Stranded

Stranded”         Acrylic on canvas    6″x 8″             Whidbey Island

 

On any given day, we don’t know what we will find along our path.

To find this small fish…something in such a state, startled me to pause – look – think – wonder and feel. I don’t know how long it had been there.  I was a quarter mile behind my husband, walking up the beach. He found it first and made some photographs, which I used for reference to make this painting.

Sometimes we get flipped upside down – we ride the wave.

 

I felt compelled to paint this little stranded fish…tossed in the tide, out of control, landed on a rock…in the big universe.

I have sketched this as a vertical and a horizontal composition…and here I finished the vertical painting.  The horizontal will follow sometime soon.

“Stranded” graphite sketch – Whidbey Island series

 

If you have questions or are interested in my work, please let me know.  cappwiley@gmail.com

John’s work: http://www.johnwileyphotography.com

©Teri Capp   All rights reserved

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No perception of time – A long walk

No Perception of Time – A long walk”      Acrylic on gessoed paper     5″x 7″         Whidbey Island

 

A rock – all of those minerals smashed together – a solid piece of earth. I imagine that this unusual green-hued mound has sat there awash in salt water, kelp, sand, sun and wind, since before my ancestors landed on this continent. And there it is. It certainly has been on this spot the four decades that I’ve meandered this beach on Puget Sound.

I have walked past this rock many times, absorbed in conversation with a companion – or “making time” to cover the four mile distance, out and back. The rock is unconcerned with my passing…sitting there, as I hike my round trips.

Other times, I have walked to the rock – slowing and stopping – surprised by it. This is how any good encounter in the wild hits me. By chance, I saw it and stayed for a while.

Its color, softened by fog-filtered sun – I wonder, how did it come to be all of those shades of green? Why is it right here? I don’t know. I’m drawn to it, to sit on it – run my hands over its smoothness while it’s here…and I’m here. My sense of time slowed – connected for some minutes to a beautiful rock that doesn’t care about my schedule.

This connection is good – it’s real – to sit on a rock and feel the tide move slowly around me…while I race through my life.

I have painted one of these moments. I have looked – sometimes I see. You can look too. Of course, I hope to build my audience for my art work, but more than that, I hope to awaken a sense of seeing and connection to the natural world. Awareness and knowledge lead to care and conservation.

The rock is a physical place to land, to pause and just be. I hope that place will always be there. Maybe my painting can offer a place to land – to feel a stirring, or to just be…in the fog, on a beach, on a good rock.

Here are the stages of this small painting as I worked in my studio.

graphite sketch of A Long Walk

 

initial under painting

 

A Long Walk in progress…not quite done

 

Any questions or interest in my work? I also work on commissions and would love to interpret a special place of yours. Please contact me here or at cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp   All rights reserved

Ready for this day!

Porch View”           acrylic painting in progress,     5″x 7″

 

Oh! All praise to this earth today!

After days…turned into weeks, of rain – feeling heavy and soaked and colorless.  I thought I couldn’t take one more day of clouds that hovered so low; as though they sat on my brow and wouldn’t lift.

Then came today! This day in mid-March. The gift of the sun and a spring wind – buds, branches, shoots and twigs all stood up and showed their colors. The Olympic mountains lifted their snowy shoulders toward the blue and the sun…beacons of our shared wealth in this territory of Puget Sound. Free for all to see, feel and ponder.

We were ready for this!

The “painting in progress” above is another in the group on which I’m working, from Whidbey Island. If there is not enough sun in Seattle, I can at least bring some into my studio in a painting! I’m working from sketches and photographs made on a summer day…many summer days, while sitting on the one-hundred-year-old porch of the Officer’s house where our family stays at Camp Casey. So much life shared, so many stories told in the line-up of chairs perched on that porch. Fog rolling across in the morning, blowing out in the afternoon, with the glorious winds of summer, to clear views of water and mountains. It never gets old.

There has also been a lot of time spent in and around the tree in the left part of the painting. It has framed that view, stood as sentinel and landmark, for all of our years spent on the porch…it would be strange if it were gone.

Here is a sketch of “Porch View.”  The painting is on gessoed paper, taped down on my masonite backboard. I’m working some of these out to see which ones I want to paint in a larger format.  Parts and pieces.

“Porch View” graphite sketch, 4.5″x6″

 

If you have questions or are interested in my work let me know.  You can reach me at cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp  All Rights Reserved

A Long Walk

Painting in progress.        “A Long Walk”        Acrylic on gessoed paper.      5″x 7″

Another small piece trying to express some of my life spent in the glorious wilds of Puget Sound.

