God takes care of us.
This is the dead burned out Honda Engine at 340,000 km.
God takes care of us, that's all I'm say'n. Further to an earlier blog about Life not always being so perfect, I talked about my car dying on the hwy. That set off an amazing chain of events that no man could have effected.
You see, just a few days earlier I was making supper for the family. I stopped and leaned in and said to them "we need to pray that God will provide a van for us. For family use as well as for moving paintings around". They all looked at me as if to say, "Oh my goodness! Dad looks serious!".
Then on Friday the old Honda gave up the ghost.
This week end we have sold significant numbers in paintings and tomorrow I am going Van shopping!
God looks after us. That's the point. Let it be said here and now.
Northern Lights Dancing
Getting ready to hang in a special spot in the Gallery.
You know the one you thought no one would ever care about? The one you did and you said this one will probly get panned every time? Meet "Northern Lights Dancing".
I am so overwhelmed by the response this 36"x36" oil painting is getting. To me it certainly is special, I envision myself alone at night in the north somewhere enjoying this wonderful display of lights across the night sky. Do I think anyone else gets it? No. I mean, it's a dark painting.
Seems dark is cool huh? Or so you all keep telling me. Today again I had a visitor buying paintings who was just stopped in her tracks when she met up with it. Didn't have the heart to tell her it is not for sale but the news eventually broke when she asked the price.
At times like this it is always tempting to relent and give it up. Price keeps getting higher and higher and it doesn't seem to detour anyone. But then I tell them that I actually don't want to sell it. Hey, I'm not playing a game here, I really do want to keep it in my private collection. It's special. To me.
Seems it's special not only to me, but to most of you too.
You are all welcome to visit to see it in person. It's still not for sale but I am happy, even thrilled to show it. Just contact me, email@example.com when ever you like.
I am not sure if it's just age, or perhaps I am just plain becoming too emotional about my own paintings. One thing is for sure, I am not parting with them easily. I never have. watching them go has never been an easy thing but the fact remains that if I don"t sell them I might just as well go get a job because I won't be able to eat, much less support my family.
I love being full time as an artist. I wouldn't have it any other way, so, I have to sell.
That being said, I recently read a great e-mail from the owner of that painting in that picture up there on the left, "The Georgian Bay". I can't say her name here but suffice to say her first initial is K, so I will refer to her as "K".
K told me about an experience of her's where she received an old painting from a garage sale that she just fell in love with. Here, I will let K tell it in her own words:
"I have an oil painting that my mom found at a garage sale. I fell in love with it and had it beautifully framed. It was given a beautiful second life! I often think of the artist and wish he knew how much I cherish it and enjoy it. It speaks volumes to me. I have Googled the artists name and still have no idea who this person was and what he was all about. I can see how you see your paintings as “long lost children” and your connection to them forever." K
I too have had such an experience. I have many times been in my local Value Village hunting down that characteristic old frame and seen many hand painted gems sitting inside most of the frames on the shelf. Who are those artists? Where did they come from? What was the story behind that painting?
Then I wonder, of course, if my own paintings might one day end up in such a sad state? Ohhhh, that hurts!
It's funny to me how life teaches us things. Through chains of events we discover new concepts and ideas we never before contemplated. All these years I have been painting away and just setting my paintings off into the clue beyond, most never to see again and never once considered that perhaps some, just a select few should be kept with me.
So I have begun to enact this new principle. To retain and hold in a private collection some of my most prized (and still around me) paintings. This does not mean my most powerful, or colourful, or accomplished works. Sure there are some of those in there. But actually a cross section of work from my beginnings as a watercolourist to the present as an oil landscape artist.
So now when you look at the "Currently Available" page or www.robertmcaffee.com, and through the other pages such as Forest and Trees, Water, etc, you will see a significantly paired down inventory. And now you know where those that have gone have go to.
As my paintings have sold I am continuously thrilled, elated, and honoured to see them leave my home and become the precious property of their new owners. I am especially excited when I happen to see one of my works in someones home that I may not have dealt with for quite some time, and there it is, like a long lost child! Thrilled for it's path and the life it has taken on but also just as thrilled to see it again.
I am not an artist who has kept my own works in a private collection, I have made almost all available for sale, however, I feel it is becoming important for me to retain some just for my self. For my own reflection and reference to the path of my career.
Today I have selected approximately 36 pieces available up until this point, of all levels of quality and detail, both older and recent new releases and effectively removed them from availability. Placed them into my own private collection.
I would also like to say that for me, the only work ethic I know when it comes to painting these paintings that I do is to simply work very hard on them. Where many artists work an hour or two per day on a painting, then set it aside to work on others, it has been my practice to dedicate to one piece and stay with it totally until it's completion. This, in most cases has resulted in working on a particular piece from early each day until late each evening for days in a row. The end result is a quickly finished painting but also an exhausted artist. In this short four years of painting in oils I have also been very quick to release each of my works so that you may have access to them as soon as it is possible. My view of this practice is evolving, after all, I am 50 years old now, not so old but not so young either. I need to and wish to slow down my output and take more time with each canvas. In this respect I will be doing just that. I strive through this to produce even better works with more emotion, more creative approach and more inspiration. I look forward to releasing new and even more exciting paintings in the near future, just not as frequently.
