1. Final version of Corn Stalks One (18"x24", oil on canvas); 2. Corn Stalks Two (18"x24", oil on canvas), take one; 3. Corn Stalks Two, take two; 4. Corn Cobs, take one; 5. Sketches from 2006, Vermont farm, corn; 6. Corn stalks.
Notes: I haven't signed Corn Stalks One yet. I'm not really happy with it but I don't want to do any further work on it. It's done. I was thinking, as I started on the second painting, of a conversation I had with a friend many years ago, about why artists so often repeat images in their paintings. I said then (and I maintain) the reason is that there's an initial irritation, like a mental itch, that wants to be expressed in the form of a painting or drawing. Each time it is expressed, some part of the itch is relieved, but quite often an other area opens up for potential relief. In the case of the corn stalks/corn cobs, the itch began 9 years ago, on a friend's farm, in Vermont. I made those pencil sketches then and have never managed to return to them till these last couple of days. The results are not what I had in mind when I began, but that is also very familiar. The "itch" is constantly evolving, growing and contracting. Sometimes I am happy with the paintings I produce, but most often not. I keep hoping the next one will be the best version. But that, too, rarely happens.