Whidbey Island…a place of great significance and deep attachment for generations of my family. Some set down roots and lived (live) on the island. We have spent a couple of weeks there, almost every summer…for the past forty years. The distances I’ve traveled on this particular beach, Casey beach, cannot be calculated. Hundreds of hours spent picking through rocks, balancing on driftwood, bare-footing through sand and finding prize agates.  On a map it’s four miles long…if you make the trek to Ebey’s Landing.  It’s not just about the linear distance…it’s about running there quickly to see an amazing storm front move in over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s about the hide and seek played…the perfect sticks and logs found and turned into magical forts. Racing each other, up and over driftwood, without touching the rocks.

It’s about running into and out of waves…walking and talking with friends or family…airing our lives…sharing ideas, problems, sadness, joys, hopes. Miles and miles covered every hour spent on that beach. A long walk.  Hope.

Hope is like the constantly moving front edge of a weather system. It is not the same everywhere or for everyone. There will be clouds, there will be sun. There will be wind. There will be rain…and many variations of those elements.  We are constantly reminded of “hope’s” companion – despair. Without it we don’t push to find hope.

Maybe I am tired, maybe I am battered by the elements – but I move through, I don’t sit down and stop or give up.

That action is hope personified. We are all capable of action. I can’t help it…I search for the moments and movement that put me in the company of beauty – exhilaration – and that which stirs the soul.

This painting is taped onto a masonite backboard on my easel. I prepared a number of these pieces of gessoed paper, painted them with a warm, red under painting and that is what you see popping out between the brushstrokes. This is an enormous green-ish rock that I have visited many times, after walking over a mile to the north on the beach. Working from memory and cropping photographs and sketching to get the composition as strong as possible, I start to put down the first layers of colors. I will post photos of the painting when it is finished, but thought you might like to see a bit of the process.

A Long Walk. graphite sketch, 4″x 6″

 

If you are interested in my work, please inquire via email. cappwiley@gmail.com

©Teri Capp All Rights Reserved

Hope – at the beginning and the end of the day

Castle Rock - Casey beach Whidbey Island, WA acrylic on gessoed paper, 5"x7"

Castle Rock – Casey beach,  late sun through fog –     Whidbey Island, WA  –    acrylic on gessoed paper, 5″x7″

 

I know… I have been gone from this place of storytelling and sharing work for a while.  A break, a bog, another path for a time, but I have been working in my studio. Not in a straight line, but working.

I have been drawing and pulling together some different story lines from my life…pieces of the every day around me and from places that carry immense meaning to me.

I have also been thinking a lot – about what art making and sharing and spectating means to me. I signed the petition put out yesterday by the Americans for the Arts Action Fundwhich I have included here if you want to have a look. http://www.artsactionfund.org/. I pulled out my notebook and pencil and began writing.

The concept of art; that art is a shared societal value, must be a part of our national philosophy…from the top down and the bottom up. It is a sign of a healthy nation. The government does not fund all individual artists or art organizations just by stating its support of the concept and value of art in our nation’s culture. Support in the form of statements and affirmation count. They set the tone and convey an important symbolism that we have a desire to encourage creativity and expression in our citizenry. Concrete funding counts too, in validating the relationship between our nation’s philosophy and the individual artists, creators and participants.

What better symbol to support than the expressive health of a human being or a creative group of people working together?

Art is how we live. Art is how we love. Art is how we feel. Art is how we teach and how we communicate.

Art asks questions of us and allows our hearts and minds to soar. Art digs deeply to the core of our emotions, whether it’s our own stories we are telling or painting…whether it’s music or a play…a graphic novel or a poetry slam to which we respond.

Inevitably, what comes out the other side of our participation, is hope. Can any of us say that hope is not needed?

Hope is the essence of being human. We get up every day to face and move through our challenges and joys. At every age, we do it. The essence of art is hope. Artists make work to elicit hope for change, for remembrance, to churn our emotions, to conserve beauty, to make us laugh, to create joy – to connect.

It matters. As a nation, we must have some government representation that speaks for artists and “the arts.”  Symbolism matters, it can be a guiding light…inspirational through dark days and light.

Castle Rock - graphite study, 4"x6"

Castle Rock – graphite study,    4″x6″

 

If you are interested in my work, please inquire at cappwiley@gmail.com.

©Teri Capp   All Rights Reserved