Monday, August 24, 2015

How do you, Stop versus go? Create onward, ho!

The fine line of knowing when to put down the brush and when to add another stroke is a consistent question that I ponder regularly.

Section of "Mon Ami por Tu?" Oil On board. 32x14
The above image was the original completed painting that was to be included in a benefit show that took place yesterday, but two days before the event it just didn't look or feel right, so I picked up brushes and knives and in the immortal words of Jackie Gleason, "Away we go!"

The texture more accurately portrays the energy that I saw and experienced when I first went to the location. (NW side of Taos Pueblo.)

Section of "Mon Ami por Tu?" Oil On board. 32x14

Section of "Mon Ami por Tu?" Oil On board. 32x14

It was and still is very wet, but I took it to the show anyway where although it didn't sell, it received a lot of looks and compliments. Now that the energy of the show is fading, I can get back to two more pieces that I'm working on along with putting the finishing touches on two woodcarving/sculpture pieces.

"Sitting Shiva." Cedar/Spruce Woodcarving

"Two Faces of Hope." Cedar/Spruce Woodcarving

Create onward, ho! 

All images ©2014-15 Bruce Katlin

Friday, January 23, 2015

New Year's Paintings

"Winter's Tale" Oil on Board

New year, new painting; renewed sense of purpose and joy and challenges.

Painting or any form of creating is like a dance: back and forth and around and around; using different parts of the brain to analyze and paint. But if you analyze too much you'll never take the next step and if you dance without stepping back you'll land on your partner's toes. I don't like analyzing, I like doing and that's okay if I just want to get lost in painting but just imagine if you were an architect and just like drawing - the results could be disastrous. 

Continuing on the Path of personal and spiritual fulfillment I sought the guidance and experience of the prolific American painter, Richard Alan Nichols and have been relearning how to be a beginner with patience. Richard is one of those very rare teacher's an art form. He's not one of those frustrated painters who turns to teaching to only because he needs to pay the rent. He truly loves to share his passion for painting and has an endless amount of energy. "Paint the squeal and not the pig!" Richard shouts out numerous times during his lessons and workshops. I could see and hear the 'pig's' squeal but wanted to learn application and implementation from eyes to brush to canvas. Richard is helping me to get there. The above pictured painting, "Winter's Tale" was inspired by a run up a Taos area mountain trail. A lot of " back and forth and around and around" was realized in the task at hand.

Because it's been said that it takes a minimum of 10,000 hours to master one's craft, I have created my own simple 10,000 Hour Clock and when I reach that goal I'll reset it and start anew.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

50% Off Partners

Partnering with the wonderful folks at Smashwords now through December 31, 2014 I'm offering 50% off the ebook version of, Birds Like Us, The Pi Phillecroix Story. Wow! Use Code: PM93G

Thank you and hope you enjoy the journey.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Holiday Special

Special Holiday Offer! Author Signed Copy. 

For a limited time only, get your personalized signed copy of the incredible new fiction novel, Birds Like Us, The Pi Phillecroix Story. From now until December 31, 2014 you can get the fascinating tale of Pi Phillercroix and her adventures walking across France to the shores of the UK in attempts to save her father's life. 

This book will make a great Holiday gift for readers from 12 to 112 who will identify with Pi’s journey and feelings of inadequacy, the ridicule she has to endure for being ‘different,’ and ultimately the courage she exhibits in facing her fears.

Get your copy today! When ordering please state to whom you would like the book signed to. 


*Shipping rate is for USA only. International shipping rates vary.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Man Eats House

Brick by brick a man devoured his house last week in an attempt to keep his bank from reposing it. Walter Briggs of East Elmhurst Queens got the idea after he was turned down for the tenth time trying to re-finance his 1950’s cape style home. After the bank took him to court Walter said, “Fuck em’. They ain't getting my house even if I have to eat it.”

Walter started on the obvious place, the shingles. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy so I started with the roof cause’ that’s what I did when I ate my first house. That one was a three-month old gingerbread house that was left on the windowsill in our fifth grade class. The real one was just as hard and stale as the gingerbread one.”

Walter’s building materials binge started on the day that a sheriff’s vacate notice was nailed to his front door; one of hundreds of thousands that were posted on front doors around the country. The lender, Bank of America was all to eager to repossess Walter’s house even though they knew they weren’t going to be able to sell the house for a profit and it would remain empty for a long time. A spokesman for BOA said, “We’d rather let it rot than have someone living it for less than the monthly mortgage payment.”

