Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dream Paintings

I live to paint and I dream to paint. I have actually painted from some of my dreams. I have been having dreams about painting for the last ten years. The paintings are usually mine but they are different. There is a swirling movement in them and a lot of an icy blue that I use but it is more dominant in these works. Also, there are no dark colors, only light. Sometimes I dream about paintings that are done by students but, of course, they are done by me as they are paintings I have never seen before. It is a strange experience to dream up paintings. I enjoy the experience. "Swirling Colors", and "Contemplation" are two of these paintings and can be seen in my portfolio on Fine Art

I have come to a stopping point on the three paintings that I have been working on for several months and am ready to put them away before I become so involved that I lose what I have achieved. I am looking forward to my next endeavors which I hope I can start soon. I have to go in for a hospital procedure in the next week or so and I will be involved with the prep work for that so I know I am going to be grinding away until I can get started. I have three mountainscapes in mind. I am never completly happy with any of my paintings but I am most dis-pleased with my mountainscapes so I am going to be ambitious and work on three at once. One of my teachers, Paul Frets, once told me that paintings have to be arm-wrestled down. I should have great biceps after all these years.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Kendall Kessler's Home Oil Painting Gallery

I live to paint and my entire home is my art gallery. Eventhough I have sold many paintings I am extremely prolific and constantly see my efforts around me. I never get exactly what I want in a painting. I doubt that any artist ever does. I tell my students if they work very hard they can get close but what you want to achieve is always beyond one's present ability. Paintings either get worse with age or they improve. Most of mine seem to improve with age and the faults that seemed so devastating no longer seem significant. I have learned to let paintings live. I used to destroy them out of frustration but no longer. Now I have the burning desire to place them where they will be appreciated. I am now part of Round The Mountain which is an organization designed to attract patrons to artist's homes. I hope this will catch on when Radford has a trail on the site. The address is

Currently I am at a frustrating point in my development as an artist. I have found ways to make my paintings so strong that they look better without lights shining on them. I follow the impasto approach which dates back to the 17th century. I am frustrated because I have developed so many personal techniques that it is hard for me to just relax and paint. I remember reading somewhere that Renoir once said in so many words that his madness was to play with colors. I can certainly relate to that. I use so much white paint that sometimes I am inhibited by the cost of paint. All of the colors are so expensive now that I don't think I push a painting far enough. I do hope in these difficult economic times I will move more art. I will never quit painting or searching for patrons.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Live to Paint

I live to paint. I sincerely hope that when I die I will die with a paint brush in my hand. I have many responsibilities that keep me from my work. My life seems to be a constant struggle to have time for what I consider to be my profession. I make part of my living selling my artwork and teach part-time at Radford University. I am married to an amazing poet, Clyde Kessler, who is also a self-taught naturalist and is working on putting out a CD on Butterflies of the Blue Ridge. We have one great son, Alan, who is the subject of a number of my paintings. Much of my artwork is about this beautiful mountain region, though I paint other scenes from other locales, figures and still lifes.

I am mesmerized by the continual interplay of colors in the mountains. I would have to agree with Claude Monet that all one can get is a "naive impression". It is impossible to capture all the colors and textures of one moment. My struggle is not to capture them but to use what I can capture in my own unique expression i.e. my emotional reaction to beauty. I am always being told that my work is like that of Vincent Van Gogh. My landscapes have the burning intensity that he has in his. I can understand why he felt like he was being "gripped by the throat" when he painted. He was expressing his reaction to what he was seeing and his inner expression.

Right now I am working on three medium sized paintings of an area near Rock Castle Gorge, an evening scene of Radford's Memorial Bridge, and some swamp flowers near Bisset Park. I base my paintings on photographs that I take and then interpret the colors and textures to express my reaction to each scene. I take pride in complicated systems of brushwork that are unique to me.

My dream, which I am sure I share with all artists, is for a rich patron to find my work and make it possible for me to work all the time. I can't eat them and I can't take them with me. I have paintings in private collections in eleven states. I hope to increase that number. Art agents are as scarce as hen's teeth. If you would like to view my work you can visit