This is what it’s all about

The RT Collections

This past summer I had fun exercising my vast knowledge of science (NOT) and applying it to art. It was terrific to go to my reunion at West High School in Aurora, Illinois. It was inspiring to revisit the past with friends and fellow track team members. And it poured over in a series of cosmic creations.

The Rayleigh–Taylor instability, or RT instability (after Lord Rayleigh and G. I. Taylor), is an instability of an interface between two fluids of different densities which occurs when the lighter fluid is pushing the heavier fluid.

Wikipedia

After doing a series of these paintings it became clear that it is very unpredictable how they would turn out. I experimented with different acrylics, silicones, and other additives. But the weird thing was that even if I used the EXACT same components, the results would vary. That’s how life is… we plan, prepare, study, etc., but it’s never totally predictable what will happen. IF ONLY EVERYBODY ELSE DIDN’T SUCK, LIFE WOULD BE BETTER! Sorry if that sounds like a victim line; I really don’t think that. I do art for myself and my friends and my family and God. That’s where stability can be found. Especially God because He loves us despite our “instabilities.”

Seascape After Vincent van Gogh – Danger and Adventure

Seascape is a painting about danger and adventure. Nobody wants to be in danger at sea, but if you want adventure it may require something that puts you in harms way.

The Navy hymn is from a poem written in 1860 by William Whiting based on Psalm 107:23. Here is the first stanza . . .

Eternal Father, strong to save,Whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, For those in peril on the sea!

You get that out-to-sea feeling in the movie, “The Perfect Storm” with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg. Most of us, thankfully, have never been so far out in gigantic waves, but life often makes us feel that way. I can remember days in my life when I felt that way. Those experiences are in the past, and I’m glad for that. I hope anyone who looks at this painting can see the storm as something they got through, not something they are facing in front of them.

My Seascape painting came out darker and scarier that Vincent’s. It seems almost as if a great white shark is about to surge from the background!

18″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
oakwood in a natural Cedar frame
#18-008

Vincent seemed to be facing storms most of his life. He was never appreciated by his peers. Local townspeople scorned him. Young people taunted him. He only sold one painting while still alive (Red Vineyard). He was rejected and denied love.

But he had his brother Theo who stood with him to the end. He provided supplies and income for Vincent and was always there for him. Because of Theo, Vincent was able to totally devote his life to art. Vincent died at the age of 37, Theo at 33.

seascape

Seascape at Saintes-Maries by Vincent van Gogh

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

sower

Sower With Sunset – We Reap What We Sow – After VvG

Sowing is what we all do for all of our life… then we reap what we sowed. It seems to me this Van Gogh masterpiece of the Sower speaks through the centuries. We all agree that our selfishness can lead to loneliness, our greed can lead to gluttony, and our cowardice can lead to shame. But we also know our kindness can lead to friendship, our generosity can give others hope, and our courage can make a difference. A great man once wrote,

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone…   Galatians 6

The painting of the Sower addresses a much wider theme than the obvious agricultural one. The student studies hard to get good grades and to prepare for a future career. The athlete works out so he can win. The actress practices so she can dazzle audiences. The musician spends tireless hours to be the best. Whatever we do, we reap what we sow.

18″ by 24″ acrylic on canvas
oakwood in a natural Cedar frame
#18-007

I can apply this idea ad nauseam, but it is one of the truest things in life. There are exceptions, you know like, “Bad things can happen to good people,” and visa-versa. But it holds up most of the time. Actually, a sad example of that is Vincent van Gogh. It seems to me he got a bum rap in life. Some of it he may have brought on himself, and some historians think he suffered from mental illness, but it has always bothered me that he didn’t benefit if his short life from his great paintings. Thankfully many of his family did.

Van Gogh’s original painting is 25″ x 32″

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Landscape With Snow

Landscape With Snow, After Vincent van Gogh

Like many people in Central Florida, I migrated from the north, northern Illinois to be exact. I was born in Aurora, and lived a good chunk of my life in Chicago. So I LOVE snow. When we would get blizzards coming off the great plains and swirling over Lake Michigan and hitting us again with lake effect, it was awesome. However, sad for me, most schools stayed open unless it was a Mass Extinction Event. Landscape With Snow takes me back.

