“Honeymoon in Prague 2” contemporary figurative painting
This is my very first painting in one very important sense. This painting was done after our honeymoon in Prague, which was my first trip to Europe. Over the past ten years I had tried to paint on four or five occasions, but each time I had to put it aside due to family emergencies, crisis with career, etc. I’ve not had any formal training in art, so each of these previous attempts may have been more of a struggle than they needed to be, and had life not interrupted the efforts, I think I could have started painting in earnest as long as ten years ago.
I spent one of our last days in Prague walking around the Czech National Museum. The Czech museum is much more sparse than the Met in New York, and this turned out to be fortuitous. Instead of rushing through the galleries trying to see everything, I spent hours looking at my favorites with the deconstructive eye I had learned from all the thousands of hours struggling with mosaics. The next day I got on the plane and spent the flight home sketching frantically on the backs of envelopes and air-sickness bags.
A few things quickly became obvious over the next few months:
I would spend the rest of my life painting as much as I could no matter how much or how little I worked in other mediums, including mosaic.
I had learned a few basic things about composition and drawing from my work in mosaic.
Not having any formal training in art did not make me helpless. There were several ways I could self-train just as I had done in operating systems, clothing manufacture and other technical areas.
Ten years of going to nearly every art museum I could while traveling on business had taught me some valuable lessons.
There was so much more to learn about painting that I could spend a lifetime exploring all that was possible. It would never be dull, and each canvas could be approached like it was the first thing I had ever painted.