Mountainous Earth, Deep Waters, Human Fire. After painting twice from nature plein air, attempting to capture on a two dimensional surface a three dimensional reality in front of me, and perceiving both paintings as failures because of that comparison, and because they were only quick, rough sketches, without the finish I could envision for them, but didn’t know how to use the tools to achieve that vision. I turned my attention totally inward, to archetypal images drawn from memory. Over the next decade, during which I moved from NYC back to Maine temporarily, then Portsmouth, NH, I made no art drawn from nature or painted in situ; it was all done at a desk, and eventually an easel, drawing from the imagination. Initially I drew these idealized figures as projections of personal desire, people I wanted to be with. It was the mid-70s after all, in NYC, and the rituals of love and lust were manifold.  The nitty gritty reality of much gay life in NYC turned out to be not so much my cup of tea, so i went inward, creating my own reality, peopled with fashionably tall, but nude thin creatures who were incredibly pretty (or at least I was trying to make them pretty). What a field day for self recognition is this thing called writing: “A story is a letter the author writes to himself, to tell himself things that he would be unable to discover otherwise.” – a truly wise quote from Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s excellent novel The Shadow of the Wind.

InnerNature2WPInner Nature #2 aka REcommencement • acrylics on paper 20″ x 16″ • collection of the artist. An updating of those seminal themes displayed above in my third painting, but this one accomplished just last May, utilizing an awareness that only years of practice and observation can bring.

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