Friday, November 18, 2016

63. Fall Color

"Fall Color"
8x10, oil on linen panel

We have had great weather this Autumn!  And so I have been trying to paint outside as much as possible.  This time of the year, the trees have an amazing variety of edges and such a rich assortment of colors.  It becomes a challenge to balance out all of the reds and ranges with some strategic greens and dark accents.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

62. Quiet Places

"Quiet Places"

It is raining today, and it seemed like a good day to paint in the studio.  I am trying to get work ready for some Christmas shows.  So, the first thing that I did was make a list of the frames that I have.  The second thing that I did was paint a painting that is a size for which I do not have a single frame! Ha!  So much for my careful forethought.  

This painting (which I do have a frame for) is a re-working of a painting that began as a plein-aire painting, painted out in the field.  But it wasn't working and had been relegated to the paint-over pile (which grows rapidly on some days).  I pulled it out this afternoon to see if I could save it.   
The initial version (2 years old) is below.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

61. Musings after festivals

After having just finished 2 festivals and sold over 30 paintings in less than 10 days (!), I learned a lot about what appeals to others.  Or maybe I learned that I don't really know what appeals to others!  I did realize that, in general, my work achieves my mission:  to lift up the beauty of the natural world and to instill a sense of peace and serenity.  

I also learned that my very favorite paintings and not necessarily the ones that appeal to other or the ones that are purchased. The painting above is one of my favorites - but not one that drew most people into my booth or elicited the most comments.  

I recently went through all of my paintings and took a long, hard look at them.  Some were put in the "to be sanded pile".  I will paint over them.  Some were put in the rework pile.  I am now able to see what will make them a stronger painting.  Others were put in protective sleeves, and my favorites were framed.  I sold a lot of unframed paintings in those protective sleeves - just going to show me that my favorites are not necessarily the favorites of someone else!

I also learned that there are a lot of really kind supportive people out there who are interested in art, and in beauty.  Thank you to everyone who took the time (and braved the heat at the Brandywine Festival!) to come see my work and talk to me.  I enjoyed meeting all of you!  Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

60. Long's Park Art Festival

This is the first time that I have been an exhibitor at this festival - I always thought that it was too hard to get into, so I didn't apply.  Note to self:  you won't ever get in if you don't apply!  I am honored and nervous!  Please stop by and say hello - I will have lots of new paintings.  Actually almost all of the work will be from this year!

Monday, August 29, 2016

59. Cloud Revisions

 Final Version
This painting has been in my studio for several years, most of the time facing the wall.  I need one more large painting for upcoming festivals, so I thought that I would try to rework this painting.  I am really happy with this version.  I like the path and the warmth of the last light of evening permeates the atmosphere of the painting.

I reworked this version in order to lighten the sky and change the direction of the path - it was parallel to the angle of the clouds.  And I wanted more texture in the foreground grasses.
This is the initial painting - it was too blue.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

58. First Morning Light

First Morning Light 
oil on panel, 8"x 8"

I have spent a lot of the summer finishing up large studio paintings in order to be ready for two festivals - and also to escape the heat!  This has been a really hot summer.  It was fun to change size scales so dramatically -  30x40 to 8x8.  I like this one enough that I could see taking it to a larger size!

Friday, August 19, 2016

57.Artist Statement

I paint in oil to satisfy my own personal need to create.  It is a thrill for me to get lost in luscious color, compositional arrangements and mark-making.  Painting allows me to center myself, and to let the chatter of the world slip away. 

I love to paint landscapes, especially those of beauty: the golden light of dusk, clouds building on the horizon or leaves backlit by the sun.  In response, I lift up the splendor of the natural world as a reaction against the ugliness so often found around us.  Often, this might be a scene that might be overlooked:  a pond, a field at dusk, or a simple tree.  I want to capture that moment of beauty and my place in that moment.  When I am successful, my work reflects an elusive moment of peace and serenity in an otherwise chaotic world.

