American Impressionist artist Painting western landscapes Travel & Teaching Art abroad
Thursday, March 16, 2017
"Delphic Ambiguity" 12x30 inch canvas
Santa Catalina Mountains Tucson, Az.
new clipping from Hawkin's book of tales...
The song that says “…and if I
ever lose my eyes, hands” etc. is in my head. I’ve wondered about losing a limb or two. What
kind of dreadful circumstance would be required for their loss? My next door neighbor was missing half of his
right hand. I was determined to not end up like him, at least in regards to his
finger situation.He lived in a one room
adobe with a tarpaper roof, his wife and five kids.A lot of mining goes on around the little
mountain town way, way south of my origins.Easy access to explosives, shallow graves and silver are the common
temptations/reasons for living in those mineral-rich hills. I guess my reasons
were a bit more altruistic originally but at least two of those, with time,
factored large. There was a good number
of one armed, one legged deaf men in town due to mining accidents.If I ended up like Lefty my guitar picking
would definitely suffer. The up side? I might
end up with a large family.Pancho
wanted me to take him “fishing”. He had worked with Lefty, saw his fingers fly
and would make the same blasting caps available to us for a small price. A
little excursion to our favorite fish hideout was in order.Gun powder and water-proof canon fuse are
readily available these days. Small, effective depth charges can be fashioned
pretty easily in your home shop. Back then I was reliant on our miner friends
for these type of supplies.The day
dawned expectant. I had in hand a stiff paper tube about the size of a roll of
quarters. It had a cone on one end with a black smudge on the tip. I guessed
that was the fuse. I would try to light that first. This was a test run. I
wanted to see if this little firecracker could really take off a head…of a
fish.It wouldn’t light.I tried the opposite end, lit it on fire,
picked it up and blew on the now forming cherry. I held the smoldering grey
cigar in my right hand and remembered Lefty.I put it down. I built a fire of match sticks and weeds, laid the cone
into the flame and breathed life into it from 3 inches away.It started to spark, smoke pouring out of
both ends.I quickly walked away, 10,
20, 30 steps, and turned in time to see a bright blast and concussion cloud
form and accelerate toward me in super-fast slow-motion. I had placed it under
a dry cow skull at the last second. The blast cloud hit my chest, sucked all
the air out of me and I watched my shadow detach from my body.We showered in cow head dust. I have all my
Intro to Biographic Landscape Memoirs continued...
A rambling drifter I never set out to be.Nor was it my design to be telling stories of
drifting, grifting and rambling.It just
turned out that way.In person I’m really
not much of a raconteur.However, as
unlikely as their source might be, these tales are death-defyingly truth-soaked
and were lived in the flesh by me and a smattering of other characters.
The impulse to head west is a strong one. Drifting is just the nature of the western country,
the land itself rolls and wells and flows and moves you always further west it
seems and… somehow bends you south without warning.It dumps into your lap remarkable pearls of peerless,
perilous price that beg to be shared.To
head west or south I first had to consume my share of alluvial loam, tame a
savage river and blast through a few of the lives most cats like us are
afforded at birth and… to learn how to drive a car.
The Plymouth Duster
had lots of rust and a three speed gearshift on the steering column. Shifting the
black and tan two-door with a rag for a gas cap took a little practice. But it was good for making those tires squeal
and pre-driver’s license age was a good time to be drifting around corners in a
rear-wheeled wonder like the Duster. I learned to drive on a frozen lake.It was Jayson’s car.He wanted it to go up in a ball of flames to
collect the insurance.Jay was a noble
dude and a great friend.He was a few
years older than I and had a coin collection and a boat and a case of road
flares. The nobility came from the boat.The coins and flares were incidental.My first drowning and third or fourth concussion happened with Jay while
on the river in the green rowboat, blinded and burned by the sulfur-fury of a
raging red flare. We innocently and
unexpectedly enraged a band of
unschooled ruffians living in a hobo camp across the river. It was about 11 pm,
no catfish were on the lines and the moon was a musky-eye yellow.A whiskey bottle hit the warming-fire, flames
shot high. Words, bad words echoed in the midnight river valley.A Black-Crowned Night Heron squawked its
disapproval. We ran upon his sandbar. The flare had blinded us.Sticks and stones flew. Jay rowed hard. I was
hit in the head.I lost my nautical
bearing and, a lot of blood.
After a year or two of talking about the potential addition
to the coin collection that would be the result of a spectacular
accident/disappearance of the Plymouth, we decided something needed to be done.
I know I had seen it done a time or two in a movie so I volunteered… to drive the
car off a cliff. I have found that most
acts of dangerous daring-do require very little thought or planning. Not much time
is given for probing analytics. The moxie needed just kind of gorges up through
all the viscera at the right time and erupts into memorable deeds. The small
bluff overlooking Dead Man’s Curve on the river road at the dam was the perfect
spot.The water up next to the dam is
really very deep.There’s a lot of foam and
trash and it’s all boiling and is the color of black coffee and earthworms. Transfixed,
shivering we wanted more than anything to run. I imagined red and blue strobes contrasting
our silhouetted forms against the dark night elm trees.Froze in inconvenient horror we were stuck to
that warm soil like rooted terror. We stood there like sticks and watched the
swirling heave come up over the hood and the gurgling three-minute-death.I guess it was a fitting finale for what the
blood-rust sacrifice represented to us.
