With Ed Hollis out of the way, I began looking for a new way to spend my time. I returned to the digital camera with somewhat forced enthusiasm. I made pictures of fishing boats, mostly from the park. I could never capture the subtle movement of the boats. A trailing wake just didn't do it somehow.
I continued to ride the Ebike around town. The gasoline bike was kept in storage except for test runs or risky longer rides to Jacksonville. I never did get attached to the Ebike, as I had the Tomos but that was okay. I just kept on plugging away at life. Fortunately I never got complacent. I was just never quite satisfied with the status quo.
I began painting as an extension of the photography. I visiting an art exhibit with Lucy one Sunday afternoon. It was the traveling show for the winners of the state High School art student contestants. I fell in love with the oil paintings. I had never taken the time to really look at paintings before. There was something Hypnotic about them. The best one there grabbed me by the throat and dragged me inside it. I stayed there captivated as I tried to find every nuance inside the damn thing.
When I left the show I tried to get the picture out of my mind. At first I thought that it was just a great picture. After a few days, I began to realize that it was more. It was the idea, not the picture, I fell in love with.
Needless to say I went to work learning all I could from the internet about painting. I watched all pbs videos about painters and saw them create things on camera. I literally spent weeks reading and watching online shows about painting.
Finally I could stand it no more. I rushed out to buy paint and canvas. I tried my hand at painting and it was a total bust. No it wasn't on the first canvas that I gave it up. It was after I had completed a half dozen that I realized that all I had for talent was a technicians idea of art. I fell into a deep dark depression that lasted a whole day. It seems that I was not a dedicated cut off you ear kind of artist after all.
What I had done was to learn a few decent painting techniques. I had a feeling that I might might be able to improve my photographs with them. First I just used the techniques of a painter in seeing photographs. They did improve my photographs some but the real break through came when I had a poster print made from a photograph.
I was not at all happy with that print. In a fit of anger, I took the oils out to try to clean up a bit of background. When I saw the dimension that it added, I applied more and more paint. When I finally gave up almost a week later, I had what I thought was a decent mixed media print. Lucy thought so as well.