Walter just couldn’t make the monthly payments after he lost his job at the local supermarket due to other homeowners losing their homes and having to leave the neighborhood. Walter’s wife and four children took the car and the family dog to live with relatives in Monroe, NJ.

“I just didn’t see any other options,” Walter said from his bed at Elmhurst hospital where he’s recovering from internal injuries. “Besides, the fridge was empty and I was hungry.” When reminded that there were other safer options, Walter proudly said, “I thought of torching it but I knew I’d end up in jail. But I just didn’t want those bastards to have the satisfaction of takin’ my home from me, especially since I worked so hard to get and keep it.” When asked which was the hardest portion of the house to consume Walter responded, “The front porch. It’s where we laughed the most. It made me cry thinking that we’d never be able to sit and rock as a family again on that porch.” Walter didn’t seem to mind that he lost most of his digestive system and would never be able to eat solid foods again. “It was worth every single nail and piece of wood I swallowed. Whadda’ those bastards gonna do now, foreclose on my ass? Fuck them!”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Run For Your Art!

No Walls Art Studio, Lobo Peak, NM

I love exercising outdoors and I love to paint, so I combined the two a few days ago when I ran-hiked the Manzanita Trail to Lobo Peak where I set up the easel at 12,115'. Packing and carrying 40 pounds of equipment was just half the challenge; choosing a subject to paint with 360 degree views was the other. Was it convenient? No, Beautiful? Yes. Life enhancing? Definitely.

Every time I complete a challenging hike or run I feel more confident which, carries over to other areas of my life. Somehow, that blank piece of paper or canvas becomes less intimating; a difficult ski run seems more manageable. Trail running, especially down hill requires focus; one wrong step could cause serious problems. Along with focusing on the ground under foot and scanning the forest for bears, the brain is making constant decisions and calculations on where to go and how to get there. Which rock or tree branch to avoid? How fast could I go without tumbling down that ravineCould I jump over that fallen tree without losing my manhood? For me, trail running and hiking is a meditation. It requires concentration while moving through each moment with complete awareness. 

This particular trail has steep inclines with grades up to 45% in some sections. (Think 90% and then back off from there.) From the parking area to the summit of Lobo Peak, the trail climbs 3,759'. The information I read listed the trail as 4.19 miles in length so, when I looked at my GPS watch and it read "5.01 miles" and the summit ridge was nowhere to be seen, I realized that either the watch was wrong or the listed trail length did not account for the distance from trail's end to the peak of the Peak. The total uphill mileage according to my watch was 5.35 miles. The reason I was concerned about the mileage was because there was only a certain amount of time to paint before the afternoon's lightening strikes began. A lot of panting and swearing took place before the summit came into view. I spent a couple of hours there painting, mediating, snapping pictures and talking to the chipmunks, bees and Big Horn Sheep. 

The trail down is just as hard as the way up, taxing different muscles and energy stores. The lungs hunger for more oxygen on the way up and the legs on the way down. Combine gravity, weight, mass, speed and force on the lower body and you end up with screaming thighs, buttocks, knees and ankles. I did make it a bit more difficult than necessary, as I found and carried down the perfect 12' tree branch that I'll be perching a handmade bird feeder.

I did manage to take time out to smell the flowers and marvel at the abundance of life that percolates in our National Forest. Northern New Mexico is home to hundreds of spices of plants and wildflowers and with no one on the trail that day I played botanist in training, studying and taking pictures of the abundant summertime bloom. (Truth be told, I didn't get much painting done, as there just too much of the "Wow!" effect to be seen everywhere I looked.) 

So, although I'd prefer to paint outdoors I'll have to finish this one inside looking at a digitized copy of the breathtaking views via a photograph. Eventually, I'd need to come inside for fresh water, more materials, food and rest and recuperation. There's always tomorrow. There will always be more trails to explore and endless running towards creating more Art. 

Hope you enjoy the below pictures of the trail and Peak.

Lush Forest
Wild Red Berries

Standing Tall

Steep Climb
One of Many Beautiful Crossings
Handsome Big Horn Sheep
Geranium Richardsonii

Hairy Clematis
Approx. 2 miles from Peak

Ridge Approach to Peak
Old Cairn?
Taos Valley View

NW View
Lobo Peak, NM Looking SE