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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Skyscape - nearly done!

Sky is deepened and given more color, foreground is still undeveloped.

Earliest version:

Sky is given its basic values and some color, foreground is very roughly estimated.

This begins some work I find intriguing - and I hope is the beginning of more work in this genre. Its kinda like a landscape, though doesn't focus much on land. Rather the sky is the main idea!

Having grown up in the Heart of Texas, (in the country) - the expansive vistas were a very formative part of my visual memory, vocabulary, and expression. The expanse of land played an important part - to this day, I place a high value on the idea of place and physical connection to the land. And the colors and abstractions that played across the skies on a nightly basis was so very elemental to my visual formation!

So, the idea of skyscapes has been in my imagination and on my mind for quite some time. This is a small rendition, but I imagine large paintings - where you almost feel as if its right there before you in its larger form.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Bouquet in Blue, approx 5x7" acrylic on paper

A small experiment here. This is a rough water color paper - 400#. I started by staining the surface with blues and purples - acrylic - and then began the painting. I used metallic gold acrylic paint in many places, along with the colors of greens/purples/and blues. The style is rather sketchy and impressionistic. Hope you like what came out of it!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some old favorites:

Daisies in Cobalt - 18 x 20" Oil on canvas (2004)

This painting came from a profusion of daisies growing in my garden - I love their fresh color, texture, and the shape of the bunch of them as they ended up in the bottle. There is no flower that speaks of summer (to me) more than daisies do! This one was one of those paintings that almost paints itself ... it just happened right throughout - and I didn't have to wrestle with what to do to make it happen! Sometimes, but certainly not always, it just falls together that way!

As to other work in my studio - things have been extremely busy here at the end of May and the end of our semester. Because of that - although I have finished and/or been at work on a commission and several other paintings this month - I have nothing new on the easel at the moment. I should have something new to post this week! Until then ... I'm putting forth some old favorites!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Landscape - finished.

Small landscape study - 5x5" oil on canvas

You've been watching the progress on this - and I've mentioned that I'm exploring landscapes again with ethereal lighting, misty vistas, etc. This is a small study - trying to get lighting and a sense of atmosphere. This doesn't represent an actual place, but rather a sense of place.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In celebration of spring time!

Crabapples in bloom, 9x12" Oil pastel on paper

I'm posting an older painting since my travels and commission have kept me busy - but with nothing finished and new to show this week. This one is completely appropriate though! The spring is absolutely bursting with blooms in my area - and the crab apples are especially beautiful this year; their aroma just permeates the neighborhood. I was thinking, as I walked this week - if eye has not seen, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared (in our heavenly home) for those who love him - it must, in fact, be breathtakingly magnificent, because I can't imagine anything more lovely than spring bursting with life and beauty and sunshine and warmth at the end of the long siege of winter! Spring embodies, to me, the very essence of who God is. His attributes are found in all the seasons, but spring shouts it most loudly!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This week's commission

Lemons in Bloom on Blue - 10" Painted Bowl
(acrylic on wood)

My silence this week does not mean I haven't been working! Here is a commission I am working to finish. This will be a retirement gift. Besides this - I have several paintings I've been working on, and I'm preparing to make a trip to Arkansas for my son's graduation from college.... just lots going on!

I'll be posting more soon! And starting a new Studio Friends contest.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Another experimental landscape ~ still in progress

approx 20 x 24" oil on canvas

This has been in my mind for such a long time, I can't really remember how long! And, once I made the canvas ... I had no idea what to put on it! A very severe case of "writers block" or maybe painter's block!

Here's how it started. I wanted to create a very textured canvas (I've mentioned before that for larger canvases, I always stretch, prime, and gesso my own). It occurred to me that it might be interesting to stitch together a canvas, leaving fringed edges and stretch, prime and gesso that.
So I did. (I should mention that I also sawed, mitred, & constructed my stretcher frame from firring strips). I created the canvas and stretched it using rabbit skin glue. (This is the process used by artists from the middle ages - and in my opinion, it gives the best results for a tight stretch). The outcome was exactly what I had envisioned. Then, I gessoed with a clear gesso so that the texture and colors of the raw cotton canvas still showed.

Voila! A canvas was made and ready..... but then - not every subject matter could really work on such a wildly textured surface! So, I thought about it - and have continued thinking about it for months.... years, actually. Every once in awhile, I'd pull it out of the storage area and wonder - what needs to be painted here? My question was answered by - silence.

Finally, in these last few weeks, I've decided that a landscape - very abstracted would work the best in this space. Something rugged, sparse.... maybe a little desertous. Yet, something that evokes a sense of being there rather than depicts an actual place.

So, this is what I've started out with. It is not finished ... and I'm not entirely sure where it will end up. This is a case of the painting speaking to the painter - and me trying to interpret and follow it's lead. I hope to have something final to show you soon - but who knows?? this one has a long track record of silence and rather cryptic communication!!

The small landscape painting I have been working on is still in process, and I hope to have it finished before long. And - I am also working on a bowl commission, which has a deadline! Couple all that with the end of our school semester and one of my son's graduations (out of town) from college - and there you have a snapshot of life!!
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