Filed under: Al Need, art, fragments, Galleries, seascapes | Tags: al need, cosmology, mendocino california, nature, seascapes, symbolism
“Color, form, and texture, bathed in many qualities of light, are the basic tools by which nature identifies itself. Nature uses these tools creatively to communicate symbolic information about its own reality. The artist, probing color, light, form, and texture to express their best potential, thus becomes one of nature’s “high priests,” bearing witness, as does nature, to the same ultimate truths. If he is successful, he reassuringly demonstrates that man himself, like nature, is not separate from but is very much a part of the creative forces so beautifully manifest in the universe around us.” - Al Need (1911-1986)
The black and white photo above is my father in his very first Mendocino gallery, The Workbench. The Workbench was his painting studio and gallery. It occupied the cubbyhole office space off the side of a garage/gas station at the entrance to Mendocino. A large view window faced the highway. From the highway as you drove into town, if you looked to your left, you saw this tall handsome greying man standing at his easel, painting, smoking a pipe. At this time in his career, many of his paintings, large and small, sold right off the easel unfinished, before they were dry. People came into the gallery to look at his work as they waited for their gasoline to be pumped. They stood in awe in front of his seascapes.
Before I met Tony, the man who became my husband, he was one of those people. He stopped in the gallery and spent time chatting with Dad. He had been on a hitch-hiking sojourn in 1963-1964. Our paths crossed very close that year but we never met until 1968. Miles away from Mendocino, Antonio Canavarro and I finally met, meeting in a Psychology/Encounter group at the Monterey Peninsula Community College. I guess we were doomed…