But I have fond memories of walking to school through deep snow. We would build snow forts and have snowball fights. My teacher, Sister Mary Thaddeus, would join us. She threw a nasty snowball!

16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
in a natural Cedar frame
#18-005

Van Gogh achieved a special atmosphere in this great painting. So much so that it was requested to be displayed at the White House. Sadly, all that came back was an insult. Art ought to be above politics, and thousands of DC visitors would have enjoyed it.

In Donald Trump’s role as President of the United States, he and First Lady Melania Trump asked the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum to let them borrow Landscape with Snow to decorate the White House’s Executive Residence. The Guggenheim’s Artistic Director and Chief Curator, Nancy Spector, declined, offering America, an 18K gold toilet, by contemporary Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan instead.  – Wikipedia

Landscape With Snow / Van Gogh 1888

The original was oil on a 15″ x 18″ canvas, so mine is slightly larger. I’ve never felt confident painting snow. It’s tricky and hard to paint. But it seems using blades instead of brushes worked this time. Pure luck! If ANY President or First Lady requests it, I will donate my version. But, alas, I know my art isn’t likely to bring in millions until decades after I am gone from this earth. I do it for the next generations of my family. 🙂 For now, it is on display in the entryway of KellGrace Salon.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

abstract expressionism

Jax Big Beige, Abstract Expressionism to Ponder, Explore, Die For

Jax Big Beige is a large piece privately held in a home on Lake Virginia, Winter Park, Florida. The style is Abstract Expressionism after the inspiration of Jackson Pollock.

53″ x 77″ acrylic poured technique
on stretched canvas
#16-014

Pondering life is a mental and emotional exercise in philosophy. You don’t have to be old, genius, or highly educated to do it. Abstract Expressionism became an epoch of art history that falls between 1946 and 1956. This is the period of Pollock and his “poured” masterpieces defined the category. But Abstract Expressionism is more of a group of people than a genre of art. It was, “a style that fit the political climate and the intellectual rebelliousness of the era.” (Wikipedia).

So I suppose aside from replicating the style of artists like Pollock, it is impossible to be an abstract expressionist painter today. There are different genres today. Jackson Pollock “realized that the journey toward making a work of art was as important as the work of art itself.” (ibid.)

I don’t care what the technique is called, all I know is there is something special about spreading a large canvas on the floor and painting it from all directions. Except for me, it is done on the ground outside. Often innocent bugs become immortalized that way.

Every time a painting like this is viewed, the perspective seems to change. To me abstract expressionism is about change. It never looks or feels the same. It is never boring.

A person I love always says . . .

The only thing you can count on is change.

This same truism is expressed by Terry Brooks in his book, Talismans of Shannara (p.449) . . .

The inevitability of change is the sole constant of life.

It’s one of those deeper thoughts that’s almost universal, although some of us recognize it later in life than others. Here are two other paintings I created in my Jax series:

Jax-White

Jax-Black

 

Chicago Rain, A Young Man Faces Down The City

In Chicago Rain, I’m looking back at the years of my youth and strength. I grew up in Aurora, but spent two decades in the urban bliss of the Windy City. I married there, and all three of my children were born at the Swedish Covenant Hospital on the Northwest side.

10″ x 12″ acrylic with blades
on a solid wooden block
#17-019

Actually, Aurora is considered a part of “Chicagoland,” as it is only forty miles west. A city itself, but small compared to Chicago with about 100,000 population, hardly a village. We actually had a twenty-story skyscraper in town. But the allurement of the big city is magical. Let me tell you about my first trip to the big city, many years before Chicago Rain. I was in 8th grade and along with two of my pals, decided to skip school and go to Chicago. None of us were old enough to drive, but Aurora has a commuter train that goes straight into Union Station. Back then the tickets were probably less than ten bucks, so we saved up for our big hooky day trip!

Chicago Rain

I thought I was street wise, but it turned out I was not. At 14, the world belonged to me; Chicago was just the first stop. We got off the train in Union Station and somehow got out on the streets through the throngs of humanity. No problem, easy peasy. I was tough, Chicago streets did NOT scare me. (They should have.) We roamed around aimlessly acting as if 100-story skyscrapers were normal things, but our necks were bent a lot that day.