Thank you sincerely for your understanding and may you continue to enjoy the works still available on the "Currently Available" page of www.robertmcaffee.com
I invite your thoughts and comments on this to my personal email at any time: firstname.lastname@example.org
When Life isn't so perfect
So much so that their issues, having nothing to do with me were gushing out and into our conversations. Suffice to say the next four hours of productive discussion and planning were anything but.
These guys know I love them to death but they might also know that they weren't doing anything to pump up my aspirations and in turn I sure didn't have anything to offer them. It was just functional at best and I was glad to get the heck out of there. Besides, I had to get from that side of town to my sons school to pick him up, an hour away.
I won"t mention the wrong on ramp I took to the highway which delayed me an extra ten minutes, or the highly unusual presence of hwy constables along the route, making certain we all took our sweet time.
I WILL mention that annoyingly high level my engine temp gauge seemed to be rising too while i was still 30 mn from home! Oh yeah, there goes my trusty water pump! I pulled over and shut off the engine just in time to become one of those proverbial guys with steam spewing out from the hood of my old car.
Hey! No problem! I'll just call CAA and get a tow, no big deal. dial dial dial...silence...phone battery is dead.
Alone at the side of the hwy, no time to spare, car dead, cell phone dead and my 7 year old son waiting to be picked up and taken to his first ever cross country meet.
Is this a Blog or a vent? To this point it is purely a vent. Grant it. From here on though, I have to say that I have always believed that nothing, I mean NOTHING happens by chance.
I have had the chance to meet many different people along the road of life as a full time artist and i have to say that regardless of financial security, support, padding, what ever you want to call it, when "stuff" wants to happen, "STUFF" will happen! Getting side swiped or sidelined is something none of us humans can avoid, so it is best to simply take your lumps, sit down for a moment to grumble about it, then get up and brush yourself off and get on with the next step.
That's what I intend to do.
September 14th, 2012
8"x 8" oil on wood
What is it about art that gives us so much peace? I suppose there are many reasons which depend on each and every individual artist as well as person looking at the art. Let me offer this suggestion:
For me, each day when I get set to paint I have this routine I have to go through. Go for coffee at my fav spot. Read paper, relax. Sit alone, and clear my mind. Then go home, sit in my camper chair and stare at the canvas I am planning to work on. 10 minutes, 20 minutes, sometimes an hour just focusing and calming myself. Then I need to paint something easy and sketchy, just to tune in my hands. Get out the shakes and get them under control.
Then the fun begins.
so in all, perhaps 1 to 2 hours to get to the zone. When I do not do this you can certainly see the difference. My paintings look rushed, less refined, kind of crude. But doing so, getting into the zone, is like entering into the peace of heaven itself, and my painting reflects my feeling.
That's my idea. hop
KISS: You asked for it, I deliver
KISS: Keep It Simple Steven! Or maybe you know it to say something different? Well, you get the point. For over four years now I have been adding and adding new paintings to robertmcaffee.com. As time went by the list grew longer and longer. Then I broke the list up into categories. Forest and Trees, Water, etc, etc. Along the way I heard the subtle hints but never thought much about it till this past week.
"Why is it so hard to find the paintings that are not sold yet?"
Well, my concept was to let the web tourist enjoy the tour and see as many paintings as possible, sold or not. That, as it turns out was a very annoying issue for many of my website visitors who were just looking for that perfect painting that called their name. The problem of scrolling through painting after painting in search of the one that called but also did NOT have a SOLD label on it was a real hinderance to many of you. Some even gave up the search entirely.
That's no way to treat honest patrons who would love to hang an original Robert McAffee on their wall and help the artist feed his three hungry children in the mean time. No. You are right. Yes, I have heard the call from you. Especially the one who actually wrote to me about it and expressed her displeasure. To her (un-named) I shout out a hearty
THANK YOU! You may have saved my bacon. Since isolating copies of all of the Still Available paintings and posting them on a dedicated page I have heard from so many in just the first two days of the change. All saying how pleased they are with the new format.
So, thank you again for speaking up. Thank you for your patients and I hope your time on Robertmcaffee.com has been made even more enjoyable for you.
As always, I appreciate your suggestions. They contribute to making everybody a little happier.
The Artists Journey
This is my blog page and it is where I get to be the opinionated man that I really am. The views are my own.
I invite your replies and comments, on my virtual welcome mat.
This sketch above became this finished painting below
The Pine Tree Painter.
How did I become known as the Pine Tree Painter? You could say I paint a lot of Pine Trees, that would be true. I paint a lot of other things too, but Pine Trees, Spruce Trees, Birch and others seem to be a continuous string in what i do. I just like the way they stand there like a custodian of the land. or a greeter to nature. So, I continue down the path with the Pine Tree Painter name on my head, It's ok.