I call this painting, Conversations. The idea came to me when we were camping at the big meadow at 8000 feet in the Sierras. I was sitting on a rock, a lot of trees around me, and they were whispering, and it was a little gusty, and so it started sounding like conversations, like they were talking to each other. So I came home and made some sketches, there’s a lot of magic in the wilderness, so I brought it into civilization instead of the wilderness. At the tops of all the trees there are hidden faces, and they’re all talking to each other. There are faces and people in the clouds, but you kind of have to look for everything, I don’t make things too obvious as a rule.
This is painted on Masonite, its 24 by 30 (inches), I did in oils, of course, very few things I do in acrylic. I painted this in about 1990, it was a fun painting, I hope other people can enjoy it, but a lot of people just glance at it and never try to see what’s in it. But those who study it, and look at it, there’s a little adventure in each one.
All my paintings, or most of them, have come in visions, sort of. They only last a few seconds, but they’re so vivid and they're so intense that they sort of indelible memory. Sometimes I can carry an idea for a painting, very lucidly, for years, as happened with Reach, we’ll get into that later.
Only two sketches were made for this painting, both in 1983, the same year it was completed. What's striking about this first sketch for this painting is that it preceded or followed the final quick revisioning sketch for "Adam Arise", also completed in 1983. In all, from our records, it looks like Vernon complete 10 paintings that year!
If we look closely at the first sketch for this painting, we'll see "Talking Trees" written as a suggested title for the artwork he quickly thumbnailed a rough sketch for. Yet, in the second sketch we can make out the word "Conversations" on the bottom right hand corner. The mind of a master is without equal, and in seeking out thoughts, processes and ideas, as pertains to the man's artwork, we see pattern emerging from the depths of Vernon's artistic and storytelling capabilities, not to mention his empathic way of telling them.
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This photograph was taken on June 24, 2023, in our Master Curator's office, also in California. This office space has plenty to look at, including these six original paintings shown in the photo. In fact, this office currently has fifteen (15) original Vernon Finney works on its walls. And, even more stashed away in its closet space.