Along with a few recent watercolors of mountains in both Vermont and Colorado, I'd also like to share an excerpt from my latest novel-in-progress. The words below are in the form of a journal entry by the book's narrator and protagonist, an artist named Euclid Lane who has, in the 1930s, come to paint in the high country of Northwest Colorado.
Paintings by Kevin Macnieil Brown, watercolor and graphite on paper, January 2019.
It’s a struggle, sometimes, to keep certain aspects of the painting in balance. The urge is to paint what you see. But then there’s that other urge, sometimes just as strong, to paint what you know.
The thing is, what you see and what you know do not always agree.
You can always fall back safely on what you see, but as you learn to see better—- to see more and to see more deeply—-you might find out that seeing is, after all, not enough.
One day, then, you find yourself using everything you see and everything you know, to start painting what you don’t know, won’t ever know.
If you manage to get that all going together, well, you just might have a chance of painting the mountain--or anything, really—- and getting it almost right.
- Kevin Macneil Brown, excerpt from a novel in progress, 2019.