Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Greetings

Whidbey Island – 24 December, 2012

Christmas Eve – One of the best days of the entire year for me.  “Twas the night before Christmas,” has always been a phrase that thrills me.  I remember as a young child lying awake in my bed straining to hear the approach of sleigh bells.  Not having a chimney worried me and the parental assurance that Santa Claus would simply use the front door seemed a little lame but even so the magic gentleman always seemed to somehow get into the house and leave me presents.  Christmas morning was lots of fun, to be sure, but for me the delicious anticipation of Christmas Eve, when everything is possible, was and is always the best part.

Tonight, as we’ve done for years, we are going out to dinner with friends.  This year we’re going to the Belmont hotel in Port Townsend.  This involves a half hour ferry ride and coming home in the dark will be a mysterious adventure.  Add Christmas Eve to that and, like the child that I am, I am looking forward to a wonderful time.

Though none of our children or grandchildren will be with us this year, we are with friends, so the lonely part of Christmas won’t be so bad.  This time of year brings out many nostalgic memories.  On each Christmas Eve, I still see my young self watching out the window with Mother hoping to catch a glimpse of the arrival of my brother Bud, who was serving in the WWII Army Air Corps or Roy home on leave from serving during the Korean conflict.  Sometimes they weren’t able to make it home and we would place a candle in the window to serve as a beacon for both them and for us – This light marks home.  I still put that candle in the window each Christmas Eve to let all those, who can’t be with us, know that we still remember them.

I hope there is a candle in someone’s window for all of you and this letter finds you safe, warm, and contented.  With all my love, and a prayer for those families who have suffered so much this season, I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Gherry Taylor

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Christmas Greetings

Whidbey Island – 24 December, 2012

Christmas Eve – One of the best days of the entire year for me.  “Twas the night before Christmas,” has always been a phrase that thrills me.  I remember as a young child lying awake in my bed straining to hear the approach of sleigh bells.  Not having a chimney worried me and the parental assurance that Santa Claus would simply use the front door seemed a little lame but even so the magic gentleman always seemed to somehow get into the house and leave me presents.  Christmas morning was lots of fun, to be sure, but for me the delicious anticipation of Christmas Eve, when everything is possible, was and is always the best part.

Tonight, as we’ve done for years, we are going out to dinner with friends.  This year we’re going to the Belmont hotel in Port Townsend.  This involves a half hour ferry ride and coming home in the dark will be a mysterious adventure.  Add Christmas Eve to that and, like the child that I am, I am looking forward to a wonderful time.

Though none of our children or grandchildren will be with us this year, we are with friends, so the lonely part of Christmas won’t be so bad.  This time of year brings out many nostalgic memories.  On each Christmas Eve, I still see my young self watching out the window with Mother hoping to catch a glimpse of the arrival of my brother Bud, who was serving in the WWII Army Air Corps or Roy home on leave from serving during the Korean conflict.  Sometimes they weren’t able to make it home and we would place a candle in the window to serve as a beacon for both them and for us – This light marks home.  I still put that candle in the window each Christmas Eve to let all those, who can’t be with us, know that we still remember them.

I hope there is a candle in someone’s window for all of you and this letter finds you safe, warm, and contented.  With all my love, and a prayer for those families who have suffered so much this season, I wish you a Merry Christmas!

Gherry Taylor

Derivative or imitation

Recently, I read a post by another artist discussing whether it was OK for art to be derivative.  He also mentioned the “sin” of imitation.  This surprised me a little, for I thought that the topic of derivative art had been put to rest some time ago. 

 

So, maybe it hasn’t.  Therefor, here’s my opinion:  Everything we do is based on or derived from what has been done previously by others.  We are always influenced by the work of others, even when we try not to be.  Sometimes the influence is so painfully apparent that we call it imitation.  Not that imitation is bad in itself:  It can be a great learning tool and even produce some good work.  In the art world there are times when it is difficult to see just what the influences are but they are there nonetheless. 

 

We artists want to develop a personal style which identifies a work of art as ours.  One can easily identify Monet as the painter of most of his work.  Yet it is, I think impossible to escape the influence of and some similarities to the work of other artists.  I spend a great deal of time studying work in books, galleries, and artists websites (Bless the internet and it’s ability to support our on-line galleries) looking at technique, composition, color usage, brush strokes, and anything else that I can learn from.  Yet, my paintings seem to still turn out Gherry Taylor like and not Monet, or Dunphy, or Jordan, or Lenarz, or anyone else.  Some artists and some specific pieces have influenced me more than others. Still when I paint them, all those other works I’ve studied are providing guidance to how I get my idea onto the canvas and so it is derived from all those others. 

 

I hope other artists look at my work and like me gain something usable.

 

Speaking of my work, 2421 Barn Beneath Mount Shasta is very close to being finished.  There are highlights and some technical details to be worked out but here it is as of this evening.  Look for it soon on my web site.  If you decide to acquire it for your collection, I will try to Fedex it to you by Christmas.

Gherry

 

 

Detail of the lower foreground