Then we ventured into the subway system. We acted cool, yet had no idea how to read the complicated maps on the station walls and in the trains. While transferring from the NW routes to the Southside routes, I got separated from my friends. They were ahead about twenty or thirty bodies in the sardine can of the subway car. When they got off, I had to rush to an exit or be forever on my own.

Running as fast as I could, I spotted them ahead going up a huge escalator. Some pals they were – they didn’t even notice I WAS MISSING! I jumped on the escalator and found myself squished in the midst of a large group of teenage boys. (Hmm, I thought, why weren’t they in school?) Must be trouble-makers for sure. Or wait, worse . . . gang members? Yikes, they didn’t smile at me, but glared.

That’s the last thing I remembered until my friends were splashing water in my face to bring me to consciousness on the floor at the top of the escalator. And for some reason all of my pockets were empty. Too bad those punks couldn’t find a rich kid to rob. All they got from my was a couple bucks and my comb (don’t need one of those anymore.) Then the swelling in my face and head started. They sucker-punched me!

Chicago Rain is a painting about years later when I moved to the city. I was much more cautious and wise, and instead of a gang, I found the love of my life.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Lake Eola

Eerie Lake Eola Haunts Orlando Skyline

Orlando is a city of lakes, but right in the middle is a small one called Lake Eola. It’s a place of dreams come true. Not far from Disney World, Universal, Sea World, and a plethora of entertainment venues, Lake Eola is renowned as an urban focal point. Many great events are held there to the delight of the locals and vacationers alike.

One visitor wrote,

Lake Eola Park is an oasis located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. Amazing variety of birds, great place to dog and people watch. Restaurants and bars located within inches from the Park. Great place to hang out.

Lake Eola

But in my conception the lake is viewed at night, and from a darker  insight. It may come from my first visit to a lake. My family lived in Aurora, Illinois, about forty miles west of Chicago. We went up to Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, which is on the IL/WI border. As a ten-year old kid I was excited to go on a big trip to a lake. I knew about rivers because we lived near the Fox River, but a lake was a whole new thing.

We rented a boat and my dad and I got fishing poles and bait. It was awesome trying to get a worm on a hook, I loved it and knew we would catch lots of fish. We cast off, and with the small motor soon got out into the middle of the lake. As I was trying to get worms not to fall off my hooks, I notice dad was nervous. I wondered if he might be afraid of the water. No, that couldn’t be true because he told me of times he fished before.

Then he really got agitated and was swearing at his pole, the boat, and the lake. I knew what was coming. Next thing, after only 20 minutes on the water, he took us back to the dock. He tied the boat and told me to wait. He said he’d be right back. Hours passed and I played on the scant beach and tried fishing from the pier.

But dad never came back because he went into the lodge and got drunk. Later, when I found him, he was all smiles and seemed very relaxed. He was, of course, because the alcohol was taming his urges. But he had no interest in fishing any more. I went to our cabin and spent the day with my mom, sharing in the disappointment of a dysfunctional home.

16″ by 20″ acrylic on canvas
on panel board in a black wooden frame
#16-003

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Vincent's Old Tower

Vincent’s Old Tower is After Van Gogh’s Old Tower at Nuenen

I zoomed in and took only a portion of this scene, Partly because of the skinny shape of my canvas, but also because I was eyeing the tower. I wanted to make it about the tower. Sorry, I left the ploughman out. I’m sure he won’t mind since he has been gone for over 100 years. 🙂 I named it “Vincent’s Old Tower,” to honor him, and it seemed to fit. The reddish tints in the background sky add mood.

18″ x 11″ acrylic on canvas
on a sturdy MightyWood Stretcher
#17-028

Towering above the pastoral countryside,
the ancient structure sees all
and can be seen by all.

Vincent van Gogh loved to paint everything around him. He did, “The Old Tower at Nuenen with a Ploughman” in 1884 . . .

Vincent's Old Tower

Vincent’s Old Tower

I find Van Gogh’s textures and treatment of everyday scenes the most inspirational. He could really capture life as it is. Viewing his art makes you feel like you want to be there, living in that moment. More than anything, I want to strive to do that. Vincent’s Old Tower reminds me of my childhood when I was exploring. I would wander everywhere to see what I could and to discover things. It got me in trouble sometimes, but I don’t think I could’ve done otherwise.