These moments of beauty are for me a glimpse of the “thin spaces” – those small gaps through which I can touch the edge of heaven.  I feel closest to the “Divine” when I am painting outdoors. Even when I am in my studio painting, I am still exploring for those ephemeral moments of grace that transcend my worries of everyday. 

My hope is that my paintings bring a moment of serenity to my viewers as well.

Friday, June 24, 2016

56. Reworking

Below are three paintings that I have recently"reworked".

The top or first version is the reworked painting - for reference you can see the prior version underneath.
 Long Shadows, 8x10.  I felt that the sky in the version below was "dirty" and did not lend the kind of light that I was aiming for.  The version above feels more like a summer morning.

 I like the basic composition and color scheme of the one below - I was not satisfied with the brushwork though.  I am much happier with the finished version!

 The barn is obviously the center of attention in this painting - but it was kind of boring!  So, I added some details - windows, doors, etc and brightened the front face of the barn.  The foreground got a little more definition as well.  Better now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

55. On the Way Back

I painted this on the Way back from picking up work at a gallery. Hence the name! 

I had passed a park where I thought that I might paint, so I turned down a road in order to turn around (rather than shooting a U on the highway!) Before I could turn around, I found this lovely scene. I painted until catastrophe struck: a fly bit my dog, (who was under my easel), he jumped up and bumped into me, and I bumped into my jar of mineral spirits. So I stopped painting. 

When I got home and looked at the painting, I decided I really liked it, just as it was.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

54. Bucks County Plein Aire event

 I just finished a weeklong event painting in Bucks County PA.  While it was their first year to host the event, it was very organized, and everything seemed to go smoothly.  I sold 5 paintings at the event!  I painted 10 altogether.  I will be posting those later this week.  Here are the 5 that I sold:
 " Dancing Allium",  8x10  This was painted during the "Quick Paint" event.  They are usually 2 hours - but this one allowed only ONE hour to complete a painting!  I was really nervous about this event (I kept thinking to myslef:  just don't think about it!)  I liked the way that I turned out and it sold!
 "Shadow Play"  9x12  Painted at the Mill at the George Washington Crossing Park  This was my favorite painting from the event

  "Before the Storm"  12x12  This a terrible photograph!

 "In the Shade"  9x12  Painted early in the morning at Peace Valley Park, a particularly lovely place, deserving of its name!  Another bad photo though!

Into the Blue Hills 9x12  I was lost when I found this place to paint - simply a road in Buck County.

Friday, February 26, 2016

53. Dusk at Central Park

 This is a large commission of Central Park.  There are 2 panels - each is 40"x 30" .  So the final painting is really large!  I am not sure that I would have tried such an ambitious painting without the commission - that is one of the things that I really like about commissions!  This is still not finihsed.  But it is fun to see the progression, I think.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

52. No Seeds

This is another pomelo - I loved the shadows and reflections.  So I kept the setup really simple!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

50. Pomelo (with seeds)

We bought this at an Asian market. It had the color of a lime, but the shape and size of a grapefruit. I had to try it! Inside, it was pale yellow. It tasted slightly of grapefruit and apple. Really good - but a thick rind.

Since I have finally admitted to myself that I am more of a fair-weather plein-aire painter, I have decided to turn to some still-lifes this winter! This is one of 5 that I have recently completed, and maybe my favorite one.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

49. Aglow

 I finished this little painting (6x6) of a pomelo last week. It was great fun!! And I got to taste a pomelo - they are really good! I took a workshop this fall with Lori Putnam (she is really good, if you ever get the chance to take her workshop, do it!), and she said that the fastest way to improve in painting is to paint from life whenever possible. So, while I consider myself a landscape painter, I am really a fair-weather landscape painter. In winters past, I have painted a lot from photographs and plein-aire studies. But this winter I plan to paint a lot of still lifes! I hope that this will be the first of many!