NEW excerpt from my autobiographical landscape writings...
The soft black, diggable soil of my northern life tasted
like earthworms and the river. It has long been a favorite flavor of mine.It has been replaced by mercury desert dust and
caliche. I don’t have anything to say about their flavor. Before I had ever
robbed any graves or been shot at I had skinned the hide off a hundred critters
and drunk deep the waters of the Mississippi. I suppose I dreamed a lot about
land to the north and west in those days, but especially the west… never the
south. I’ve come to find that no dirt
tastes as good as the dirt from ones youth and no dirt is as good for grave
digging or getting buried in I suppose. The river? Well, she can be a dark one. She can also be a
sensuous songstress, a musical minstrel who caresses with melodic musings and
savage soothings. She tempts a
shimmering, fantastical bounty but requires terrible things in return. That’s how I know her. I drifted dead-numb into her frigid graveyard in
the winter of ‘76. I broke through the ice on a 10 degree day, slipped under
the ice-shelf coffin lid and into eternity. Tim died a couple of years later in
the same calamitous current. It was summer.He was lured by the river-song. He never came back. I do miss the river.I do not miss the northland.
To be cont....
Large 30x24 inch canvas is now available...see link to eBay and ETSY on-line stores
The problem with sporadic bloggerating is that many nice pictures fall through the cracks and many a blog-worthy tale does likewise. Stay tuned for a poignant first-hand, eye-witness recount of pathos-infused third-world intrigue experience by Carmelita and me just this past week. Until then enjoy the Cows over the moon above.
All new paintings are available directly from the studio. Often they are first offered on auction on eBay and if for some miraculous reason they don't sell out right away (: ...I will have them for a while on a "for purchase" price with a "make an offer" option. Feel free to contact me any time regarding painting commissions or classes.
Well, I'm still screwing up the courage to start on a couple of big canvases I've
threatened lately...here's a new one made from a photo off the phone camera.
We pulled over next to the landfill on the way to town a few nights
back and snapped a few shots...One of the big ones will be a similar
view. This new 12x36 incher will be available this week on auction. I
usually reserve the higher rendered paintings for commissions and
galleries but since I'm still chipping away at the $149K hospital bill
and with debtor's prison looming (or returning my 2 heart stents) I thought I'd make this one public. http://stores.ebay.com/FINE-ART-by-WILLIAM-HAWKINS
Due to the recent crisis and economic downturns experienced by all but a
small group of us flat-earthers and one percenters...I've decided to
make available a series of paintings for under $100 (auction starting price $87-$97). These are a few. Check the ebay and etsy links for more.
Livestock as subjects. I like 'em. I would love to paint more of them...and fishes too. Fish and sheep and cows are favorite shapes...oh, yeah, and birds too. All of these lightly sprinkled on lush landscapes is my idea of a happy season. We are in a happy season now...if we don't watch the news, talk politics or think about the driveway full of broken cars and the desktop piled high with Dr. bills. Happy season greeting to you and yours! Enjoy the new springtime pictures.
Does everyone from Minnesota have a Prince story? I have two! I will tell the first here. It will be the first time this story is made public so listen carefully.
1979 or 1980. I'm not sure which. My high school band mates and I were playing a low-keyed gig somewhere near Edina if memory banks serve their purpose. Around 10 o'clock someone said something about going to a neighbor's house to meet a "real cool black guy who has a studio in his house...his name is Prince". No one had ever heard of Prince but the prospect of blowing my harp in a real recording studio was intriguing. I asked if Prince played the blues. "No", they said, "he's into funk and disco". To which I said "squaresville daddy-o, I don't dig that scene". My buddies all left me to go hang out with Prince. For the rest of the night I was alone with my harmonicas and ...the blues. They all had a great time. Now, instead of what might have been I paint pictures like the ones above. Look for the link to ebay and etsy sale pages here on the blog. Click on the blog links if you're reading this via e-mail subscription.
News: New prints soon to be made available.
OK, so you can see by the pictures that our group of painters did some excellent work. I think, regardless of feedback, (which was glowingly positive by the way) their paintings speak for themselves. Wouldn't you like to be able to paint like that? All that is needed is for you to drop everything and attend our next workshop. I don't teach often but whenever I do I crank out masterpiece makers like there's no tomorrow (apparently?!?) What do you think? Someday I might take all my secretly moiled-for nuggets of painterly wisdom, melt them down and pour them on the unsuspecting public. I know it would be a bit irresponsible but what fun to fill the world with colorful delight. No? Until then I will plan short and sweet sequestered summits ...3 day workshops in clandestine locations throughout the world. We hope to return to Galeria Jill Logan in Todos Santos, Baja Sur, Mexico. Jill was a great host and is a wonderful artist in her own right. Check out her gallery here and a bunch of pics of the workshop on FB here.