It was not a pleasant thing to have the Aurora police call me down from the top of a water tower on top of a factory building. But, man was it cool. First, I had to squeeze through the fence around the factory. Eazy-Peezy. Then I had to find the fire escape ladders on the five story building and get up to the first rung. No prob. After climbing to the top of the flat roof, I found the location of the water tower. Oh man, they had a fence around it way up on the roof. Why would they do that? Who would get that far anyhow?

Oh yeah, I did. But scaling a six-foot wire fence was also Eazy-Peezy. From there it was a relaxing climb up about a hundred steps on a steel ladder. Once on top it was a little tricky keeping balance, but hey – you wanna live forever? But I will admit when I crested the tippy-top of the bubble I was feeling woozy… especially when I saw the flashing cop lights down below. How did they know I was up there?

But wow, I could see the whole town. It was exhilarating. When I got down, my chauffeurs were patiently waiting to escort me home in style. Mom was pissed though.

I just know if I lived in 1888 in Nuenen, Netherlands, I would have visited Vincent’s Old Tower.

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

The Red Vineyard is the Only Painting Van Gogh Sold

The Red Vineyard was a fun project. When I do an “after” piece using a master’s inspiration, I never consider copying the work. But usually I utilize the basic layout and make changes to make it mine, usually drastic alterations. In this case I got flipped around by starting with the big beautiful orb of the sun. I like the way mine turned out, then I realized it was on the wrong side! OOPS. Then it increased the challenge as I had to mentally flip everything else. Oh well, I’ve always been a sort of backwards guy anyhow. Also I made the colors different and the people smaller.

The allurement of hard work is a mystery. There are some people who avoid it at all costs, especially physical work like the fields. Van Gogh is known for his feature paintings of peasants around a table having a meal. They are the potato eaters and they are content. They probably didn’t realize how poor they were. They had food, work to do every day, and each other. After a hard day in the fields, they would gather together for food and relaxation. The aches and pains of the day would wear off and they would sleep well.

The next they were ready to get back in the fields. The Red Vineyard was calling to them; it’s harvest time! They loved the earthy smells in the morning, the dew on the plants, and the crisp and cool beginning of another productive day. Nobody told them they were poor.

36″ x 48″ acrylic on canvas
on a MightyWood stretcher
# 17-039

The workers in the field must hurry before the sun sets.

According to some accounts, this was the only painting Vincent van Gogh ever sold. Van Gogh did the original in 1888. It is on display at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow.

Red Vineyard

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.

Starry Cypresses Team Up From Van Gogh Inspiration

While meditating on nature and Van Gogh’s propensity to portray it, I thought his solitary Cypress tree in “Starry Night” needed a companion. The result was “Starry Cypresses,” and after painting looking quite different.

36″ x 45″ acrylic on canvas
on a MightyWood stretcher
# 17-005

This is obviously an “after” painting. I love doing Van Gogh pieces. The swirling sky alone makes it an adventure to paint. Mountains and hills are my life-long passion; I will always tend to create them. With Starry Cypresses, I took the liberty to add sweeping mountain slopes, an extra cypress, and more intense swirls in the sky. And instead of a night scene, I changed it to more of a dusk or dawn scene. In my mind the sun has just set behind the mountains and the villagers are settling in for the night. Dusk is a precious time; it is the last chance of a given day to go out a embrace the beauty of nature just before the darkness swallows it up.

The feel and depth generated gives the painting an interesting feel. Standing in front of it draws you in and places you in one of the humble cottages nestled in the hills. Unfortunately for this artist, I live in a flat terrain. There are forests with pine and oak, and there are swamps, but in my area there are no hills.

Here is the original by Vincent van Gogh called  “Starry Night.” It is one of his most famous paintings from 1889. The view of the scene has been identified as being from his bedroom window, looking east.

Through the iron-barred window,” he wrote to his brother, Theo, around 23 May 1889, “I can see an enclosed square of wheat . . . above which, in the morning, I watch the sun rise in all its glory.

So I did it again, Van Gogh was facing east, my painting faces west.

Starry Cypresses is based on Starry Night

ABOUT the artist, Ed Lowe
His art is available to purchase at KellGrace Salon, 110 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789.