PS. Carmen painted more than the canvas...made for a good smile on everyone's face
I really thought I could get away with no one remembering my birthday. Alas, ESPN sports radio sent me an e-card wishing me happiness. How does that even happen? Not even Facebook knows this guarded secret. Well, I guess the cat's out of the bag so you might as well sign on and send cards and gifts. Here's to wishing you all well on this special day the Lord has made. Enjoy the pics of these new paintings. Check out the link to my Facebook page and eBay and Etsy sale pages. Send workshop and commission inquiries to LosHawkins@yahoo.com
Here's a few pics of this new marshland Cloudscape called Xanthor Sky. I wanted to show the dark toned canvas I started with. After lightly sanding the gessoed prepared canvas panel I added a dark acrylic gesso as the final ground to be painted on with the oil paints. I will demo this technique at the April workshop in Baja. Stay tuned for info. on an upcoming workshop in Az. or Calif. There's been a bit of interest that way so we'll see if we can't get some more friends painting away their idle hours. Check out the latest paintings on sale here
The dates have been set in stone. Am I realistically hopeful that some intrepid painterly soul will journey all the way to the southern tip of chili-infested baja just to paint with us? Well, yes, I am. There just might be a few. After all, Mitch traveled from GA. to Hawaii last fall to take in our 5-O workshop and capped it off with the catch of a 130 lb marlin . So why not? (I caught a 120lb Marlin in Baja last spring) I understand it is a long way to travel for most of us but if you have the deep desire and unshakable drive to paint seas and skies then maybe you should consider dusting off your passport and meeting up with us in Todos Santos, Baja California, Mexico. April 14th, 15th and 16th (Thurs. - Sat.) at Galeria Jill Logan. Jill is a fantastic artist and owns a snazzy gallery in Todos Santos. Her gallery will be hosting us as we discuss all things that pertain to painting skies and landscapes in oil...in Mexico. Let me know if you are interested. I promise to be forthcoming with all (?) of my secrets garnered over more than 3000 paintings in the last 40 years. So, let me know if you're interested and I will fill you in on materials needed and lodging options etc. Tuition for the classes is $375/US dollar.
These three new paintings are large. The top one is 48x60 inches, the bottom one is similarly sized. I made these on oil primed Belgian linen. They are headed to the gallery in Todos Santos, Baja Sur, Mexico (near Los Cabos)
We have dates for the upcoming workshop there in April (I think the third weekend) I will update with more specifics real soon. If you'd like to learn a bit about cloud making but don't want to invest all the time necessary to learn how to actually make rain, this workshop is for you. There is quite a large artist community in Todos Santos but I'm hoping a few of my more adventurous painter friends will make the journey to enjoy 3 days of mind, heart and stomach filling mexican flavored painterly joy. Call or write with questions about tuition, scholarships, discounts etc.
Red light running. It is a practice of mine. I'm not too proud of it. I am just a little proud of it. Kind of like when your kid wins second place in a "sport" like swimming or soccer. I don't do it frequently or...too frequently (IMO). There are a couple of scenarios that inspire me to run a red light like when I'm approaching an intersection at a high rate of speed. That, combined with little crossing traffic and a short yellow light will result in an inadvertent red light run (RLR) It has happened to most of us. The second circumstance is definitely pre-planned. It's the most dangerous (to your driving record) but also the most satisfying. It's 5-am on a Sunday and no one will be even thinking about driving around in their automobile. That's when you plan your RLR. Unless you're in Billings, Montana, no self-respecting cop will be out on the prowl at that hour on the Lord's day. And, unless you're in Billings, Montana, you can watch the light go from green to amber to red from several blocks away and neither speed up nor slow down. You just let the car roll through the silvery soft pre-dawn
xeriscape that surrounds your favorite neighborhood semaphore. That's how it's done. That's how I roll (except in Billing, Montana)
These two new paintings show the Arizona xeriscape in all its cacti-strewn glory...perfect for RLR.
A dog is a man's best friend. A cat is a man's secret confidant and collaborator. At least in my case. My dear friend Ellie the cat has been a faithful and uber-chill, child friendly, not-too-much-in-your-face cuddly, mouse catching, rat eating, dove pouncing, early morning and every evening on the couch companion for 17 years. She was Marissa's cat but liked me second in the family, as was fitting for a feline of her intellect and large-heartedness. She will be missed immensely.
12x24's...24x12's. There should be a standard in referring to the dimensions of a painting. I'm pretty sure it's the vertical measurement first but I still see old artists and good galleries that should know better do it backwards. Or...I'm the one who's had it backwards all along. Anyway, I like this canvas size. Here's a couple of new ones for your Holiday season enjoyment!?!? Feel free to write me here in the studio with questions about painting, workshops or commissions. LosHawkins@yahoo.com
William Hawkins Somewhat of a guitar aficionado and somewhat of a
writer who happens to paint...a lot. That's me. So, what better
symbiosis than to combine the mystical ingredients of these creative
endeavors into a mysterious amalgam and send them into the blogosphere? A
small handful of high profile collectors have "found" me either in
galleries or selling on-line. A larger handful of not-so-high profile
folks also have found my work. Well, to me they all have beautiful
profiles and... I'll keep the compliments coming as I add to the blawg
as often as possible